• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Oh But What a Shame If All We Shared Can’t Last

Well, I wasn’t going to make a big deal about it, wasn’t even going to say anything, I mean really who cares? What am I, ten years old? Is this pin the tail on the donkey? A pony ride? Is this the peanut hunt that turned into a Hitchcock film when a child stepped  into a hole that turned out to be a bee’s nest? Is this the cake that said in pink icing: Happy Birthday Besty? Besty! Tomorrow, I am fifty-two years old. And I want to say unequivocally that I am very happy to be alive, that being alive is better than being dead. And if I have just one wish it is this: that you work with all your might and love with all your heart and never lose hope and never give up.

56 Responses

  1. From one Leo to another: all the best on your birthday! light the candles twice and pin all the tails on that donkey!

  2. Ohhhh Betsy and I am so glad you are alive too. Happy, happy pin the tail on the ass day.
    Speaking of asses, this ass wishes you a great birthday and many more.
    “…that you work with all your might and love with all your heart and never lose hope and never give up.” Back atcha babe.

  3. Happy Birthday darlin’.

  4. allrightythen.

    happy birthday.

  5. Betsy Lerner

    You rock.

    Happy Birthday.


  6. Happy Birthday, Betsy.

    And there’s this, which I read for the first time just a few minutes ago and seems to fit well here: “The great thing is to last and to get your work done and see and hear and learn and understand; and write when there is something that you know; and not before; and not too damned much after.” – Ernest Hemingway


  7. Happy birthday, Betsy!

  8. Happy Birthday to ya!
    What other famous people were born on this day?

  9. My birthday was last week and I had the flu. I still have the flu. My wish for you? No fucking flu !!

    Happy birthday, Betsy. It seems Brooklyn and screenplays agree with you. Cheers.

  10. What a lovely and very giving birthday wish. I wish you that right back and hope your 52nd year is filled with treasures, adventures and delight. Happy Birthday!

    (Poets John Dryden and Philip Larkin also born on 8/9. So was Divine Brown!)

  11. Well bless your heart. And best wishes for the next year of your life. Your blog usually makes me think, and it always makes me smile. Thanks for keeping at it.

  12. Very happy birthday to you Betsy! I got you a present and didn’t even know it was your birthday! I bought your memoir on Amazon this week!!!

  13. A wish for us, for me, for your birthday. How nice. Thank you for a bunch of stuff, Betsy. Thrive.

  14. May you eat your favorite foods without guilt. Go see a bunch of movies (alone, like you like), and have five or six unexpected blessings hit you like a motherfucker.

    xo and mazel tov with the screenplay

  15. Happy Birthday. It’s a great age.

  16. Happy Birthday, Betsy. Enjoy!

  17. Happy Birthday Betsy. I’ve enjoyed your blog, especially when your guilt at enjoying life bleeds through. Best wishes and good luck with your screenplay. Laline

  18. “Happy Birthday, Besty”!

  19. And the shrink stands up and cheers at the unequivocal statement.

    May the year endeavour to be worthy of you dear Betsy. Bon anniversaire Madame Lerner.

  20. Betsy, you are my favorite spring chicken, and I thank you for your gifts.

    The very best to you and yours.


  21. May your birthday be happy and the days from here to the next be excellent, Betsy.

  22. I wish you the happiest of birthdays. You bring a little joy to my early mornings and I wish nothing but the best for you. May someone will pick up your screenplay this coming year. Happy Birthday.

  23. I appreciate your birthday wish for us very much.


    I really want to know what you wished for as you blew out the candles.

  24. Oh, wait, TODAY you’re 52. The candles have yet to be. Can we make suggestions for your Wish?

    Good, I thought you’d say yes.

    Wish for inexplicable joy.

  25. Happy Birthday, Betsy!

  26. What a wonderful day to come back out of my cave! If we don’t have our heart, we got nothing. Happy birthday, my friend. Thank you for being here.

  27. Happy Birthday, Betsy! And may you never grow up completely; the world is a better place when adults willingly play pin the tail on the donkey.

  28. Happy Birthday, Betsy!! May this be the year all your screenwriting dreams come true.

  29. Happiest of happy days to you. What a lovely birthday wish that as the lame ass writer I am, I’ll steal from you. It’s my birthday today as well. I love sharing your birthday-it’s very inspiring. I’m 55 and can picture us around the formica table at an awful birthday party, rediculously short bangs and plaid dresses, big sugary roses and loopy pink writing, my dorky borthers and Sue DiChick and the Zarnowski kids and every other kid my mother invited. And yes, we would pin the tail on the donkey and open our pot holder looms and Operation games and you andf I could swing on the swing set with our heads dangerously leaning back making up stories and wishing we were beautiful and famous and anywhere but here.

    Happy to be alive and happy to cheer on that screenplay and happy to have read every word you’ve written.

  30. “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”
    – Booker T Washington

    Given some of the life experiences you’ve shared, you have much to be proud of… on this, your 52nd birthday! Happy day to you!

  31. Happy Birthday, Betsy!

    You should be receiving presents today, and as usual, you reversed everything and gave us the best present ever with your one wish.

  32. Happy Birthday Betsy. May you have a day of fruitful writing, ice cold drinks (since its hot as nuts outside) and be surrounded by your loved ones!

  33. That’s the best birthday wish ever. Happy Birthday, you. I hope there’s good champagne and even better cake, and, while I have my wand out, some healthy servings of laughter and inspiration throughout your day.

  34. Best wishes on your birthday. And thank you for thinking of us.

  35. “Work with all your might and love with all your heart and never lose hope and never give up.” Amen. This is the blessing I’m putting up for myself.

    Happy Birthday. Till 120 years of inspiration.

    And if you’re ever looking for a collaborator on a screenplay… I’m on my second.

  36. It takes a long time to grow young. (Picasso)

    Happy Birthday and thanks for your gifts to all of us every day.

  37. Happy birthday! And happy un-birthday every day for 364 days after that!

  38. Happy birthday, Betsy.

    It’s also my mother’s birthday. She would have been 95.

    She was one hell of a dame, too.

  39. yes. As it shold be, Besty.

  40. Happy Birthday Betsy. May your 53rd year see me sitting in the front row at the premier of your play!

  41. Happy birthday, Besty! I’m three months behind you. Thanks for the wish, and may your screenplay seem to write itself, complete with all the commas, and shit.

  42. Happy birthday!

  43. Oh, happy happy birthday, Betsy. This year is going to be a good one; I can feel it.

  44. Happy Birthday and right back at you with the wish and hope and admiration.

  45. Happy Birthday! Thanks for your encouraging words.

  46. Belated HB, B

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