• 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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Wherever He Laid His Hat Was His Home

Loyalty to the family is tyranny to the self. I’m sure I’ve quoted this line before. It’s my motto, I have it tattooed across my back, I fly a banner with those words over Jones Beach every summer, I say it every time I’m about to cross a family threshold or look in the fridge. It was spoken by Ninette T. Loos Blanc, an extraordinary woman in her 90’s who I used to bring groceries to on her fifth floor walk up apartment. I was a depressed college sophomore. Her overheated apartment had few belongings, a magnifier, a mirror, a fish bowl with opaque water. It smelled like old slippers. My friend Raymond used to brush her long white hair. It was like silk and I always think fondly of those words around holiday time. I am still that college sophomore climbing those steps, filled with dread and inchoate rage against my parents. They’re gone now. I miss them, of course.

What did your parents give you?

9 Responses

  1. so much shame I wish I could sell it to pay for therapy

  2. Incite (spelled correctly)
    Insight ( yup spelled right)

  3. The good, some bad, no ugly. Curiosity, many things which I now appreciate.

  4. “What did your parents give you?”

    A love of reading.
    A deep, abiding fear.
    A respect for clocks and deadlines.
    A sense of order.
    A sense of fundamental isolation.
    The knowledge that all good could be yanked away in an instant.
    An early and close acquaintance with tyranny.
    A clean, well lighted home.
    Sufficient rations.
    Incentive to leave.
    The knowledge that any defense against external irrationality must come from within.
    The ability to work and survive.
    A place I could turn to when there was no other place to turn.
    My first typewriter.

  5. From my mother, love. From my father, conflict.

  6. Too much and too little expectation

  7. I learned that rabbit – even one with a name and sweet fuzzy ears that made me forget sometimes – does, in fact, kind of taste like chicken. 

  8. Both my parents loved to read. It proved to be the foundation for the rest of my personal and professional life.

    I received the gift of being funny from my father, and I learned the importance of having fun from my mother. In these challenging times, I’m damn thankful for both.

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