This story was originally published February 2019 and has been updated for your enjoyment.
Friendship! Friendship! It’s the perfect blend -ship!
Here’s what I know: Outside of Shelly, family, and my Soft-Coated Wheaton Terrier, America, nothing makes me feel warmer and fuzzier than my girlfriends!
Having girlfriends after 50 is important for so many reasons. One of them is laughter.
At a recent lunch with the girls, our conversation was about bunions, bras and breast lifts. Oh, my!
The real value of this story is the importance of having girlfriends to laugh, share, learn, help and gossip with about all things. Girlfriends after 50 are the frosting on our cakes. They can be our support and our giggle partners, offering free group therapy because they understand what we mean.
Therefore, it is important to carve out time for them. In fact, I have read that girlfriends are as important for health and longevity as regular cardio exercise. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my girlfriends. And that means, everything!
Back to My Girlfriends Story…
I was the last to arrive, as usual. Of late, I have been overwhelmed with all the hats I wear, and yet, I make it a point to see my girlfriends because they fill a very important niche in my life. Truly, we are comrades in arms.
I walked as fast as I could from my apartment, though my feet were killing me! After a warm, “hello” to all, I immediately turned to Linda, our group’s medical maven and authoritative connoisseur on doctors, hospitals, and most medical issues.
“Linda,” I lamented, “My feet hurt! It is my bunion. I have to have surgery! I don’t know what to do! But I know you will know the best of the best to help me.”
Without batting an eye, she answered, “I have four names for you, and I’ll email them as soon as I get home. I visited four doctors and got four different opinions for my bunions. My advice is… don’t have the surgery. I’m not! I have heard horror stories. The surgery did not work. The bunions grew back. Some women’s feet were worse after they had surgery.”
Carol piped in, “Well, I know Penelope had the surgery and so did Marilyn and they are fine.”
Our medical maven was not backing off!
“How old were they when they had the surgery?” she asked.
“Marilyn was in her forties and I don’t know about Penelope,” said Carol.
Linda continued, “Look, we are all getting older so start wearing comfortable shoes and stop wearing your high heels. You have already broken your ankle! Look at the women our age walking down the street. They wear flats. There are beautiful ones you can buy.”
“But I love my heels. I love to look girly. It is part of my style,” I declared.
“Ok, don’t listen to me but, I think you will be sorry,” said Linda.
My girlfriend, Linda, did put the fear of God in me. I had already spent six months in a cast and non-walking boot when I fell off my ladder while in my closet reaching for something special, breaking my ankle. Once was enough.
Fortunately, I had already done my due diligence, researching how to take care of a bunion without surgery.
Living with Bunions
So, for you darlings with bunions, this is what I learned and want to share:
- Buy your shoes one size larger. I have and it works.
- Place a 6-millimeter insert in your shoe under your big toe. I had a professional do this for me.
- Put a little one-inch rubber wedge between your big toe and index toe. My ankle surgeon gave them to me.
- Have the shoes you own professionally stretched. I have been able to save some of my shoes.
- Listen to Linda!
Bras and Girlfriends after 50
Lunch was finally served as our conversation switched to bras and breast lifts!
One of my girlfriends blurted out, “My breasts are like watermelons. I want them to look like navel oranges. I want to have a breast lift!”
“But you look so small,” said another girlfriend. And all at once we were all staring at each other’s breasts and laughing.
Our conversation continued.
“I wear a double D,” said one woman in the gang.
Another friend piped in, “I wear a double F.”
A third friend said, “I can go braless!”
And the fourth said, “I am the lucky one, I wear the same bra I have always worn.” And we continued to laugh and discuss the pros and cons of having big breasts made smaller and small breasts made bigger.
My Girlfriends Dish about Breast Surgery
“Don’t laugh!” chirped our medical maven, “I strongly advise not to have any breast surgeries. I visited doctors and determined it is not a good idea at our age. But I will send you my list of names.” And she did.
“Oh God,” I thought to myself, smiling, “she’s ruined it again for us!”
Lunching on salads with dressing on the side, on this day, we enjoyed a mixture of laughter and group therapy.
Darlings, I want to share our decisions with you: no breast surgery, though I am still not sure.
The brands to buy are Chantelle and Wacoal for that round ‘navel orange desirable look!’
Lunching weekly with my girlfriends, over the usual salads and egg white omelets, reinforces my feelings that it often takes a girlfriend to intuitively recognize our needs.
To Stay Girlfriends, Be a Friend
Yesterday’s conversation made me want to continue to nurture my important friendships with girls who live far away. I learned from my Hawaiian girlfriend, Carolyn, “Having a great friend is a matter of being a great friend.”
Here are my favorite ways to keep in touch with my girlfriends:
I try to remember to open up my laptop and email Sharon, Marsha and Nancy from LA; Barbara and Susan in New York; Tova in Detroit; Maria in Greece; Florence in Brussels; Emily and Sharon in the South; and Gail, Hanna, Linda, Judy, Monique, Penelope, Jane, Ruthie, Patti and Jaime Sue, in Chicago… and my list goes on!
Emailing is an impersonal ‘means to an end’ but a marvelous way to stay connected with your family and girlfriends after 50. I make dinner dates and ask all kinds of questions. If you feel intimidated by technology, set a goal to get comfortable! There are so many ways to connect with loved ones. I talk more about becoming tech savvy here.
I have a few girlfriends who will only talk by phone! They want to hear a conversation, not read one! They tell me they want to hear the inflection in my voice and my laughter. My friends are right, but a personal conversation takes three times longer than e-mail. I figured out how to accomplish my personal calls without being stressed for time — multi-task! When I am putting on my make-up, preparing a meal, or brushing America, I call my girlfriends. I put my phone on speaker and talk, and talk, and talk.
TAKE A WALK
I take walks with two close girlfriends, Judy and Patti. We make a date by email. We leave one another feeling uplifted physically and mentally. How special is that? Something I’ve learned about walking with my girlfriends, if you have a fitness goal, it’s much more fun to do it with a girlfriend! Your pedometer will magically rack-up steps when you are laughing with friends. Here are some of my favorite pedometers!
PLAN A NIGHT OUT WITH THE GIRLS
My girlfriends do not get together at night, but I know many women meet once a month at a restaurant or someone’s home. The women tell me they leave one another energized and refreshed.
We can’t always be together in person with our favorite people. I regularly connect with cousins, girlfriends, and the grands over Zoom. It is fun, easy, and intimate!
Strengthening a friendship doesn’t have to take long. I often send a quick text to a friend. It lets them know I am thinking about them and cherish their friendship. I love this means of interacting.
JOIN AN ONLINE GROUP
As many of you know, I have a beautiful private group on Facebook. Celebrate Life after 50 is a marvelous community of girlfriends after 50. This online community is a space where you will learn and explore new ideas, share interests, ask for help with challenges, and experience joy in connecting with others. I would love you to join us! CLICK HERE TO JOIN.
Keeping Friendships Strong After 50
Keeping your relationships with girlfriends after 50 is vitally important. Anything you want to accomplish is best done through goal setting! That includes keeping up with your girlfriends (and making new ones)! I have recently released a great eBook that can guide you through goal setting and getting! All my digital girlfriends get to download it for free!
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