• 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 are My Love and My Life

 

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I applied to four MFA programs. I was rejected by three. I wasn’t hopeful waiting for that fourth letter. In fact, I was morose. I remember going to the Second Avenue Deli by myself. The waiter looked at me and said, “It can’t be that bad.” On the walk home, I told myself that if I didn’t get in and stopped writing that it was on me. I couldn’t let a college tell me if I was a writer. I got in. I had a nervous breakdown. I finished. And never wrote another word of poetry. Good story?

What’s the point of this story?

19 Responses

  1. I like the happy ending…

  2. did you have an idea of what “poet” meant? Did you fear you’d fulfill that idea/image…or not fulfill it?
    Do you consider yourself a poet?

    do you miss writing poetry?

  3. You should write your poetry. You….just….should. Doesn’t even matter if it gets published.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  4. I believe that you need to write for you. Whether or not anyone validates your work isn’t what gives it value. It is will on you. I used to write poetry and seemed to be able to, and then I realized that some of my prose was poetry. It just needed different formatting.

  5. Life is strange. And no matter how much we like to plan our lives we never really know what’s going to happen for the most part. You were right. You are a writer, and you didn’t need no stinkin badges.

  6. The point of the story?
    Waiters know everything.
    Listen to your waiter.
    Tip your waiters well.

  7. Betsy, you’ll always be a poet.

  8. It sort of reminds me of all the thousands of dollars spent on four year degrees (like mine) that never get used. A lot of people do this very thing. My BS in Bus Mgmt isn’t what’s writing the books.

    You don’t write poetry and haven’t since you finished. That’s not to say you won’t – some day. And why do I have a sneaking suspicion there’s a notebook hidden somewhere with poetic phrases jotted down?

  9. Poetry journeyed from your mind and hands to your soul.
    And I’ll bet a dollar the substance of that sandwich in the photo is not shredded tofu.

  10. Mariane Moore says poetry must be genuine and raw. Betsy, if nothing else, you are genuine and raw. You are walking living writing thinking poet.

    BTW I hadn’t written a poem in nearly twenty years, since my MALS in 1998, until your blog last week. Thank you for inspiring me.

  11. Dramatic proclamations about poetry will come back and bite you in the ass.

  12. Dear Betsy, Only A World Without Cold Cuts Could Stop Me! Corned Beef? Pastrami On WRY. Sean X.

  13. I have nothing to add point-wise, but boy does that sandwich look good.

  14. “What’s the point of this story?”

    You may know better than I would, but I’ll take a stab at it. The point of this story is to tell a story that means something to you and you want to share here because we’re an audience (or readership) of writers and you figure we’ll be receptive, and you have a space to fill with some appropriate material, and it fits. Plus, it has a nice little twist, which is always shiny in a story.

  15. MFA, ho-hum. One bit of paper you don’t need to write. (and I’ve got a an MA and other bits of paper I don’t need).

  16. I’m glad you didn’t ask what the moral to the story is, because I know little about morals. But, the point of the story? I think it’s that we often succeed even as we fail. You’ve gotten a shit ton of gold medals. You just found yourself taking part in a slightly different race.

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