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Tuesday, 16 August 2005



Oh. My. God.

That was brilliant.

There are times when I regret coming from such a boring, sane, drama-free WASP family. This is not one of them.


That was HILARIOUS. Truly, you should write an autobiography. I KNEW I had your site in my favorites for more than just the guido pictures.....


Brilliant...and who would you cast in the movie?


I always wondered how the european vacation came about (I think National Lampoon stole the title). I know that I spent a couple of the best weeks of my childhood while you were all gone. And on the shopping note - at least the shopping trip from Europe added venetian glass to the living room. The ones that they took with the twins to Mexico added dozens of onyx chessboards and book-ends.


Well…where do I start? I guess that’s easy since I have told the story many times only to get looks of disbelief. How about with the death of my mother? I was being the dutiful daughter that was at my mother’s bedside for the entire year that she was dying in the nursing home. Or as they liked to be called the “Rehab” home. That threw me for a loop because I was told she was dying and that she had four months to live. Where the rehab fit in I never did figure out. Her liver failed. As she liked to joke… “I have secondary Cirrhosis of the liver, thanks to that bastard father of yours!” Any way by September, it was now three months past what according to her doctors she was supposed to be dead. Lord knows she was killing me. Sister number one was across the country-Sister number two moved away also after divorcing her husband of 20 years and then marrying a boy-toy 16 years her junior. Then there was Richard and he has already expressed his feeling about his mother. Any way, suddenly the Fran-monster felt Richard owed her a visit on her deathbed. When that never happened by September she was fuming. I was getting nervous because I was having a major moment in my life at the time. I was due to have a book signing at the end of September for one of my short stories that got published in an anthologies series. The conversation of her upcoming death was a daily topic. On this particular day I warned her she better not die close to my Book-signing and ruin my day. I was half joking. Sort of. She looked me dead in the eyes and said “Don’t worry Beth…I am planning on dying on your brother’s birthday. That way he will remember me for the rest of his dam life!” The scary thing was I totally believed her even though my rational brain told me that it was impossible. I came home, sent Richard an email, and saved the email just so I would have proof were it to really happen. By October, she was still miraculously alive. No pain…but strangely still alive. Now my concern was the Fran-monster was going to die on my 40th birthday. That was going to be October 29th. Again, I begged her not to die on my 40th birthday. Again, the same sick smile as she pronounced she would not and that she would die on Richards’s birthday, October 22. With no doubt in my mind I went into the re-hab office and told them, I wanted to pay my mothers bill. I let them know she would be dying at the end of this month. I was greeted with sappy social workers telling me sympathetically that there was no way to know that and not to worry…my mother might live longer. They obviously mistook my look of horror as grief as I argued with them to JUST LET ME PAY THE BILL BECAUSE THEY WERE WRONG. She will die the end of the month! I am grateful to this day for the stomach flu I had the morning of October 22nd. I was late getting ready to go see my mother when the phone rang. It was the ‘One stop shopping re-hab nursing home’ calling me to tell me my mother just died. Other wise…there is no doubt in my mind the police would have been knocking on my door!


i would buy rights to publish this if i was into that kinda thing.
Detailed brilliance!


Hm. I am european. I am german. I like to read your blog.
I am just not sure... everything you say about the germans seems to be full of anger and mis-trust.

I am studiing american literature. I am interested in your country.

I like the english language and the german one.

I am just sad, that I have the opinion, that you thing everything from germany is about terrible language and the nazis.

Just: I am not my grandfather and I like the way I speak.

I won't stop reading your great blog. But I am thinking a lot about it.

Liebe Grüsse and best wishes.


Actually when Mom was dying - Beth and I moved into this weird place of laughter. (and of course jewish guilt about the laughter). Our conversations went something like this...*she still alive Beth?* *yes*... *she's gonna do it, isn't she??* *impossible the doctors say she can't last another week and it's months off ---but yeah... she's gonna do it*.

Then on Richard's birthday we had a typical sibling fight. *you do it!* *NO You do it, I'm not telling him!* *no you do it!* (then in true Rothstein fashion we discussed lying to him for the rest of our lives, but realized that probably wouldn't work and we would get caught*.

Beth did it by the way - cause she's the son dad always wanted.

Did anyone ever mention how dad pretty much waited till father's day? I guess it was those years of standing in a HallMark store and laughing madly while exclaiming out loud - "can you tell me where the cards are for drunken abusive fathers please??*


I have said before that your stories should be in a book, but the more I read, the more I think a TV series along the lines of Six Feet Under would be more appropriate! I want to see these characters "come to life"!

Ed Deluzain

Okay, Mr. David Sedaris, you're not fooling any of us by calling yourself Richard. Several times I laughed out loud, and the whole time I kept seeing myself with my own parents in Europe.


OMG...I forgot we were thinking about not telling him that she died on his birthday! Good thing I told the truth...I would have forgot the lie. Did I mention when I got the call from the 'home' I burst out loud laughing. Of course the social worker dissmnissed this as an emtional reaction. I WAS REALLY LAUGHING! wAIT UNTILL I TELL YOU THE THANKSGIVING STORY.

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