• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies Sometimes I think a meteor could strike the earth and wipe out mankind with the exception of my mother’s Bridge club — Roz, Bea, Bette, Rhoda, and Jackie — five Jewish octogenarians who continue to gather for lunch and Bridge on Mondays as they have for over fifty years. When I set out to learn about the women behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, and most of all the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Should I Speak Of Love Let My Feelings Out

I received  an email recently from a guy who wanted to know why I didn’t respond to the comments left on the blog, specifically when questions are directly posed to me. I think he found it rather…ungenerous.

My mother never said it, but I knew she loved me. Or did I? Okay, not really. Especially when she was systematically shredding my self-esteem.  I mean I know she felt something, but it could have been gas. I was always a pain in her ass, never satisfied with her evasions, always wanting to know THE TRUTH. Here’s the truth, Life isn’t Fair. That was one of her cheery mottos

I don’t get mixed up in the comments because I only have two eyes and one mouth. Because I don’t know what to say. Because I’m afraid of the rabbit hole. Because all I can do it post the bloody paragraph and get back to my strict diet of self-loathing and late night television.  I’m sorry, sir, if you are not happy with the level of audience participation. I’m not happy with the static in my brain, with the degree to which justice is only an idea, and how it is that no matter how comfortable they feel in the store, every shoe I bring home bites into my foot.

I love you all. A lot. For reading and contributing to this great big whiny vaginey conversation known as Betsylerner.com Hilarious. That’s my comment.

51 Responses

  1. Because you have nothing else to do with your time than respond to random responses? Hah! Who has time for anything these days? Or is it just me? And what is it with people dictating how others should or should not respond/behave/act?

  2. The ‘thinks she’s fat’ lady has sung. Your blog, your rules I say.

  3. I don’t care that you don’ t respond but I think we all want to believe that you read each and every one of us. Whatever you do, don’t spoil that illusion.

  4. In my busy mind you are a poet, not an agent, and certainly not a game show host. I love you because you leave the 4th wall of this rickedy online world upright and intact. It is a solace to me. Please don’t stop being you.

  5. Here’s another parental saying for you, if wishes were horses than beggars would ride. That one comes from my grandfather I think. He was a piece of work. I second macdouglasstreetbaby’s response, brilliant.

  6. MSB and CJRice said what I would say. Thanks for giving us this playground, Betsy. The monkey bars are sturdy and not too high, the seesaws don’t squeak, the swings have seats big enough for our butts, the tether-ball poles all have balls hanging on sturdy ropes, the drinking fountain works, the grass is green and usually pretty soft, and all the kids have something in common.

  7. Ohhhhhh, that’s why you don’t comment. Okay then, I won’t take it personal.
    Yes, as usual Tetman is right about the your playground but what I like best is that there are no prissy assed grownups standing behind the fence telling us we can’t say, ass, shit, piss, and fuck. Whew, that felt fucking good.

  8. You don’t scold me for snacking while I’m here. I really can’t ask for more than that.

  9. Please don’t step around that curtain. Ever.

  10. Squeaky wheel got the grease. That guy squeezed a whole couple of paragraphs out of you. Impressive. And they were beautiful ones. That ought to hold us for at least a year.

  11. The Wizard was a pretty nice guy handing out a heart, some courage and a brain in exchange for a burned up broomstick, when all he was trying to do was get home himself.

    Love you too, Betsy.

  12. It’s your house, you get to make the rules.

  13. When people start to talk to me about “our friendship” and what it lacks is when they stop being friends and start being talent show judges. Don’t like the blog, email dude? There’s a whole internet out there of people who will respond to your rants.

    As I say to my MIL when she complains about the bed in the guest room: “There are many fine hotels in town.”

  14. I think, if I were you (and I’m not…my therapist said so) I would be worried about the mammoth sized box of expectations that might come attached with commentsations between yourself and us climbers. I mean, let’s face facts, just like the rest of the western world there is a class system to publishing. Personally, I prefer the ‘no comment.’ I like to maintain my “appointed by the divine” beliefs about those who move in higher social circles (mostly because I then get to, when the mood should take me, shake my fist dramatically at the sky)

  15. You know Betsy, you are so honest and so vulnerable, you are all of us. Maybe that’s why we come here. You say you don’t comment, but you do, in a more personal way.
    This playground is not just about the toys we love, it’s a safe place to play. I really believe that. Maybe it’s all bullshit but I don’t think so.
    You’re mother may have been a schredding-schrew but she was right, life isn’t fair, but here, in this place you make it fair for us. We don’t get that anywhere else.
    I cannot tell you how many times you have been a lifeline to this struggling writer, how many times you have saved my balled-point broken heart.
    Okay that’s enough, fuck the old woman who made you feel less than worthy. You are gold my dear, pure gold.

    • Wry Wryter, I think you’re wonderful. Right on target.

      Betsy gives plenty, an abundance, really. I’m glad that’s the consensus around here.

  16. Oh – and here I thought we were just the court jesters: tumbling about in an attempt to bring fleeting amusement to Betsy, who is kind enough to keep this site available in-between all the cool book-related stuff that fills her days.

    Perhaps this individual is from the generation who received trophies for attending someone else’s b-day party? Then, I’m guessing he will print out Betsy’s comment and frame it.

  17. Don’t go all serious. And if you must indulge in self-loathing, find some more cathartic way to deal with it. What is it about how many muscles it takes to … no not that.

  18. Even in the beginning I liked leaving words here and running off, only sometimes coming back. I do like that there is lots of room in this blog, a sort of evenness. I didn’t like it when Jeff was around further back, he made everybody so angry.

  19. Step 1: Hold the baby upright, high on your chest, head just above your shoulder. Be sure to support the head; neck muscles not strong enough yet. You’ll feel you need more than two hands for this.
    Step 2: Pat the baby on the back. A little harder than you think, but not too hard.
    Step 3: Hope for a belch (louder than you can imagine could come from one so small).
    Step 4: Clean up baby and clothes if sour milk burps up as well.
    Step 5: Smile back at happy baby.

    • Step 1A: Kiss the baby’s neck.
      Step 2A: Kiss the baby’s ear.
      Step 3A: Smell the baby as you kiss the baby’s cheek.
      Step 4A: Kiss the baby’s tummy.
      Step 5A: When all kissing is accounted for, nibble on the baby.

      • Step 1B: Watch with awe as baby walks.
        Step 2B: Listen in wonderful bewilderment as baby speaks.
        Step 3B: Smile when baby two-wheelers away from you.
        Step 4B: Fear the day baby drives behind the wheel alone.
        Step 5B: Weep with joy when baby says “I do”.
        Step 6B: Repeat Step 1

  20. Gosh, I’m glad you don’t respond. You have your say; we who have something to say have our say, and we all move on. It works great.

  21. Blogging is still a little strange to me. Who knows how to play in the virtual sandbox just yet. I am just amazed and grateful you post everyday. And I like hearing what others have to say. I’m that shy kid on the edge of the playground watching everybody so it works for me.

  22. The blogosphere appears to be a huge world. My guess is that if people expect a response and don’t get one they’ll go elsewhere.

    • Speaking of blogs, I just read in the NYTimes Book Review that writer’s blogs are now passe, and that Twitter is the new Blog. What’s a writer to do.

  23. Gosh, I thought i was the one who coined “whiny vaginey.”

  24. Betsy, I would not give that guy the time of day or the satisfaction of any acknowledgement. Talk about whiney. He’s soo lucky to have your blog to read and comment on at all. It’s a wonderful haven for so many of us that gives mirth, advice, hope and laughter year round at any time of day or night. No complaintants (not sure a word) allowed and that’s fair!

  25. I read this blog pretty much every day. As well as the responses. There is always something of interest to read. As far as these kind of blogs go this is as good as it gets. Thank you, Ms Lerner, psychic ticks and all.

  26. Well, if that comment thread doesn’t cure the love, nothing will.

  27. About an hour ago, I got in from a six hour drive, and that after a week in and on the water. I’m not unpacked, nor is the boat, and I haven’t read the mail, but here I am. I sure missed you guys, and this place. It was great out there, but it’s great to be back.

    Betsy, you make this place happen, and you rock.

  28. Thanks, Wry. I’ve been on a bit of an adventure, but it’s great to be back.

  29. I would be sincerely touched by your attention.

    That is not why I have written close to 50 comments, in a row. I have done it to drum up support for a book I wrote. It’s good and I would like it to be published.

    Help if you can or want to.

    Thank You.

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