• 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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I Hate Myself For Loving You

I’ve been trying to work up my annual hate list, but I keep hitting a wall. I think this year has been too devastating to dick around. I definitely hate it when I get caught masturbating on Zoom. And I hate it when everyone uses the word “drop” to mean released, such as Taylor Swift dropped her new album. I hate the deep divisions in our country, I hate the virus that is ravaging the nation, I hate that people can’t be with their loved ones when they die, and that too many are dying and dying alone. I hate that bookstores are shuttering. And I hate the word shuttering for closing. I hate that a house has fallen on us. I hate that the year of perfect vision became a blur of pain and suffering. I hate that I still hate myself. But there it is.

What I really want to say is that I love all of you who show up and leave your sleekness on the blog after all these years. I wish you a healthy healthy healthy new year. Please never stop writing. How else will hold each other up?

And if you feel like it, tell me what you hate. My misery loves your company.

34 Responses

  1. I hate peanut butter and Love Actually and MiddlefuckingMarch.

    I hate the blatant, politically driven hypocrisy/cruelty/stupidity on display in America & other nations who are ruining everything for everyone. I hate Covid deniers getting vaccines before frontliners & old folks & anyone else with a pulse.

    I hate my new slippers and the half dead yucca plant in my living room that my husband insists on keeping. I hate my rickety spine and my dry skin. And I hate that I didn’t write The Glass Hotel.

    But you, Betsy I love. Happy, healthy New Year to you and yours, and to everyone here. Better days. XO

  2. You don’t really want to know what I hate do you? I hate that you haven’t read my book yet! There it is. See, I do a lot of waxing pathetic in “Waxing Pathetic”. And I rant about a lot of stuff that I hate. I also hate doing marketing because it eats into my time for navel gazing. I guess I better love making videos, because that’s the only thing that works anymore.

  3. For several months now, I’ve been muttering the words “I hate you” as my new mantra. It’s said when I uncover yet another bit of shoddy workmanship by the previous owner of my son’s new house; it’s my response to the actions of the latest ill-trained driver who almost hits my car; it’s whispered to supplement my daily doses of subliminal self-loathing. I’m beginning to also apply this phrase as a substitute for the f-bomb- seems more satisfying to say those three words than call for something I (probably) will never experience again.

    I’ve started to wonder if hate is actually the distillation of frustration. Such a possibility would explain so much of what fueled our world during these past months. Too bad it can’t create a much-needed immunity!

    Thanks, Betsy, for this blog and for your insights. It has been a great escape from the world of zoom. Wishing all a much kinder New Year. xoxo

  4. I hate most of 2020. So much. And I’m crossing everything for 2021. I hate that I’ve lost my optimism. Happ- ier New Year Betsy. Xo

  5. First, about love. I LOVE your yearly hate list. I love your witticisms and poetic posts.

    On to hate. Actually, I hate the word hate. I’ma use dislike.

    I dislike that I’m casting about, trying to find the next project. Something’s usually simmering in the background, but so far, zip, nada.

    I dislike the fact that 2020 has provided a perfect vision of who we are as a nation. We are here for the world to see, ala, the Emperor has no clothes.

    I dislike weak coffee. Dislike a cold wind. Dislike snarky reviews. Dislike smartasses in general. Dislike getting on the phone with someone and all they do is complain.

    I could go on, but . . . I dislike taking up too much space.

    Happy New Year to all here!

  6. I hate that my mother died alone in April because we didn’t realize she was dying. I thought she was having a blood sugar episode. I hate that the only thing I could think to recite to her at 2am before she died at 6am was Goodnight Moon. I hate that when they told me to come in, it was too late. She was already gone. I hate she didn’t get a proper send off. I hate that I’m not the only person carrying this kind of guilt. Especially this year. There are too many of us.

  7. I hate how fucking unhappy everyone is because our systems are broken. I hate how the heads of organizations (hospitals, universities) lie about how everything is fine, just fine. I hate people who publish shit books. I hate people who won’t just fucking wear a mask already. I hate that a friend is having a public meltdown on social media and I can’t look away because I’m curious as fuck. I hate how I could write this list all day. But not you. You all are the very best. xo

  8. I’m not sure I know what “hate” means. It’s like “condescending,” a word I’ve never understood.

    There are certainly things I don’t like. Round up the usual suspects.

    This year has left me feeling almost nothing at all, beyond helpless, hopeless, hunkered down to endure.

    I’m glad for this place. I come here every day to see if there is a new posting, any new comments. It’s always good to see you’ve been here, Betsy, and have posted something new. I first came here just over ten years ago, as part of my search for an agent. Didn’t find that, but clearly found something to value over the years.

    It’s good to see Donna Eve here again, as always. Hello, Donna. And Lisa Golden, I was thinking of you just the other day, of you and others who used to frequent this site — Averil Dean, a writer and artist of wit and joy; August, the guy who knew a lot about the publishing business; Harry iPants, who scarfed up one of my books for publication in distant Australia; The Girl in the Hat (Anna Fonte), whom I still see at El Libro de la Cara; others, whose names or avatars or aliases slip my mind.

    Lisa, I’m so sorry you lost your mother. I wish there were something I could do for you. I have no idea what it might be. Nothing seems adequate in the wake of such loss.

    It’s best I soon stop. All that remain in my quiver are arrows of platitude and complaint. I’ll not fire them. Happy New Year, everyone.

    • Thank you, TC. I’m glad to see so many of the crew here. It’s comforting that after all this years, Betsy’s blog is a place where we can say what we might not in other places.

      Thanks to Betsy for the place and the words.

      Happy New Year.

    • I’m very sure I know what hate means and started to make a detailed list, but I became exhausted. The truth is, I’m tired and cold and mostly bewildered these days, and although hate provides some warmth from time to time, there’s not much left of me to burn.

      I miss this community, too. I heard “Englishman in New York” the other day and it reminded me of you, Tetman. You are always a gentleman.

      Lisa, I hope the New Year brings you peace and healing. I wish I could give you a real-world hug.

      • How can this misplaced Westerner, freezing on every cold, Chicago night, without a horse to ride out on, his work never done, how could he ever a gentleman be? Through harvesting fruits of aspirations? (What are those? I dunno. I’m wingin’ it.) Shall I dip a crumpet in my tea? No. Shall I look up crumpet to learn what it is, now that I have called it forth? I shall. Mmm, looks delicious.

      • Thank you, Averil.

  9. Ah the hate list.
    I hate, hate, hate that I am running out of time. Age does that to ya sweet pea.

    I hate that the honest non ass kissing folks who have read my book, (former publishing asst., head librarian, and college level creative writing teacher), said and I quote… “…couldn’t put it down, didn’t want it to end,” and can’t understand why an agent hasn’t grabbed it.

    I LOVE that I have had hundreds and hundreds of essays, op-eds, articles and columns published and yet hate that not one paid-for-word of fiction. I hate that after 35 years of by-lines I feel like a failure.
    I also hate that after writing this comment it probably won’t post. No matter what I do your comment section rejects me. I take that rebuff as a hint.

    Oh and BTW Happy New Year boys and girls. We’re in the midst of a hell of a ride.

  10. I hate the isolation and forced confinement (even though I’m such an at home girl). I hate not being touched. Touch me! Hug me! But wait… don’t! I hate suspecting that a fellow human being who I pass on the street might be contaminated, my own species. I hate the monotony. I hate the closures but I fear the openings. I hate that I’m beginning to doubt myself (take B12 for memory, the doc says). I hate all the naysayers, the whiners. Shut the fuck up! Mostly, I hate anything and anyone toxic and life-sapping.

    But I love the burgeoning hope that engines us toward a brighter place.
    Happy New Year, all ye good people.

  11. I hate all the hate I feel.
    Trump, Pence, Covid, death, zoom, distancing, all the stupid new pandemic lingo, vaccination f-ups, etc etc etc. I’m done.

    I’m no Pollyanna but damn if I’m ready for a new outlook. And I’m very grateful to you, Betsy, and everybody here. I love you writers.

    Time to crack open the Veuve and start the party, any party, as best we can. They say we could be entering a new Roaring 20’s!
    Peace & love to all.

  12. I hate the term “content” as applied to writing. I don’t write content. I just write.
    I hate flossing, but recently discovered that if I do it outdoors, at night, it feels like a sacrament.
    I hate hating. It diminishes me.

  13. Oh! And I hate that the only way I can successfully post here is via FB, which INSISTS on using every last name I ever had.

  14. I hate people who can’t or wont give me a straight answer. I hate that the police are in part made up of white supremacists. I hate that POC are murdered in cold blood and there’s no justice. I hate that we are living in a time when the monsters rule. I hate that we are so stupid that we let millions of birds die. I hate growing old and witnessing the unstoppable transformation of my body. I hate that we aren’t buried by snow storms any more and how that impacts the high desert which is in a long-haul drought. I hate the fucking contractors who keep building million dollar homes. There.

  15. I hate that the word peruse is never used correctly. I hate shortcuts. I hate how American history was taught to me in school. I hate when my wife and I fight. I hate that I haven’t seen my mom all year. I hate watching my dog get old. I hate witnessing humiliation (unless it’s someone I hate being humiliated). I hate crossing bridges. I hate driving on freeways. I hate that I’ve stopped writing since the summer. I hate that I seem to need 9 hours of sleep a night now. I hate that I slept until 10am this morning. I hate the electoral college. I hate arrogance. I hate dishonesty. I hate a lack of responsibility. I hate unnecessary noise. And I hate excessive negativity, haha.

  16. I hate everything about my body except my ankles. I hate that I’m forgetting people’s names and sometimes faces and how I met them and did I even like them. I hate that my romantic life peaked in 3rd grade. I hate what is happening to this country. I hate that Cancer isn’t cured yet and kids get abused and people who promised to stay, leave. I hate that Betsy hasn’t won an Oscar yet. I hate that I am lazy and scared and broken and invisible. I hate MSG and BHT whoever invented macaroni and cheese because I love it. And I love this place and anyone who lands here and your little dog Toto too and the Wizard Betsy most of all.

  17. Well, hate is a skunk spray, wasp sting, razor cut sharpness kind of word, but here goes:

    I hate that there are billionaires who either made or inherited obscene amounts of money at the expense and taking advantage of the hard work of others and yet remain largely silent while casting a blind eye to the suffering of others, especially now when just a fraction of their wealth could help relieve the hardship of millions. Six hundred dollars in government aid? Yeah, well, I’ll take it, but I’d rather see free groceries day once a month courtesy of anyone who is worth more than a few million. One question for the very rich: how many billions do you need? Second question: Why?

    I hate that the world is not governed by instant justice, that anyone who abuses a child, hits another in repeated anger or mistreats an animal is not subjected to the spontaneous loss of an appendage, internal organ or one of the senses.

    I hate that old MacDonald had a farm that he found ran well with hardworking migrant laborers, so he paid them well and then they were deported because they were deemed undesireable and the crops were left to rot in the field.

    I’m not too fond of Mitch McConnell.

    But hating myself for loving you? No.

    • Mitch McConnell is such a high-school quarterback kind of name. You just know his parents were disappointed when they plopped a helmet on that head and tried to attach the chin strap.

      • Ha! Which chin would they attach it under? I’m sure he’d be a wet towel snapper in the locker room kind of guy, a sadistic quarterback who throws passes too high so his receivers have to leave their entire bodies vulnerable, stretching and reaching for the ball.

  18. I hate when my almost grown daughters come home from college hating on one another. I feel like I’ve failed to teach them about the brevity of life. I hate the word brevity.

    I hate that millions of people voted for a lunatic that’s killing us every day.

    I hate that I pay a shit ton of cash for health insurance, but I can’t go to the doctor because my deductible is more money than I have in the bank.

    I hate fireworks on NY Eve. My little dog is so scared, she’s hiding under the bed.

    I hate not knowing when this isolation will end.

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