• 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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There’s No Exception to the Rule



And here’s the thing about inspirational books. I don’t like them, I don’t get them, I don’t want to be a part of a vast conspiracy that wants to make people feel better, or special, or blessed. That everything, no matter what, is okay and that we’re all on a journey. What’s wrong with a dead end, anyway. With days of endless rain, and anxious thoughts. What’s wrong with constantly disappointing yourself and others.

What if the glass is empty?


13 Responses

  1. Thank you for that. Sometimes I feel like I can’t find a glass.

  2. It’s only empty if we see it that way and it’s only full if we see it that way. Empty and Full are mere concepts. At least that’s what I like to tell myself.

  3. On point for me tonight! Thank you.

  4. Funny, this post reminds me of the movie, As Good As It Gets, and the classic line from Jack Nicholson as he walks out of his therapist’s office, “What if this is as good as it gets?” he quizzes the roomful of patients.

    I don’t like inspirational books either. Or self-help ones. I don’t want for there to always be an out, a soft padding for the hard bumps. What happens happens. No excuses, or ways to rationalize to the nth degree.

  5. Glass, glass? There’s a glass?

  6. Inspirational books are just money sponges for the authors. Like they’re going to fix my life. Like they know me and what I need. Like they have some manna-driven formula for happiness. Swell for them. Are they even happy, those fortune seeking opportunists? Bullshit, bullshit. Eat well, sleep if you can, drink the lilacs in the dooryard, savor the stars, try to stay alive till Tuesday, and be a decent person. That’s all ye need to know.

    • PS I have an abiding relationship with my dark side, anyway. The sun is an unruly intruder.

  7. “What if the glass is empty?”

    Then it won’t spill anything.
    Then you can press it against the wall and hear what the neighbors are saying.
    Then you can set it upside down on your table and beat out a rhythm on it with pencils.
    Then you can fill it with whatever you like (be careful with hot liquids).

  8. what if the glass is totally empty, or, as a member of my staff says, the glass is full, full of poison

  9. It makes less of a mess when you fastball it into the wall. A quick clean up. You could also get all inspirational zen with it and tell yourself the empty glass is actually full and get superduper happy. And run out to buy an armful of inspiration to support your new identity. An identity which will need constant support from other far more enlightened than you, or empty/fuller it might read. Time to get the broom and dust pan! Thanks, Betsy!

  10. My favorite self-help book is “I’m okay, you’re not so hot”, a send-up of Transactional Analysis and other feel-good efforts of the time.

    The notions that we may be able to do better, feel better, or that tomorrow may be partly cloudy don’t seem inherently bad; the suggestion that I’ve got a clue reeks of snake oil and bullshit. The idea that we can avoid pain, loss, frustration, and failure is a happy psychosis. The only way I can think of to avoid those things is to not try or engage, and that’s iffy.

    At the moment, my glass is about the way I like it, but I don’t expect it to stay that way. When the beer goes flat and warm, I’ll suck it up and march on. There can always be incoming, but I’ve got a helmet.

  11. Fling all of the empty glasses into the fireplace.

  12. I have read a lot of personal accounts of entrepreneurs. My excuse could be that I was learning the nuts and bolts while being subjected to the message.

    But I suspect I was also sucked in by a certain fantasy element. An originator of all of this was Horatio Alger books. So in a world which prides itself on cold hearted analytics they sell because of a romance.

    The story line is formulaic. They could appear harmless yet are they about a lonely ardor with only oneself? That is so obviously tragic that the success, self-help genre ends up an abysmal failure.

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