• 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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It Wouldn’t Be Make-Believe if You Believed in Me



Writer is not even on the list. If you ask me what I do, I say literary agent. I say I work in publishing. I say I put out fires, I dash hopes and dreams, I makes wishes come true. I’m an editor. I’ll always be an editor. I do dishes, I iron, I clean and organize. I collect buttons. I enjoy fishing. Marigold are my favorite flower. If I was an animal, I would be an animal.

When people ask you what you do, how do you answer?

14 Responses

  1. Your headline made me recall studying “A Streetcar Named Desire” as a high school senior. My English teacher was a bit batty and she used to act out all the parts. Blanche sings “It’s Only A Paper Moon” in the play and my teacher performed it in a soprano vibrato. A class full of skeptical teenagers just sat staring at her. But I’ve never forgotten the play or the song. I secretly admired that she had the guts to do that.

    And to answer your question. I tell people I’m a writer and a mom. Whatever else I do, I’ll always be both these things.

  2. Haven’t the confidence to say I’m a writer …. yet … but I am ME!!!!

  3. I tell people I help Vietnamese students write their college application essays, which basically makes me an editor, too. LOL

  4. Tell ’em nothin’, take ’em nowhere.

    As for telling people I’m an animal, yeah, I do that, mostly when I insist that I don’t need the lights turned on. “Animals they think they’re smart / shit on the ground, see in the dark” — David Byrne

    The ground is a great place to shit. Sometimes I tell them that too.

  5. I’m a retired second-grade teacher.

  6. “When people ask you what you do, how do you answer?”

    “I make my living as a paralegal.”

    I used to have other, obfuscatory, smart-assed, deflective answers to the query — because, after all, that question, “what do you do?”, means “how do you make money?”, which itself is a disguised way of asking, “how do you justify your existence (as a human being/as a member of society/as an entity within the event horizon of my perception)?”, which in turn is a convoluted way of saying, “prove to me you’re not trying to steal.”

    What do I do? The same as everyone else: eat, drink, piss, shit, breathe, weep, come, clean it up.

  7. Sort mail and care take a few houses on the lake. But when people who’ve known me well or long ask, “Are you still writing?” I answer honestly and sometimes a genuine conversation follows.

  8. My usual response is to laugh, then say “the shorter list is what I don’t do.” Glad to know someone else collects buttons. My favorites are from the 1930s thru 50s – what about you?

  9. Paper Moon Theory Discredited!!!! Try Answering, “I’m A Poet.” Maybe That’s Why, Apart From Abject Poverty, They Become Teachers, To Live In Literary Poverty & Give Professorial Airs. Sean X. Then I Have To Contend With My Famous Last Name, From People Who Don’t Know Sean From Seamus!

  10. You are an animal, so am I. Ask and I will tell you I am a writer who is a lousey speller but I can make you laugh, cry and at times yawn .

  11. I just live scene to scene. Some are real and some are dreams. Both keep me broke and one keeps nudging me toward the psych ward. I just can’t figure out which one. And you? (Just kidding. Life is beautiful. I wouldn’t give it up for all the sunshine in paradise.)

  12. I tell them that I am a sailor who writes.

  13. I’m a “wage slave in a cube farm” at a big pharma company. But I do have hobbies!

  14. Reading all these honest, in-your-face, brilliant answers makes me glad I’m a woman who has writer friends. Whether they know it or not!

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