• 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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It’s All About the Base

Family. Good for writing? Material? Rage? Pain? Calories? I know it’s a cliche to hate the holiday, but I’m stuck in my ways. Every year, I have a little talk with myself to behave, be kind, if I don’t have anything nice to say write it down. But people provoke me and eventually I snap and then I feel like a piece of shit so I have to make other people feel bad, too. Then we go bowling.
Happy thanksgiving to everyone I love, hate and feel indifferent about. I hope everyone has a meal most of all. Peace & love. And misery and despair.

33 Responses

  1. May your turkey be filled with stuffing and your family, just, plain, full – of it. Happy bird to all.

  2. And all good Blessings to you, Betsy Lerner. Seriously.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  3. Happy Thanksgiving, Betsy darling. My husband and I are going to keep our vegetarian friends company. We’ll be having enchiladas, and I’m bringing Hokkaido milk bread, just because I’ve never made it before and like to cause myself a bit of stress for no good reason.

    Family? How could anyone ever even write a word without them?

  4. You’re my favorite, Betsy. It will be a rough one for my family this year, as my dad died on October 30th, just shy of his 74th birthday (November 10th) so for the first time in my life his chair will be empty. But I’m still going to eat like a glutton and hate myself afterwards.

  5. Tomorrow is a first of a kind Thanksgiving and I don’t know what to expect. If I know my family, it will be tight smiles and awkwardness and small, safe, surface talk. I’m prepared to eat my way through it because food = coping.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Betsy.

  6. This holiday starts like all the rest…high hopes for a day I hope will be out of a 1940s TCM flick. But, of course, weeks leading up to the big day, starts all the normal and expected bullshit and drama. So telling myself this could be the last Thanksgiving with us all together and to be kind, patient, and understanding, lasts about as long as the drumsticks everyone lusts after.

    The meal never lives up to the expectations, nor does anyone’s promise to be on their best behavior.

    Who knows maybe tomorrow will be different…

    Sure…

  7. Ha! You never fail to deliver.

    Family. I wouldn’t even know where to start, so I won’t. I will say we’ve had so much drama everyone now creeps around each other playing nicey nice to the point it makes me drink.

    Therefore. I will likely be drunk today. Must remember to stay off laptop. Drinking and typing is like drinking and dialing. You know. In the words of that country tune by Darius Rucker.

  8. happy tgivingtag right back atcha. don’t choke on any bones.

  9. I can tell you right now that it is terrible for the writing during the holiday (time off! I should write!), but provides more fuel afterward.

    Happy fucking Thanksgiving everyone. I will raise a glass in your honor.

  10. If Hope is a thing with feathers it gets killed for Thanksgivng. Love you back, Betsy. CJ

  11. Extended family within an hours drive doesn’t call, write, or send flowers, until Thanksgiving, when they can’t understand why I don’t join the feast. Kids and kids kids are far away, and no road trips this go ’round.

    I’ll call my brother with obscene suggestions about stuffing things and what kinds of berries to eat. The Lady Lola and I will hang out with Beauregardless, then join friends across the street, real do-gooders who feed the homeless and stuff like that. I don’t belong to a religion (too much structure) but these people live where the talk meets the walk, and I love and respect them, and help out a bit.

    Then we’ll head up the street, where we’ll join friends for the first meal in their new house. I’ve known Eddie since 1970, when his electricity and my water got cut off on the same day, so we cooked at my place and showered at his. We lived on bent cans of food his Mom got for us, lots of Jello, and hot dogs so bad the dog wouldn’t eat them. We were cops together, and still have each others back.

    We have much to be thankful for, and to laugh about. I wish you all the very best.

    • You are rich Frank. We all need an Eddie and how lucky you are to have one. Hope your day was grand.

    • Frank, reading your comment was like a story! Loved it. (Your family sounds familiar…might we be related?)

      Hope it was a good one. I’m just now re-surfacing after two phases of turkey day. And it’s not over yet. Today we go to help my MIL decorate her tree. Am hiding the wine into the dog carrier -just in case.

  12. I figured out the blasted ending while doing my best not to slice an artery while cutting up sweet potatoes. It’s a Thanksgiving miracle.

  13. Happy thanksgiving to all those here at the playground. We started drinking at noon, which it turns out was about 2 hours too late, but only only one small screaming child has come up bleeding (thank you Super Glue!) and we are playing Cranium. Here’s to the “humdinger” card in the Star Performer box.

    Cheers!

  14. I got to cook for someone other than just myself, which is a rare treat these days, and both my boys were home for the holiday. That was a win-win. And, I managed to get through my mother’s passive-aggressive dinner prayer with only one Bloody Mary under my belt. I’m giving great thanks for that. Happy Thanksgiving to Betsy and to everyone in this always heartwarming blog circle.

  15. Happy belated Thanksgiving!

    My family drives me bugnuts but they love me and I love them and what’s a little bugnuts compared with that? It’s all so clearly genetic, anyway…

  16. Just me and my spouse this Thanksgiving at the West Bank Café on 42nd Street. They seated an older gentleman near us. He was alone, used a cane, and pulled out a book to read while waiting for his meal. (Before Their Time by Robert Kotlowitz)

    As we left, I wished him a Happy Thanksgiving. He stopped me, pulled out a ink-jet printed black and white photo of himself as a young man seated close to another young man. He told me it was a picture of himself with his same-sex partner of 52 years, now deceased.

    We exchanged names. His was Syd, with a “y,” he told me.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Syd. xoxo

  17. Took a long walk along the Erie Canal in the early afternoon of Turkey Day, wondering if the gangs of this part of inner city Rochester ventured out along this path. Maybe it was the cold or maybe it was the wrong time of day, but it was a quiet and solitary couple of miles. Parts of the canal dug out through layers of hard, gray rock, greenish water flowing gently along, a new lock made of smooth concrete and freshly painted puke green metal contrasted with the rusted iron bridge near a gas pipe line. Water on one side of the lock a good ten feet higher than the other. Do they still use this waterway? A half dozen ducks paddled along the cold surface, thankful they were not the featured attraction on today’s menu.
    My phone rang. It was my sister calling from the other end of the state. We talked and I stopped on the rusted bridge, unable to keep up my pace with phone to ear. I can’t pat my head and rub my stomach at the same time also. Even after we said goodbye, I watched the ducks meandering with no particular place to go.

  18. BTW Happy Hanukah !!!
    I used a years worth of exclamation points for ya.

  19. My writing does not feel like a dead possum this year and for that I am grateful. 2014 was decent on that front. I parted with my Agent (best move ever.) I’m writing a new novel and completed 3 new stories that I’m submitting to lit journals that no one reads. Somehow this is enough and feels satisfying to me.

    I’m sorry your writing feels like shit, Betsy. I hope that improves in the future. While I miss the party here, I’m convinced that the internet is poison to our creativity, so I’m glad to go.

    Happy New Year everyone! Party on!

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