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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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Say a Little Prayer for Me

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This week I got a call from an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in a few years. This can only mean one thing. She has a manuscript or someone she knows has a manuscript. I can barely bring myself to return the call.  I can already hear myself explaining how I don’t handle fiction, or not taking on new clients for the foreseeable future, or blinded myself accidentally on a fireplace poker, or threw myself down a flight of cement stairs, or stepped in front of the M5. Turns out she didn’t have a manuscript at all.

 

 

12 Responses

  1. And hopefully she’s doing well? Laughter or tears?
    Tonight there are fireflies dotting the sky, pinpoints of light in the darkness.

  2. I hope she was calling just to say, “hi, betsy! i miss you and love you. how are things?”
    if not, then i’d be happy to call you and say, “hi, betsy! i miss you and love you. how are things?” and even though i only met you once, i would be being completely sincere.
    i’m glad she didn’t have a manuscript.
    xo

  3. Or does she? How can you be sure the 1st call was not the “buttering you up” call? If I were you I’d keep working on those excuses: I slipped on a pat of butter at the Finagle-a-Bagel and broke my red pencil holding wrist. Or, my eyes are swollen shut from being stung by a bumble bee while collecting honey. Or your too weak from the hunger strike you’ve joined to protest current political situation. Or, you’re actually in jail as a result of said protest with no foreseeable release date. Can she bail you out?

  4. I tend to agree with Anonymous – that might have been the “what’s Betsy doing, is she still an agent, and even I know I’d appear cloddish to call out of the blue to see if she’ll read an ms, so better make a courtesy call first,” call.

    That’s not helpful, is it.

  5. You got lucky, Betsy.

    My eyes are still waking up and I saw “freelance poker.”

    I tended bar for seven years and by the end of it was convinced that everyone I met was a drunk or a druggie who was trying to put something over on me. Quit the business but it took a while for that view to fade.

    Now I’m just a sucker again. Same as it ever was.

  6. Betsy and Anonymous — thanks for some great ideas for excuses. I hate the phone – it sucks up my energy and time. Also the cynical side of me believes — no, knows – every one of us has an agenda, and so did she. Otherwise, why’d she call out of the sudden ocean deep blue?

  7. Phone rings.
    Caller ID.
    It’s one of my kids.
    Oh shit, what do they want this time?

    “I just called to say I love.”

    That happened once, eighteen years ago and I still remember every word.

    • Hey , a day later and I realized I left out the word you. It was supposed to say , I called to say “I love you.” The only thing worse..than leaving the word out is bitchin’ about it a day later.

  8. OK. Dear God, thanks for letting Betsy take a deep breath. But more importantly, I think it might be time to redefine first came the word. I’m not trying to be upitty in your tightly packed kingdom, but good people are lonely. Just a thought. And thanks for giving Betsy a fetish for words. It all makes perfect sense most of the time. And keep it up with the sunrises. Very cool.

  9. She did have a manuscript. She didn’t mention it because she sensed your misgivings.

    Her book–repped by someone else–will go on to become a NYT bestseller, lauded by both Oprah and Ellen, and will soon be made into an Academy Award-winning movie.

    You will reflect on this lost opportunity with deep regret for the rest of your days.

  10. Oh, they have a manuscript, and they’ll get around to some coy way of imparting it to you too because their desire is way more important than your discomfort. Last month I dragged myself to the animal hospital with my cat. To my dismay, the vet was pretty much obsessed with my chemo induced bald head. He even hugged me. I am not a hug a stranger kind of person – especially while sporting a face mask to protect myself from touchy feely in-your-face germs. So, in between reporting that my 14 year old cat that I love dearly has kidney failure and I’ll need to decide when to put her down, I got a blow by blow of the guy’s own cancer diagnosis a few years ago, the emotional turmoil it put him through, and a way too intimate “I hope you’re not going to die” monologue. Unfortunately, some folks are just clueless outside of their own wants and needs.

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