• 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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How About Me Not Blaming You for Everything


11061_cobb_salad_600When I was a young editor and it was my  mandate to take agents out to lunch, I found the whole thing really daunting. It was worse than a blind date, though somehow like a blind date. But the worst was when a famous agent asked me to come see her near her office in the upper east side. It was a huge trek. When I finally got there, the agent was already in a booth. I sat down and she handed me a menu. I could tell I was meant to decide on something quickly, only just then I looked at her because I thought she was crying. She put her head in her hands and said, “If I have to eat another cobb salad, I’m going to kill myself.”

What do you say to that?

14 Responses

  1. Order the salmon?

  2. I wonder what the hungry homeless woman standing outside the restaurant would say to that…

    Seems like agents can get jaded after awhile, like any other profession.

  3. if cobb salad is the drug of choice, i’ve gotta ask, “what else you got?”

  4. Eating with someone I don’t know has always been a little weird for me. I met an author for lunch for the first time, and all I could worry about is whether I had food stuck in my teeth.

    What do you say to that…? Well, I like what the editor said – what an ice breaker! I’d have replied back, “let’s have a liquid lunch,” and I would have proceeded to order a vodka and cranberry juice. Talk about fun times then! Woohoo!

    Seems to me she was conveying to you she might have had the exact same feeling about those lunches. What I want to know – are you friends with her today? I.e., after that lunch…did you stay in touch, or is she even an editor anymore or was that comment the signal, I’ve had enough of this shit?

  5. Rough day?

  6. “We’ll have the petite fillets. Medium rare. Carrots – not potatoes. Bring a bottle the house red — as long as it won’t take off any varnish if it gets on the table. Tell the kitchen not to rush those steaks out here. We’d take the wine right away, though.”

    We’re good in crisis. We’re complete shits in smooth sailing water, though. Complete shits.

  7. Poor darling. I would have encouraged her to order the day’s special and an adult beverage. Meals are to be celebrated.

  8. If it were me, back then, young, naive, hopeful and invested in the concept of future, I would have been nonconfrontational, said nothing or tittered meekly.

    But oh how life has intervened. And so I today I would think, What’s got you? What bee in your bonnet, stick up your ass? So life’s been shitty, you’re bored, divorced, your kids haven’t done anything with their lives, you’re tired, drained. I might indulge her, wax compassionate.

    But she was grossly unprofessional to a young person starting out.

  9. Volunteer to eat the salad just this one time and tell her to eat dessert.

  10. I’d say, “Go ahead.”
    Then I’d leave.

  11. “That’s too bad. What would you really like to have?”

  12. I have two books you need to buy. Truly. And lunch is on me.

  13. ‘The Caesar gives me a crushing sense of Weltschmerz and the Thai beef salad makes me curse my ancestors, but I’m willing to take one for the team if you are, Buttercup?’

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