• 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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You’re Everything I Wish I Could Be

You know when a guy is going bald and he shaves his head? It’s like this bold pre-emptive strike. Whenever I see a guy who shaves his head, I think: sure I get it. Bold pre-emptive strike. And it looks good. I’ve never once thought: Lord, why did you shave that bowling ball? ANd sometimes I think, yeah, see, it’s true, as I suspected, guys care about how they look. It’s not just us dames TWEEZING our eye brows and wearing stilettos and tight skirts and french pedi’s and brazilians and thongs and frosting and toasting and burnishing and reducing and going to therapy because we feel so shitty about ourselves. Who wouldn’t with a string up her ass? Friends, I have nothing to say about publishing today even though I had a very intense day. Whack-a-mole.

How was your day?

48 Responses

  1. “How was your day?”

    it was good. nothing exploded and nobody tried to kill me. and there was plenty of food. and my wife still loves me. and i still love her. it was good.

  2. I spent most of the day writing letters; not all pleasant ones, either. But one letter was a first for me – a note to an author. I had “won” her book at a recent writers’ group meeting. It was a H.E.A. romance with impossibly good-looking main characters, plucky, but insightful support characters and just a hint of sexiness. Surprisingly, it was a sweet story premise and somewhat plausible. Up to this point, I had dismissed such books as Not MY Type. As I mailed this envelope, though,I felt I had crossed into a new zone – like reaching the age of 27 and understanding I was too old to ever be Miss America (even if competing in pagents was never my goal). In reading and then complimenting the author on this light romance, I think I’m finally accepting the reality that any chance for me to experience such adventures would probably now only be through books. Not really a cheery thought for this middle ager, but I’ll still tweeze, attend yoga and step on the scale each morning in case I could be mistaken.

    • Ha! Miss America, eh? I remember having a similar epiphany with the Playboy Centerfold. Like, I’ll never have tits and a bush like that. And then it was, I’m too old to be a centerfold. And then, I could be the centerfold’s mother.

      • At least you can claim some genetic possibility to be related to a centerfold – my genetic deep end is with the people designing the sets, taking the photos and managing the office staff.

  3. Bald guys turn me on when they’re out like that. But bald guys who hide their baldness under baseball caps all the time and then one day you glimpse them without the cap–it’s a weird sort of sadness that creeps in under my ribs, like catching someone in a lie.

  4. When I see a bald guy I always wonder if he is completely bald, or is he just covering his semi baldness? I get very curious about his hair follicles. Does he have one of those bald spots on the back of his head? Or is he hiding the fact that he only has one of those fringe thingys that ring the crown of his head? I did not write today either. And that is just fine. I enjoy your words. Thank you for putting them out there for us.

    • When my youngest brother was chemo-bald, my other brother and I shaved our heads in unity and support. Lola and I then embarked on a quest for do-rags, ending up in an urbanwear store, where they seemed surprised to see us, and an asian beauty supply place, where they had a remarkable inventory of headgear and flip-flops.

      It ain’t easy being bald, and I swear, sometimes it felt like frost was forming on the dome in air conditioned places. I spend a fair amount of time outdoors, and found that it’s easy to fry the egg in the sun, at least at first. Fortunately, it tans well.

      It’s hard to know how long to leave your beard, too.

      An elegant solution is the watch cap, tried and true. Cheap, available in lots of colors and fabrics, stays on in a breeze, unlike ballcaps, which can leave without warning, and are hard to spot and recover on the water. A traditionalist, I stick to basic black wool.

      I can see how this whole beauty thing can get completely out of hand.

      • Frank,
        it does get completely out of control! It starts with a do rag and may be some nice shades. Next thing you know you are getting mani/pedis and contemplating a waxing. Hair rules our world.

    • Hello…it is Gavin

  5. Cool. US agent requested to see my stories!
    I can see clearly now the rain is gone

  6. My day began with a return trip to the DMV to sort out an identification for a friend, which was sorted after a heated letter to a state politician. Apart from that, on the web most of the day. Was rejected from a job interview, decided to move ahead with a blog, but polished a short story (finally) for submission to the Commonwealth Writers Short Story Comp.
    I didn’t know that you had a blog, but have finished reading your book a few weeks ago and felt like emailing my creative writing teacher at uni to tell her to include it as a recommended text, but stopped short because writing teachers at my uni can be temperamental, so I ended up telling a few classmates instead.
    I dated a bald guy once, but he had a penchant for going commando – all the time.

  7. Went food shopping, Found the chips my husband likes, the cookies I love and just the right size Milkbones for the dog.
    Life is good.

  8. My day ended with not having a martini, which was more of an effort than I care to admit to anyone except y’all. Then I requested my dreams tell me something helpful, and I dreamt that my boyfriend’s ex planned to tell their kids I was after my boyfriend’s money.

    My life would be so different if I’d EVER been after anyone’s money. Is that the message? Go for the moolah?

    • I understand re: martini. When I was in MS a month ago, my MIL did the grocery shopping. She’d already been once and when she got ready to go again about five days later, I told her we needed more beer. She said “Again? We just bought a 12 pack! God, ya’ll are a bunch of alcoholics!” I had to stop and think about that. That meant we (hubby/me) were drinking one to two beers a night. Good God – send us to AA quick!

      Enjoy your martini’s – 1 drink a day is good for your health.

  9. Great day! I played Mah Jongg with a bunch of old retired teachers like me and we laughed more than we played.

  10. I took the dogs out at 2:30 this morning and looked up to see a perfectly round moon. I took the dogs out not because they needed to go out but because I did. Full moon. Hmmm. That explains a lot.

    • Dogs are such perfect companions, especially for us girls.

      • Indeed. I miss both of mine – I’ve been spending time visiting shelters and poking around on the web, but can’t quite take the step to allow others just yet into the “girls'” home – and my heart.

      • You’ll never replace the friends that are gone, but welcoming a new one into your heart will benefit both a unique new dog and you. It’s guaranteed you’ll honor the departed dogs by absently calling the new one by their name(s), each one never forgotten.

      • When our little fella left us our hearts were broken. It took nearly a year but when my stepdaughter who volunteers at a rescue shelter emailed a photo of this frisky terrier/poodle/Bichon mix we relented and welcomed another little guy into our family. What a joy he is! My heart soars whenever he comes and insists I play with him. Such a wonderful little guy. Dogs–one of the greatest gifts to Mankind.

      • All of you are so right…I don’t know why I can’t..just yet. I’ve looked at those faces out there, the flopsy mopsy, bent earred mugs with eyes that ask me? Me? Oh come on Me! Christmas is coming…and though I’ve told my husband, “don’t get any ideas…” maybe for once, he won’t listen. How could I say no then?

  11. I flossed. It was transcendent.

  12. I emailed back and forth with my little sister in Kabul. She’s a lawyer, not a soldier, and this is her third mission to Afghanistan. She’ll be there for six weeks, meaning that she’ll be spending New Year’s Eve in a high security compound locked down with about 50 other international foreign aid/diplomatic corps bureaucrats. I told her to look for the Australians if she has any hope of having a good time.

  13. I discovered the beauty of writing with a #2 pencil.

  14. I saw two friends in the morning, wrote two pages in afternoon and ran two miles in the evening. A good day.

  15. $4 Million dollars for Amanda Knox’s memoir, WAITING TO BE HEARD. I have a feeling the waiting is over.

  16. My level of vanity is perhaps not the norm, bald on top and fuzzy, unkempt hair on the back and sides, sticking straight up like the pointy-haired boss in Dilbert. I store my pants in a pile on the floor and sniff each article I put on to see if it’s acceptable for whatever that day’s work involves. I bathe regularly but still smell like a meatball sandwich an hour later. At best.

    Doozy of a day. Ran out of coffee, so I sprinkled crystal meth on my Wheaties, but before eating, I went upstairs to get the kid up and then put some more wood in the stove so she could be comfortable while eating breakfast and watching Arthur. The freakin’ meth turned out to be sugar; burned again. The bus was late due to slippery roads and my little darling was agitated, so we played word games and sang silly songs. Her mind was moving rapidly and she came up with a take-off on a jewelry store commercial (“Every kiss begins with K”) and sang “every poop begins with pee.” Fun stuff. After the bus left, I stumbled through the morning and then got a call from the school saying my child was very hyper and disruptive and would I come to get her because they couldn’t control her. Normally she’s an energetic child, but attentive and obedient, so I asked if they were sure they had the right number. I didn’t really feel like going anywhere after igniting a couple of bong bowls, but hell, duty calls. I ate some brownies and drank tea then managed to put the truck off the road around a turn I wasn’t pay much attention to. A friend happened to drive by and stopped to pull me out. He had a six pack and we drank a couple before I continued on my way. When I got to the school, I had to take a leak, but I went into the wrong bathroom — my eyes ain’t what they used to be — and caused kind of an uproar when two eight year old girls came out screaming. The principal just shook his head when he saw me. The fucker’s never liked me since the foundation I laid at his house collapsed. I asked where my daughter was and he said, In the gym. We went across the hall and I asked if my kid was being disruptive in gym class. You’ll see. He opened the doors and there was my daughter running around the empty gym like a bear was chasing her. Sometimes she took a corner so fast she would wind up running sideways on the wall for awhile.
    -Wow.
    -Yes, wow indeed.
    -She been like this all day?
    -Yes. Any idea why?
    -Don’t know; maybe it was something she ate.
    -I see.
    He said they scheduled a doctor’s appointment for her and at first I was offended, but then thought about all the available pills and prescription pads available in the doctor’s office. Plus I would get to spend a little time with the kid. The day was starting to look better already.

  17. There are some who can carry bald well, and many who can’t but go that route anyway. The whole facial hair thing with a bald head has always been curious to me, but I don’t get too critical cause I figure who knows…, in a few years I could be bald with facial hairs myself. Those odd stray stragglers that sprout over your upper lip and on the chin. Nice visual there.

    My day was okay. Finally finished up the last of the decorating, figured out I’m already overspending on Christmas and the only writing I did was to address Christmas cards. The thing is…my days are spent doing too much thinking and I can’t seem to stop. I try not to think about the fact my first book has been on submission for months now…I try not to think about the fact that it may not sell. I try not to over rotate about the sales that ARE being made with each Publisher’s Marketplace update. I try not to obsess about my agent calling every single time I hear the phone ring.

    I’m glad for the holidays and the distractions of the season. The ticking of the clock doesn’t seem so loud.

  18. A bald man is so sexy. I love the confidence of it and the acceptance—and when the guy has a little stubble on his cheeks, even better. It’s that ‘oh fuck it’ attitude that’s so attractive.

    I’m always puzzled when a guy has just a scrawny leftover tuft, front and center, and doesn’t shave it. Inversely unsexy. I always imagine his medicine cabinet full of penis enlargement gimmicks.

  19. There are big changes coming in my workplace. I must admit I’m loving the chance to observe the behavior of people under stress when I’m not one of them. You could call this a good day so far.

  20. Who cares what a guy looks like as long as he’s read Kingsolver and Ondaatje ?

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