• 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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I Been Through the Desert on a Horse with No Name

playbridge1

I just got back from the National Bridge Championships in Reno. Rinse and repeat: I went to Reno to play in the National Championships in the newbie category. Friends, writing a book is cake compared to playing  Bridge under tournament conditions. I am so happy to be home, released from the cavernous underworld of the El Dorado hotel and casino. I had no idea that the competitive world of Bridge could be so intense or how nervous I would get when it came time to bid or play the hand. I had no idea that this entire sub-culture existed. After all, my mother exclusively played at home with her ladies. When she was the dummy, she’d get up and wash the grapes. No noshing at the ACBL National Championships. No talking or texting. It’s intimidating and the people who say it’s just a game would sooner take your tonsils out than give up  a trick. I finished in the 36th percentile. #walkofshame

What do you do for fun?

 

 

9 Responses

  1. Fun? What’s that?

  2. I’m with Anonymous on that. What’s this thing you call “fun”? I know I have had it in the past, but truth is, I don’t think I’ve had “fun” since I stopped smoking pot.

    Maybe there’s a clue there. I should look into that . . .

  3. I try to do most everything with and for fun, with mixed results. Writing is serious bidness, but if there is no joy, I’ll see ya in the funny papers.

  4. I used to enter road races. Ran a couple marathons. It’s a wonder I didn’t kill myself having all that “fun.”

    I agree with Frank. That’s how I get my kicks nowadays. Writing and the occasional road trip to the mountains or Mississippi.

  5. The guitar is taking up more and more of my time. A little pot and six strings and I’m pretty happy. The woods often call my name, so I also go out walking, hiking, cross country and downhill skiing; some gardening, paddle boarding and swimming. Watching the birds at the feeder is pretty enjoyable on a Sunday morning. A few weeks ago, we saw a Varied Thrush outside, a bird that’s not supposed to be suited for this climate. Identifying and watching that bird was more exciting than I would have thought possible. Last night I visited a friend who was boiling down sap for maple syrup. We stood around drinking nearly finished syrup mixed with rum, sweet and dangerous stuff. And sometimes I just sit outside as quiet as can be, not doing a thing.

  6. That trip sounds like Hell!

    For fun: Paris. Or solitude. Or both.

  7. Hi. Me again. On the train yesterday morning, I came across the following in the book I’m reading (“Retribution,” by Max Hastings). Some guys were having as much fun as they could, considering.

    “In Milton Young’s camp, when prisoners made a deck of playing cards they were thrashed by the Japanese for ‘presumption,’ but in most places chess and bridge were tolerated. In Rangoon in 1944, Maj. Nigel Loring had just called ‘Six spades’ when Allied bombs began to fall around the jail. Amid deafening explosions which killed or wounded several prisoners, the cards scattered in all directions. When at last peace was restored, Loring exclaimed ruefully: ‘Goddammit! That was the best bridge hand I ever had!’ “

  8. Fun? Uh…read. Eat. Blog. I am the world’s most boring person.

  9. First of all, of course bridge is a cat’s game. And would a cat give a crap about its competitive ranking? (Aren’t they all Top Cats in their own minds?) So it seems to me that at the 36th percentile you must have beat a good number of old hands of the game so, and if it were the World Series of Poker that would be a fine show for a first timer.

    I have a non-stop fun lifestyle so I’m a good one to answer this question of the day. For fun, fun, fun I:

    1. Shoplift.
    2. Fine dine, but only to win bets. I have a high tolerance of sweetbreads.
    3. Take long walks, as long as it’s a pub crawl kind of “walk”.
    4. Go to Six Flags ANYWHERE (also known as: travel).
    5. Trade tag lines with my parole officer from any Steve Martin movie except for the ones that weren’t The Jerk or Three Amigos.
    6. Go to a poetry reading. Haha! Just the idea of ever doing that is hilarious!!!
    7. Pick at something that has a scab on it. At least I’m honest enough to admit it.
    8. Dance like no one is watching. I’m not saying that no one ISN’T watching when I do my Whip Nae Nae at the bank, but it’s more fun to act as if they don’t matter, which they don’t, because they are not me. NONE OF YOU ARE.
    9. Go on a sleepover with Ryan Gosling. Or the other Canadian Ryan. Or any Canadian. Did you know that Canadians are the 6th happiest people on earth?
    10. Make up lists of all the fun things I do because I am a writer, goddammit, and also because I just downed a refreshing vodka tonic and it’s too early to start crank calling the AA hotline.

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