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    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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Don’t Give Yourself Away


Dearest Long Losts,

I hope everyone is in one piece, the holidays in the rear view. I’ve missed you!  I made one resolution even though it’s probably too difficult to accomplish, especially for me. I decided to stop hating with the caveat that I could still hate in my mind, I just won’t give voice to it. The idea being that if I don’t talk about the object of my hatred, it will dissipate. As a result, I don’t know what to blog about: unicorns, rainbows, marinated grilled chicken? Will my head explode if I keep this up? Will I turn into someone I like, and then what? Can a tiger change her spots?

What did you resolve?

35 Responses

  1. i resolved not to eat sugar. for a year. to see how/what i would feel–sugar’s been a cheap date when i’ve felt lonely. it’s been surprisingly easy–a non-issue, really.
    one thing i find helpful is focusing on what i am/i will get from doing it instead of what i’m missing out on.
    i think you’re wise let yourself think whatever and just not indulge it on the page. but if it keeps you from posting here, then it’s actually a very terrible idea.
    hope this helps.

    • Good luck! Sugar is a tough one to give up, but it will totally by worth it in the end, and maybe once your year is up, you won’t even miss it anymore. Supposedly, once it’s out of your system and the excess of candida returns to normal levels, the cravings will cease. That is supposed to take a few weeks.

  2. WTF? I wrote a reply, WordPress came up when I hit “post comment”, and asked for a password. When I tried to go back to the blog, my post went away. Anyway, Happy New Year.

  3. I dunno. What happens to dream deferred? Maybe better to let it out. Isn’t that what writers do? Give voice to it? Lest it fester?
    It’s good to hear from you, though. I didn’t resolve a thing.

    My daughter got engaged and so now my life has been thrust into the joyous encumbrance of wedding planning in the commercial whirl of wedding planning. So be it. It’s a happy time.

  4. You don’t want to know.🤔

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. Nothing. I make no new years resolutions. Instead, I just set myself goals whenever I see the need.

  6. Resolve?
    Regarding writing I have resolved to write what brings me joy. No more writing what I think will sell, want to sell, beg to sell, I’m back to writing from the heart. If no one wants to read it, fuck them.
    I have also resolved that I will no longer write fuck in blogs.
    Oops, failed already.

  7. My resolution used to be to lose weight. That would last for one day. All I could think of was food and I’d get fatter. Now that I’m heading toward eighty, fat is natural Botox. My chubby face is wrinkle free.

    No resolutions for me.

  8. Ya know, sitting here, reading this, I realized I made no resolutions. The first of the year came in with so much to do…I forgot.

    Martha Mclaughlin’s could’ve been mine – b/c for weeks I went w/out sugar and by the time I was able to eat normally again, I could’ve said to myself, “Hey, you’ve done the purge, now, steer clear of it.” But. Slowly it has crept back into my daily diet. For instance, I love sugar in my coffee. I tried the route of just cream. Nope. It just isn’t as pleasant and enjoyable.

    I never saw it as hate when I read that stuff out here. Maybe you had a seething, underlying visceral feeling that was truly hate for what you posted about, but for the most part, it came across as…irritation, disgust, or mild annoyance. Often it was hilarious.

    Random comment: I’ve become obsessed with Sylvia Plath. I read her book THE BELL JAR years ago, but recently I watched a movie called “Sylvia” with Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig. I’ve watched it three times now. Then I began reading about her online…reading some of her poetry, trying to understand it, searching for pictures…and on and on. I suppose there are worse things to be obsessed over. Like…sugar.

    • I love that movie.
      You might like Henry & June, an intense writing movie about Henry Miller and Anais Nin.

      Patti Smith loves Plath, too. In her book she writes about visiting her grave in England.

      • I think I might have that movie recorded!

        What blew me away about the whole tragedy of SP’s life and death is learning Assia Wevill took not only her life, but that of hers and Ted H’s daughter too, in a similar fashion to SP’s. That was a jaw dropping moment of research.

  9. I really need to stop working on my night cheese and write. Is that a resolution? No. But maybe an evolution. Hating is exhausting anyway. Maybe focus on outrage and confusion.

  10. Ut oh! We loved your hate. It will be missed here on the Betsy Blog. What if you just did it for us, here on the blog, that wouldn’t count as breaking your resolution, would it? Oh well, sigh. Okay then, looking forward to reading about all the things you love. Blog on.

  11. Every morning I resolve to eat well, drink less, and be a good human being. Also to get things done. Some days I do better at this than other days.

  12. We are who we are, whether we talk about it or not. Yeah, you might explode with purple dust shooting out of your head. Then you’ll know.

    My cat died after Christmas and my resolution is no more pets for a while. You love them like children and they die as teenagers, which sucks. I’ve discovered that the flip side of sadness is rage (hate?) so I can’t resolve against that. 2018 could be quite a ranting shit show for me.

    • Very sorry to hear that. Xo

    • So sorry for your loss.
      This makes me miss my Harley, the best dog ever. He is forever loved, missed and remembered as a companion beyond compare.

    • So sorry. I totally understand and empathize. I lost a cat four months ago, and now three of my four remaining cats and dogs have been diagnosed with terminal issues. We didn’t sign up for this, did we?

      I’ve also vowed no more, but I’m a hopeless sucker and I’ve learned to never say never in life, so we’ll see.

      Hang in there!

  13. Sorry to hear about your cat passing away. Pets are part of our family and they give us far more than we can ever give them.

  14. That heading above the unicorn is from “Both Sides Now.” I thought you hated Joni Mitchell? Oh yeah, hate bad. I forgot.
    My resolution is to work on Amish romance novels. I think it’s a growing market.

    Elsa and Sarah Beth were out harvesting potatoes in the September sun when Sarah Beth held up two particularly large potatoes and said, “Ah these remind me of my husband’s balls.”
    Startled, Elsa said, “They’re that big???”
    “Nah, just that dirty.”
    The two women laughed and looked at each other affectionately. “You make me feel so good; I don’t know what I would do without you!”
    “I know. You listen to me. My husband cares not for my thoughts.”
    They held hands and gazed longingly at each other. They were almost near the end of a hilled row, very near to the woods.
    “I brought the strap-on with me today,” Elsa said. Sarah Beth kissed her and said, “You read my mind. When I’m with you I see clouds from the heavens as well as from this earth.”

  15. Well, there is hate and then, there is anger. I, too, try not to hate, but geez: anger feels so validating, and kvetching sometimes is an improv exercise to redirect the anger.
    However, for today, I’m only focused on staying warm.

  16. The guy next door everyone says is so polite and never has a hateful word for anyone? Bodies in the crawl space. Just sayin. You’re a brave soul and your plan might work. If you find yourself rocking back and forth without the Torah in your hand, you might want to rethink. I resolved my want to stop procrastinating by not trying to escape what I’m calling my corrective emotions. Just accept them for what they are and let them do their work. I’m basking in a dry ditch pool of remorse. So far so good. There is a very long and torturous explanation for this but I don’t want to tempt Betsy to give up her resolution. And marinated grilled chicken sounds like just the remedy if you ask me.

  17. ‘The idea being that if I don’t talk about the object of my hatred, it will dissipate. ‘ It does. Frankly, there is only a tiny fraction of life that you can control so why get enraged about shit that you can’t? Understanding that made me a much calmer person, who will probably live longer now (you didn’t want to see me on the road).

    I resolve to write a brilliant Masters thesis on author–editor relationships. Calmly.

  18. Wow, look at the crowd. Welcome back, Betsy. We’ve been on the lookout.

    Good to see you’ve resolved to stop hating, and good luck with that. Seriously. Hatred is heavy and is hard to carry very long without damaging your self. On the other hand, a sincere and well-reasoned dislike, seasoned with wit, is a much easier burden to bear.

    A couple months ago I resolved to spend less time on Facebook. That worked, seeing how Facebook has become boring and riven by ads, and many people are leaving. However, I rediscovered Wonkette, away from which I had kept for years. Wonkette is like hanging out with a pack of bright, vulgar sophomores — entertaining and even often informative, but ultimately unfulfilling. I have resolved to spend less time there.

    I resolved to lose the pesky poundage I’ve accumulated here in the land of cheese and sausage; however, my wife is a good cook who loves to cook and to feed me, and on top of that, there is still holiday candy left. Can’t have that go to waste (it goes to waist).

    And I resolved to be resolute.

    • Schedule a physical with a White House physician and you’ll have the gullible believing you have a body like Michael Phelps’.

  19. I broke both of my new year resolutions on Jan. 2.

    So, I’m pleased to say that at least I’m not a procrastinator.

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