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 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. I have read that girlfriends are as important for health and longevity as regular cardio exercise. There is nothing I would do for my girlfriends. And that means, everything!
Back to my 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. I feel 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! 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. 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.
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!
Lunch was finally served as our conversation switched to bras and breast lifts!
One of us 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.
“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.
Lunching weekly with 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 friends, 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.”
So you can:
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. I make dinner dates and ask all kinds of questions.
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. I multi-task. I call when I am putting on my make-up, preparing a meal or brushing America. 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?
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.
It is fun. It is easy. It is intimate.
It is quick, easy and I love this means of interacting.
Join a Group
As many of you know, I have launched my own private network. MOXIE! bonds all of us together in friendship. Bemoxienow.com is a social network where you will make new friends through joining groups. This online community is a home where you will learn and explore new ideas, share interests, ask for help with challenges, and experience joy in connecting with others. Through multifaceted conversations, you will flourish and become better after 50. Join us at Bemoxienow.com.
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