• 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.
  • Archives

Hate On Me, Hater, Now or Later

I write, produce, direct, and perform brilliant monologues while driving. They are usually inspired by some lingering resentment I’ve nursed throughout the day, being honked at (especially for not responding quickly enough when the light turns green), or seeing someone with a strange outfit  as I did today, like the guy in seersucker shorts, orange day glow socks, and a Mohawk gelled within an inch of its life. The monologues, also known as rants, mine the ugliest parts of myself and range widely. I will attack anything and anyone including the aged and infirm.  And I will astonish myself at how nasty, degenerate, and cruel I can be. Actually, it comes as no surprise.

What”s your monologue?

85 Responses

  1. Today as I drove along a lakeshore filled with the kinds of houses I never get invited to, I wrote a story about a lottery winner who buys one of the houses and realizes that she has the same life, just in more space.

  2. While I’d love to think of it as a dialogue, I suppose my blog is my monologue. And because my cat can’t drive, my boys are subjected to the emotional larceny of my drive-time rants.

  3. Shouldn’t you be recording those rants, writing them down with a bit of less ranty stuff in between them and selling them as a book, screenplay, or HowToGoNutsInAnAlmostOrderlyFashion tutorial for people who want to go crazy but lack the natural ability?
    Today I rant about people who put pictures of cute cats driving cars on their blogs.

  4. Liking the song titles of these last few posts. I rant at myself for my ever growing number of books to read and then when I spend my writing time reading, which causes me to spend extra time writing and then I get out of whack for missing reading time. It’s a vicious circle.

    Btw, did you like the “Intrusions” book by Hegi?

  5. All the thoughts my carefully crafted facial expression will never, ever even hint at. *smile, nod, just the hint of concern around the eyes and mouth, smile again but don’t over do it*

    I love that thought is as private as you wish to keep it.

  6. I’m only racist in my car. I’m surprised, always, so you’re ahead on the evolution scale. CNN did get me last night though. Obama White House?

    The main question today is who would be more fun to shake up: John King or David Gergin?

  7. I’m a road rager. I’ve told my kids for years never to repeat anything that Mommy growls when she’s driving, just in case.

    It’s not the best system—I’ve overheard my younger daughter tell her dolls to “put their feets down already, and use the pedal on the wight side, dis time, ”

    More recently, I heard my older daughter tell her little sister, “No! You can’t say that! That’s one of Mommy’s driving words!”

    The word in question was ‘butthead,’ but that doesn’t make it right..

    • Isn’t it nice how your kids end up doing and saying the worst things you have? Many times I’ve realized things about myself, it’s been from my kids. Started at 15 months when my oldest started saying “Oh shit” about everything, from dropping her sippy cup to an action packed cartoon scene. And it’s been a long 13 years since.

  8. I have a wardrobe of monologues. There’s the basic, rarely-quiet, self-directed mental rant; the rambling tirade about the Others On the Road who are attempting to simultaneously drive their vehicles and breathe; the exasperated assessment of what task a certain subcontractor has fouled up this day and my favorite – vocalizing what I imagine my littlest dog could be saying (e.g. “I may be little on the outside, but I’m big on the inside!”). It’s a wonder I don’t have laryngitis.

  9. “What”s your monologue?”

    From the description you provide, it’s a lot like yours. It often has to do with what people are wearing, their size, and their inability to get the fuck out of my way. It does not speak well of me, that bath of acid my psyche splashes in.

  10. “Haven’t sold anything for more than thirty bucks in six years. Fooling myself. One big sale. Never sell anything again. Chasing screenplays now like a fucking amateur. Can’t write anything, so try to write everything. Need to get more commercial. My commercial stuff sucks prolapsed ass. How about YA? Hate those YA motherfuckers. I’d like to piss on John Green’s tits. Why isn’t my agent selling my fucking middle-grade? I have to leave him. Crap agent. Not doing his job. Emo little wanker. Find a new kidlit agent. No. Can’t leave him now, he worked hard on that middle-grade. Thinks like an editor. Yeah, only thing worse than an agent: an editor. More important to be fair to my jackoff agent then keep paying the mortgage. Need money fast. Could knock out something big and dumb in three months. Try to write a good book? Don’t have the time for a good book. Or the chops. Can’t stand good fucking books. Write vampire bondage? Waste of time. Haven’t sold anything for more than thirty bucks in six years. Fooling myself.”

    • Cough, cough.

      Sounds awfully familiar.

      (Justin Cronin: example of literary, GOOD writer who’s made it big.)

    • Very depressing, August. If YOU haven’t sold anything mentionable in six years, why do I think there is a chance in hell the Fairy of Success will touch me with her little fucking pinkie.

    • This – love this!

    • This middle grade teacher would very much like to get my hands on that middle grade book.

      Conversely, I want nothing more to do with prolapsed ass. Had to deal with one once on a chicken, and trust me, it’s one of those realities that’s much worse than it sounds.

      Oh, how I love love love you, August.

  11. If you cracked my head you’d see a lot of doodles, made up lyrics to popular songs – and nicknames. Everyone has a nickname.

  12. “Thought I was bordering on literary, at least, for fuck’s sake. My Cloud Atlas has pages falling out and is stuffed full of scribblings and the phone numbers of my millionaire half-sisters I only found out about last year but’ve never called. My sex scenes were gratuitous. I only put them in there because my husband reads the draft and the first thing he says is ‘So, do they do it?’ So I get all descriptive on his ass. It lands me the agent but doesn’t sell. Is this literary or romance, they say. Wouldn’t know how to market it. Great writing. Romantic as all get out. Romance sells, you know. Write something genre and see what happens. So I crank the badboy out in a matter of weeks. I’m feeling it but it’s not entirely me. Would Yaddo even let me in? It lands me a multibook deal for small money but not *that* small. Enough to buy an iphone, paint the roof, travel, meet the sisters. So here I go. But wasn’t I supposed to be on that other track? The one not lined with velveeta? The one where you get kudos and don’t have to use a pen name? What the fuck? Where am I? Who am I?”

    • Wait, so did you meet them?

    • This is great. I’ve been having that dialogue in my head for over a year. Why can’t literary with romance sell? Why couldn’t the agent who dumped me for that exact reason think outside the box and sell great writing as great writing? I could write a literary 50 shades. BTDT, have both the tee shirt and the writing chops. But can I bring myself to write what I don’t love just for some money and to see myself in print?

      Yeah, so did you meet them? Did you tell them your pen name?

      • I met them. They’re absolutely beautiful. They never knew about me either. But I didn’t tell them my pen name.

  13. My monologues. A lot of them. It seems I forgot them all. Sometimes I write them down thinking I may use them for my characters later on. But I can’t find where I put those notes now.

  14. My monologue comes when I’m cooking dinner for the kids and it’s usually about no one other than me.

    “What the fuck??! Is this really what your life has amounted to? Your own mother pulled her emphezema riddled soul out of bed every day to go to work in a place she despised so you could sit looking out your picturesque window and make some uninspired slop for four overprivledged children? Really? Are you seriously resigned to this existence, knowing this is it? Okay, yes, your kids are becoming better, smarter, healthier than any generation before you but what about you? Are you able to forgo your own dream for them? Surrender or transform your lame self. Just stop the whining, for fuck’s sake. You’re giving me a migraine.”

    P.S. Speaking of me, rumor has it our power is back. We’re headed home to get back to normal. Today I am not conflicted. Today I am content to be what I am. A mother.

    • Gee MSB, it’s been recently said, “the best is yet to come.” I think that may refer to you.

    • Finally. Lights for you. What a crazy ordeal!
      My girls are wrecked, too. Way too much privilege thrown their way. But they have good hearts and are kind. Smart, too, and are doing good things in the world. They have a great dad. I was the raving lunatic behind the wheel. Lots of f-bombs, but they’re surviving.

    • Glad to see you on here MSB. And very glad you have power again! Did you get a lot of snow? Right as I shut the car off this morning I heard somewhere in New York got half a foot?!

      • I’m not home yet but I heard the grounds are caked with ice. Getting us home may be a challenge but knowing there is a warmth and light waiting for us is enough. I know many who are still without power. It’s going on 10 days. Surviving as a grown-up is one thing but when you have to care for little ones it’s just too much. I’m worried for them all.

      • Do they have school? They’ve gotta go to schooooooool !!!!

      • Our district is doing their best but many near us are closed. It’s not getting the kind of media coverage the ravaged areas are. Many really feel forgotten.

      • MSB, when Gloria devastated where we live, I was the mother of a one year old, driving around every day just to find a place to bathe my baby. At day five depression set in because of the new normal which I can only describe as struggle; I took my baby to bed, hugged her while she napped and bawled away an afternoon.
        As I recall this my tears remind me of how awful it was and is to be without that which is so vital to us now. We went nine days, too long then, unconscionable now. And that you have a house full of young ones astounds me with the effort you are going through. At least you have a home to go to. I pray it’s warm, safe and gives you peace. I know of some who have lost it all. My heart breaks for them and for those who feel forgotten.

      • Wry, keeping your heart open to those that are suffering is what it’s all about. I read my kids the riot act on the way in. Many of their friends are still going through hell. I hope they understand that and act accordingly.

    • I’m glad you’re getting back to sort of normal. If you have any links you think are good places for some of us to maybe help out your area, it would be cool to know them.

      • I will keep my ears open. Right now we just need these utility companies to work their magic. Everything is so precarious. We came home a little while ago to find a giant tree sized limb had fallen right next door. It would have killed us had we been walking by when it fell. And I heard 50,000 people lost their power again last night. This is far from over.

      • MSB:


  15. OMG…my monologue?
    Hahahaha…one of my columns was about this very thing. I posted it on my blog after I read today’s Betsy in case anyone is interested. This is NOT a shameless plea to read my blog, it’s a published example of how writers can get paid for being looney.

  16. Aww, who can remember their nasty and degenerate rants when they’re looking at a kitten driving!? Bet that kitten wishes it had a gun in its glovebox, just like I wish!

  17. Lord have mercy, I thought I was the only one to do this. Cool. But I’m not nasty — I do an “inspiring” speech. Most often, I’m receiving an Honorary Doctorate, or I’m the speaker at a commencement program. Certainly do have an ego, don’t I?

    What a horrifying thing to discover about myself.

    • Not so bad 3 KIngs. If you were a real egomaniac you would be convinced everyone else’s monologue was about you too.

    • I blast my horn in the car when necessary, though mostly I’m doing a “thank you” speech so as to protect my good car karma for a parking space. I also plan my Annie Hall outfits for these celebrations, too.

      So yes… I have my Pulitzer speech down, but the best is the Oscar for best adapted screenplay. Meryl Streep hands me my trophy, along with Harrison Ford. They love my writing. They want to go out for drinks after the show. Daniel Craig’s on the periphery, too. What a day!

  18. I address a huge audience, sometimes MLK-like in front of the Lincoln Memorial. I am eloquent, impassioned, emphatic. “Friends, neighbors,” I pause, scanning the masses. “On the highway of life, if you don’t teach your children anything else,” another pause, feeling the weight of my words, “Then f**king teach them that the left lane is for faster moving traffic! If you’re not going faster than everyone else, then get the hell over to the right lane. Thank you. Goodnight!”

    There is always a huge round of applause as I bow gracefully.

  19. I rant at the ranters. I.e. Rush, Hannity, the truely delusional Beck et al. And of course the ever favorite target of my unrepentent ranting, the Queen of Sneer, Ann Coulter (who I still maintain is a man in drag–no woman has that prominent an Adams Apple). Okay, there it is.

  20. What’s your monologue?

    Driving: There you go, you remembered to use your signals, you moron, nice. What? YOUR business is so damn important? Here’s an idea, get the fuck up on time. Oh, there you go. In an all fired hurry are you? Get off my ass, I’m already going fucking 80! Oh shit, how did you get a license? Get the hell out of my way, you granny driving idget. Oh no you don’t. Slow your ass down. Watch out! Fuck! Ha! Told you. Dang, glad that wasn’t me. Shit. I got enough to worry about. Uh huh. That’s what you get for driving like some kind of dumb ass. Dumb ass.

    On agent selling book: I’m just fooling myself. Everyone thinks it’s a piece of shit. Who the hell’s ever gonna buy it, much less read it? He ain’t gonna sell that load of crap. I’m never gonna get “the phone call.” Never. God, how can I think about going back out to a regular job? The day to day slog? Get up. Shower. Out the door. Slap the silly ass fake smile on my face. Act like this is it. This is what I want to do. Fuck.

    Writing: Maybe this is it. Maybe this is the one. God, what do I have to do? What the hell? Who wrote that. Piece of shit. This is a total waste of time. Yeah. I see that look. You think it stinks. Whatever. What do you know. You don’t even READ books. Oh. Pretty bad. Hm. Looks like a shit load of revisions here. Hey, they said to let yourself write bad. I did. Wow! I’m on fire today. This is pretty good. They’re gonna love this. He’ll be glad he signed me on. Yeah. I got it. Maybe I’ll get an award. Maybe I’ll get to meet…God this is fucking bad. How in the hell am I ever supposed to do this?


  21. My conversations are so witty…if only people would give the perfect prompts they do in my head while I’m driving to work or while I’m lying in bed and have to make up something less lame to tell my wife when she says, “What’s so funny?”

  22. New day, new moment. I have nothing to rant about today. New Hampshire is the first U.S. state to put female politicians in control of the governor’s office and the entire congressional delegation.


  23. driving is a violent act. snap the indicators on, shove at the horn, jerk the wheel. i’m a jerk at the wheel. i think it’s because there’s so much at stake. pedestrians wander out, the guy in the left lane is drifting and woman in the white land rover is talking on her cellphone. sometimes i think driving is a death wish.

    the anxiety has to come out somewhere.

  24. Some of my favorite Betsy-ites are coming to visit today. What if, after meeting me, it’s all over between us? What if they realize there’s no there there. What if they realize that nothing about me bears further inspection. That’s silly, Averil, these are your friends, they’re not here to inspect you for god’s sake. If you love them, they’ll love you back. No, dumbass, it does NOT work that way. Everyone you love is far away. You know why that is, don’t you. Don’t you. Don’t you. But listen, just be cool. Stop loving everybody so fucking much. Do not tell your son you’d like to eat the face right off him, he’s so fucking cute. You have a dog for excesses like that. She’s pretty fucking cute too, and she’s totally into it. OMG, the Betsy girls are also gonna be really cute and how on earth am I going to keep from swooning over their adorableness. Listen, Averil, less is more. Do NOT make a fuss over them, people hate that and they won’t come back if you can’t manage some level of cool. Jesus, I am such a spaniel. Jesus, I need a nick. Or a joint. Or a very large margarita. No you don’t. It’s going to be fine, and all in the garden is lovely because these are your friends. Just don’t love them too much and everything will be alright.

    • I’m not one of your visitors, but I like you already. Totally charmed.

    • Oh, you wonderful dumbass. If I could be one the lucky ones who comes to visit you today, I’d love you immediately like the good friend you are.

      (Though I might be just a schoch concerned if the first thing you said was that you wanted to eat my face off. But I’d get over it.)

    • When I make it out you’re in for a big sloppy hug, so consider yourself warned. Have fun!

    • I fully expect to be smothered and adored and swooned over in excess! If you’re the least bit cool I’ll have pop you on the head.

      • I dunno. You might be sending warning letters around the blog circle once I’ve slobbered all over your boots.


        • Averil, I’m sure you’re a wonderful person. Most of my Republican friends are, even those who think I’m an idiot because of my political leanings. That’s okay — I just console myself with thinking that perhaps they’re wrong and I’m right. When one of them calls my side evil I just brush it off, knowing it’s more a difference in how we see the world, and not that she thinks I in particular am evil.

          Well, I am, but it’s pretty much a closely kept secret.

          Romney is an expert in sucking the life out of companies and sending work overseas, and then leaving the companies to bankruptcy, which is not the same thing at all as running a successful business. The Republican views on women and minorities were enough to make my blood turn cold. That’s just my opinion, because it’s all I have.

          Funny story: a friend posted on FB that one of his friends voted Republican because, as the friend said, “Obama has too much money and can’t understand what the rest of us are going through.”

          Well, I thought it was funny.

          I don’t know how anyone’s going to fix things, but I certainly hope they do. And you’re right — I don’t know that.

          I don’t see people as Republicans or Democrats because every person is so much more than that. Sometimes we disagree, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

          And sometimes we get overjoyed and celebrate, which would have happened no matter who won, it just would have been different people.

      • Thank you, Monique, though I’m a little dismayed at being named right before the phrase ‘Republican friend,’ since as it happens I’m left of Maddow.

      • I love Rachel Maddow. Don’t you think Jennine looks like Rachel. Oh hi Jennine.

      • HI!!!! My husband thinks so too now!

    • Haha!! I think the same thing about my son and my dogs!! This is awesome. And while I am far from the lovey dovey type – not a hugger or physical contact person – I too find myself thinking like this. “Just back off or you’re going to scare the, away!” Lol…and then I over think it and end up looking like a social idiot…awkward and all. You will be fine!

    • Averil, I’m sorry about addressing my comments to you when I meant someone else. That said, I am always certain that when people meet me in real life, they will despise me and never come back.

      This is why I don’t meet people.

  25. I will catch myself telling myself I’m a terrible person. I actually have to consciously force myself to stop it. I’m a terror.

  26. How do you put the lime in the coconut anyway? Is it like osmosis or something? I remember that guy in Jamaica, he held the coconut in his left hand and the machete in the right — Wham!– one swing and he cut the coconut clean in half, barely touching the blade to his own skin. Then I could have put the lime right inside the coconut, but that’s probably not what the song means. What’s the other part? Doctor is there nothing I can take to relieve this belly ache. Well, a Tums might work. I dunno. Probably the worst stomach ache I ever experienced was that dry peyote. Why I ate the fuzzy stuff I’ll never know. Felt bad for hours and then finally puked and had one of the best trips ever, although we probably shouldn’t have gone to that donut shop and I definitely should not have said what I said to Jamie when she said, Good thing we decided to wear our shoes, otherwise they wouldn’t let us in and I said, Yeah, good thing we wore our shirts, too and she looked at me and I looked at her and we both saw how twisted we looked and we walked in the door anyway, laughing our stoned asses off.
    Kids nowadays, they don’t have any respect for anything … wait where did that come from? I’m bogging my dead stepfather’s thoughts. Not good. Vanish. Be gone
    It’ll be fun to head over to my friends house to play some tunes during lunch. Christopher likes Jack Johnson and I’ll play some Neil Young. Too early in the day for Allman Brothers, although that time I went to Peter’s house at 9am and we were sneaking hits in the bathroom with the fan on and then coming out and seeing what sounds better, the Strat or the Les Paul, with the volume cranked up way high because most of the neighbors were out at work at that time of day. For Allman Bros. tunes, the Les Paul. The Strat did scream though.
    Oh shit, is that a cop behind me? Wait. I’m straight and I’m not speeding, so that’s cool.
    You know if I had any brains left at all, I’d write some of this shit down.

  27. Well…I stayed out of the fray yesterday…but I’ve never been one to not speak my mind.

    Bonus internal monologue – I may regret it, but here goes. Rewind to yesterday’s post and comments:

    Wonder what they’d all think if they knew I voted for Romney. I’m not a racist. Please. The only colors I care about when it comes to this is red, white and blue. You really think O’Bama’s policies are working? Wow. Something’s not adding up. He did inherit a mess. But damn, after four yrs, some of that mess should be better. Not perfect, just better. This is the Land of the Free, not Land of the “Free”bies. I hope and pray he can turn it around. I hope and pray the “forward” message is real. Nothing to do but wait and see. No matter how bad it gets, I’d never move out of this country. I’ve got loads of friends in Canada and in the UK – they hate the healthcare system in those places, it takes two months to get an x-ray. Have they taken a hard look at the chaos in the world where gov’t is big? Crap. I’ve done it now.

    End of monologue.

    There it is – a Republican in your midst. I consider myself just like you – wanting the best for our country. Maybe the re-election of Obama is it, the best thing that could have happened. I don’t know that – but neither do you.

    • Bravo. You are not the only Republican in the midst, I just consider myself too stupid to talk politics usually, so I keep my mouth shut, even around other Republicans! And this dialogue is me exactly – except I was so befuddled about what would be better I didn’t vote for either one of them!

      • Phew! I’m glad I’m not the outlier.

        I hear you on the politics thing. I don’t profess to know everything, but I feel like given what I did know, I made the “right” choice – and well – so does 50% on the other side. And that’s okay.

    • I must apologize to EVERYONE. I somehow responded to Averil when I mean to respond to Donnaeve.

      Averil, I’m sorry. Donnaeve, I love you even if you’re Republican.

    • Maybe. But having been that kid on food stamps for a year (as embarrassing as it was), and the kid who lied and said “I’m not hungry” during school lunch because “who had 35 cents for lunch?, and the 15 yr old that would surely have been pregnant without Planned Parenthood and free birth control, and the 19 yr old who discovered there was such a thing as grant money for college, I can’t say that freebies are always a bad thing. If I’d have had Obamacare back then I might have had a physical or gone to the dentist before I was in my 20’s and had some preventative care. I am so very thankful for the freebies — they ensured I grew up to be a citizen who can give back.

      But the question, I guess, was about internal monologues, and the recurring one I had during this past year when I heard the words “boot straps” was that it is not possible to pull yourself up by boot straps when you can’t afford boots.

      • Right, you are right…and I don’t mean those kinds of things – not at all. I doubt I need to explain, but there is abuse of subsidized programs. You know it, and I know it. I only mean the ones abusing said programs. I advocate the hand up, just not a handout…or the hand that keeps on reaching year after year without trying to help themselves.

      • Unfortunately poor people are not the only ones cheating a system.

      • Yeah, I know. It’s a shame.

    • I’m glad you speak your mind, Donnaeve. And if a democrat spoke as blatantly as Mitt Romney about dismantling the system in favor of a wealthy few, I’d elect not to vote for that scondrel either.

      • It has been known to get me in trouble – oh hell, why stop now? I did vote for him Mike D. Each side just has a different idea of how to fix things. We (the country) are so polarized in our views. And, each side thinks the other is going to dismantle “the system” to the detriment of all. But, do I think Obama is a socialist? No. I just think he’s spending too much – we can’t sustain it. We will be spending 92 cents of every dollar on the subsidized programs. That leaves only 8 cents etc for things like our military protection, building roads, bridges, (you know, those shovel ready jobs).

        I’ll leave it there, stinking like it is… and apologize to Betsy for bogarting her blog today with the politic stuff. Forgive me, that particular internal monologue just wouldn’t ‘t shut up.

      • Used to be a republican, probably because my parents were. I stood only a few feet away from Richard and Pat Nixon way back mid-century. He smiled a lot and she looked scared to death. Now I’m a centrist. Sounds nicer actually. I’m fiscally conservative and socially liberal. The GOP has changed of late, as one of the commentators said after the big loss…the republicans are a Mad Men party in a Modern Family world.
        Few people get a second chance, lets hope our Modern Family man pulls it off.

  28. That i’ve wasted a whole lot of time driving my cat to the vet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: