• 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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Love the One You’re With


It’s not in my DNA to say I’m a writer. When someone asks me what I do, I say I’m a literary agent. SOmetimes I say I’m an accountant if I don’t want a conversation to ensue that invariably ends up with the other person telling me about a manuscript they are writing or wish they were writing. Or that their cousin is writing.

When people ask what you do, what do you tell them.



16 Responses

  1. If I tell them I’m a psychologist ( true ) people invariably say ” oh you’d have a field day with me .” When I said I was a writer they were afraid I would ” correct grammar .”
    So now I mostly say doctor and look vague. What’s up with people who think I can or would like to have a busman’s holiday ???

  2. Sometimes, lately, I tell them I’m a goddamn, sonuvabitchin, mothafuckin Republican

  3. Writer, photographer, Hunger Artist, Bach freak–Mayor, Goof City

    I already know you’re an agent. Are you on a book tour or are you accepting manuscripts in April? Get ready for The Next Big Thing. You are my agent of choice.

    The Right Honorable Alexandra Jones
    Mayor, Goof City

  4. Retired CIA agent and WalMart greeter.

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. I say I’m a writer. People inevitably ask, “What do you write?” I respond, “Fiction and marketing copy. And no, that’s not redundant.” (Not everyone gets the joke.) Other times, I’ll go with my standard, “I’m a copy bitch by day and novelist by night.” People just LOVE the idea of having “bitch” in a job title. Sometimes I wish we could be more like the The Little Prince and instead of asking questions like “what do you do?” we’d instead ask “Do you like butterflies?” and see where that would lead the conversation.

  6. When someone asks what I do, I feel like that awkward five year old standing in front of class for the first time telling about my summer vacation. I’d rather just sit, right over there thank you, and be ignored.

    So, your first sentence? “Not in my DNA…” Yeah. That. Since I live in a small town, most everyone knows what I do anyway, so that conversation is over/done with. BUT. Now I get things like this; “how long does it take you to write a book? Really? Huh. Well, I got a chance to speak to Nicholas Sparks at a book signing? And he said it only takes him four months.”

    I’ve perfected the art of the blank stare.

  7. Dad. Hubby. Writer. Postal employee. Caretaker, keeper of the green, chaser of rainbows, listener of bird songs, walker, traveler, wood splitter, player of songs, sometimes rough carpenter, joker, toker, midnight snoozer and greeter of the dawn. Only a couple of these help pay the rent. And it’s often best to shrug and keep most to myself, mentioning only the 4th and 5th on the list, sadly the most acceptable.

  8. So when I say writer, I feel like a fraud.

    Anyway people are somehow taken aback (as if I have some sort of magic powers), and then I legitimize myself (for myself) and add that in a previous life I was a college professor (true, but why do I have to validate?).

    And then they tell me what I should write a book about.

  9. I tell them I’m a bureaucrat. Which is basically true. Sadly.

  10. One of my favorite answers for anything, including “What do you do?,” is “It depends.” As with a lot of the others here, I do more than one thing. The basic answer is “I’m a writer and copy editor.” I don’t have much fear of being buttonholed by people who have “ideas” for writing but aren’t writers. I don’t seem to meet people like that anymore. Really: with the rise of blogging and tweeting and podcasting and the entire memoir movement, it seems like half of everybody thinks he/she is a writer. You may be lucky if you’re meeting the other half.

  11. I say I’m a novelist. Half the time that’s followed by the question, “Fiction or nonfiction?”

  12. When people ask me what I do, I tell them, “Oh, you know, the usual. Eat. Drink. Piss. Shit. Breathe in, breathe out. Fart too much and talk even more.”

    My first wife was an accountant and sometimes people would think to ask her a tax question and she would tell them, “I’m not a tax accountant, I’m an audit accountant,” which was true. People backed off then–no one wants to be audited.

  13. I say that I am an Apocaneur d’Aujourd’hui.

  14. I tell people that you should never joke when making demands of the Universe. I used to get annoyed when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up/what I was going to do after college graduation. So, I would put on the old Snark hat and tell them: a) I want a job I can do in my pj’s and/or b) I want to read books for a living. Now, I do both! I get to tell people that I work with authors directly and read books (proofreading and copy editing) for a living. It can garner a strange facial expression in response, but I get to amend that with, “So, I’m living the dream.” 🙂

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