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    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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I Am I Said

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Went to bed at 11:45 as my own special poke in the eye to New Year’s eve. Broke my diet first thing today. Fuck you resolutions! Here’s what I can tell you. Hold fast to those you love. Write every day even if it’s just a sentence, a snippet of overheard dialogue. Read more. Form a writer’s group. If you’re stuck, go back and make an outline. Spend three months on your outline. If you’re stuck, go back and develop your characters. Get back into therapy. Get back on the Stairmaster. Bake a cake, pull weeds, practice scales. Sleep late, irritate someone you love, remember to bring bags to the Stop and Shop. And to all the freaks and geeks who still visit this site: Happy new year. I love you.

What to you hate?

20 Responses

  1. Happy new year Betsy. You are one in a million. Miss you!

  2. Happy New Year! As for what I hate, well, I get mad at myself sometimes, often for not doing enough of what you recommend in this post.
    I hate what the current administration is doing to the environment, civil rights, freedom of choice and what little there is left to believe in in democracy. I have little patience for the bending and distortion of truth. I hated Trump’s reading list because if it existed I doubt he’d be honest enough to acknowledge he almost finished “The Cat in the Hat.”
    I sincerely hope we’ll all be in a better place next year, but I have my doubts.
    I hate that I’ve come to believe 2/5ths of United States citizens are smart, 2/5ths are stupid and 1/5th are undecided.
    I hate that I don’t know what my true answer would be to the question: If losing all traces of the music the Beatles made meant John Lennon would be alive and happy, which would you choose?

    • Nothing to kill or die for. And no religion, too.

      • Yes.*

        I like to think John Lennon would be in awe of Greta Thunberg; many still don’t recognize a prophet walking in their midst.

        *John Lennon fell in love with Yoko Ono at an art opening. Irritated, he climbed a ladder to peer through binoculars into the magnified, unimpeded distance to see clearly a single word.

  3. Happy New Year, Betsy, and thank you for still doing this, all of it. Here’s what I hate: getting so steeped in the conviction the world is burning, on so many levels, that previously compelling story ideas seem pointless. Is this seeing too much — what some say is at the root of mental health woes — or is it not seeing what’s really there —what some say is at the root of mental health woes? Also, I hate multiple em-dashes in the same sentence. But otherwise, there’s a lot to love. Yesterday I rode up a mountain and got above the clouds, and it was breathtaking. I realized how so much of life comes back to a well-worn metaphor and didn’t even care! Hugs to you, if they’re appropriate.

  4. Happy New Year to Betsy and all who frequent this little corner of the Universe! I second Dorli’s thanks to Betsy for continuing to write these posts in only the way she knows how to do, and can do. Filled with ugly truths, dry humor, and edgy wit, Betsy, you always have something to say that resonates. Thank you.

    (For what it’s worth – I went to bed at 9:45 – two hours ahead of you.)

    I like the saying on one of The Bitter Southerner’s t-shirts. “Abide No Hatred.” I just might have to buy that shirt.

  5. Happy New Year, Betsy. Love you, too. Thanks for being here.

    What do I hate? I don’t know if I hate. It’s such a strong and caustic emotion, hate is; heavy, too, hard for me to carry very far or for very long.

    Which is not to say there aren’t things — including people — I have a profound and even abiding distaste for and aversion to; things — and possibly including people — I would prefer to see the world do without, were I not of such a resignedly philosophical bent as to console myself with the often scarcely consoling thought that everything that exists — including people, too — exists out of a necessity I have no control over, and to which I can give myself an explanation that at times both seems barely sustainable and is capable of leading me into sentences from which I can only with some small effort escape.

  6. Happy New Year Betsy Lerner! I hate my wife. She left me last October to be alone because she doesn’t have the coping skills to be with a family (her words). I hate that I love her so much. I hate that a little sad-faced emoji showed up in the corner this box I’m writing in – what’s up with that? I hate that it’s a New Year and I feel so old. I hate that I’m not baking a cake this very minute and that we aren’t neighbors so I could bring you a piece and gossip over a cup of tea. I hate that I’m not perfect and thin and bilingual. I hate the robot in Stop and Shop that watches me try the grapes before I buy them. (Who wants sour grapes?) I hate how much I want to write and how little I do it. I hate that this little emoji is now smiling with giant heart eyes. Who is behind those eyes? It’s a brave new world and I hate that I’m a coward. Which made Heart Eyes smile even bigger. I guess it sees right through me.

    • A coward is afraid to say how they feel, so that’s one you can reconsider from your list.
      Best wishes for 2020!

  7. For those who make New Year’s resolutions, “Do not despise the day of small beginnings.”

    Hate… hmmm…

    Behaviors under the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  8. Ah hate: presently one of my favorite emotions, focused on the liars, the can’t-do-their-job-if their-life-depended-on-it workers and the petty bureaucracies which have made the past 45 days my personal hell. Still, I have a soft spot for the notion of starting a new year as a chance to try, again. And honestly, doesn’t sustained, focused hate require too much energy for the meager return on such efforts?

    My NYE included watching a dueling fireworks display between two local restaurants. The block separating these establishments became a crazy, smoke and sparks scene; I’m guessing just about every parish ordinance against fireworks was ignored – and it was worth it. Later, a group of us returned to the nearby home of a poet and her musically-talented husband. To the accompaniment of guitars, ukes and harmonicas, we sang old songs for over an hour; laughing at the lyrics and our reasons for enjoying them. It was a sweet moment within these turbulent times. I’ll hold on to that memory as I face whatever may be lurking beyond the horizon.

    Wishing Betsy and this tribe every inspiration you need for this new year and decade. And if anyone is interested in baking, I recommend a “Bee’s Knees Chocolate Cake”. Surely, it’s healthy food since it’s sweetened with honey.

  9. Happy New Year, Betsy.

  10. I don’t think I hate anything or anybody. (Maybe lima beans). I don’t want to hate but like MIKE D I sure do hold a hot and heavy dislike for some of our elected leaders. Especially for those who do not stand up to power because they have twizzlers for back bones and balloons for brains.
    Happy New Year Betsy and to all who show up here.
    May your resolutions become as sure as taxes and as dependable as rain on a sunny day.
    Fuck lima beans. (There, I said it, I mean it, and it feels good).

  11. Well, I hate the Stairmaster and the gym. I’d rather starve myself than go there. Everything else you said – Yes!

    Hope the new year is good to this gang. May many wishes come true.

  12. I hate that 2019 was a shitty year for you and so many of us. But I love that we have clean and blank pages to fill for 2020. xo

  13. Happy New Year Betsy. And I hope it is is happier for all of us.

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