Those special friends—those pre-boobs “Friends-for-Life” and those post-boobs “Forever-Friends”. Most of us have one or two or, if we’re really fortunate more women who have remained our friends through thick and thicker (or thin and thinner); through training bras and losing our virginity; through weddings and marriages (not the same thing); through kids and menopause; through elderly parents, funerals, and empty nests.
You know that old kids’ song, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.”
Both types of friends are invaluable so I hate to imply that one is more precious than the other. (And really, silver seems like an insult.) If you’re fortunate as I am, you have both kinds of friends, old and new, though for women over sixty, “oldest friend” may not be a welcome moniker.
“I’d like you to meet my “OLDEST friend“. Isn’t that special? Bless her heart.
Instead of “New=Silver” and “Old = Gold”, perhaps we can agree on two new categories. How about one category for the women friends with whom we bonded PRIOR to growing breasts, another for those we met AFTER.
Think about it, that friend who knew you and became your “bosom buddy” before you had bosoms, knows you as well or better than your sister does. She knew you when you wanted to win the “Miss Congeniality” title in the Miss America Pageant. (As if.) She knew your mom’s pet name for you. She’s met your aunts and uncles. She knows about your first kiss, first boyfriend, and first time to “second base” and beyond.
And she will never, ever tell.)
The Pre-Bosom Buddy of your childhood is a Forever Friend. This sister-of-your-heart is the friend you kept even as you moved to different states or just in different directions. In fact, if you hadn’t met pre-bosom, you might never have known each other! And that would be a great loss. (For Movie, think “Beaches” or “Now and Then”, or “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”.)
The second category is reserved for that friend you met after buying a bra was no longer a right-of-passage and she does not know everything about you. That friend may have come into your orbit as you started a new job, met your life partner, had a baby, got a divorce, started a business, or traveled after retirement. You didn’t know each other when you started high school, graduated from college, became a partner in the firm, or sobbed when the “baby” got married. At some point—when you needed her, or when she needed you, or both—you met. (Cue the violins. Cue Carol King.) (For movies, think “Thelma and Louise”, “Mona Lisa’s Smile”, and “Calendar Girls”…and no, Lynnelle, we will not publish that kind of calendar!)
The Bosom Buddy of your adulthood loves the woman you are and becomes a Friend for Life.
I wanted to end this with a reference back to the Gold and Silver thing and asked Lynnelle, “What’s more valuable than Silver or Gold?”
“Lynnelle, can we think of something that isn’t so … destructive?”
After some research into the most precious of metals, we found Rhodium, of the “platinum family”, and learned that it’s highly reflective and commonly used in search lights and mirrors. In short, boring, so Lynnelle said, “Let’s just use Platinum.”
And that is why she is one of my Bosom Buddies and a Platinum Friend for Life.
It’s true – I, like most of us, have friends from many different chapters of my life. Thanks to Facebook, I’m back “in touch” with friends I made, as Barb puts it, prior to growing breasts. But, if I’m to be totally transparent here… <gulp> and if I’m to keep with Barb’s boob analogy, I need to categorize THREE eras of friendships – not two.
1. Pre-Boob era; (1957-1970)
2. Pre-Boob-Job era; (1970-1986)
3. Post boob-Job era; (after 1986)… I just had a sickening thought. My post-boobs are older than my former boss.
However… now that I think about it – I really didn’t have any boobs before 1985, so actually I do have a pre-boob and post-boob era. Mine were just manufactured and not found in nature.
Most of the friends I am still actively in contact with are post-boob friends. Not exactly sure why that is, other than I moved away right after school. I’m thankful Facebook has enabled a reengagement with early life friends, if mostly online. (Shout-out to Vicky, Peggy, Rhonda and the MAC girls!)
If you haven’t already gotten it, Barb is an outgoing extrovert. Not a normal, run of the mill extrovert; an OUTGOING extrovert. Myself, I’m an introvert; a friendly introvert, but an introvert still. There are no strangers in Barb’s world. She would likely need all the metals in the periodic table to list and categorize the friends she’s collected throughout her life. I’m glad I rank at the platinum level. I’m REALLY glad she didn’t classify me as her plutonium friend. (We’ve all had our share of THOSE; the mean girls don’t stop being mean post-boobs.)
We wish platinum ranked friends for all of you, whether they are Pre- or Post-Boobs, Boob Job, or (it must be said) Boob Scare. With platinum worth over $29.00 a gram and with the average over-60 woman weighing about 150 pounds, Forever Friends and Friends for Life are worth over two million dollars each.
But, we really know they’re priceless.
We had fun checking out movies about women friends. This site had a great list. Grab a Forever Friend or a Friend for Life, add wine and chocolate, and enjoy.
If you haven’t already, please join us in the HaT tribe. We’re a fun group of silver, gold and platinum introverts and extraverts looking to share ideas and experiences and compare notes as we explore what is known as our “senior years”. We will make special efforts to avoid the plutonium landmines.
By now even we who aren’t obsessing about the Young Royals have seen the infamous tag and fashion faux pas.
Yep, the newest Duchess stepped off a plane in Tonga with the store tag dangling from her dress and Social Media was all over it.
Most were understanding and “forgiving” of her, saying she must be so tired as a pregnant bride in her first official royal tour. Believe me, I’m not going to pile any blame on her either. Not only did Harry choose a commoner, but he also chose a smart, successful woman from our side of the pond. Plus, he chose a woman with public baggage. And be honest, ladies. Didn’t those of us over 60 secretly wonder what would happen if we’d met Prince Charles before he wed Diana? (O.K. Nothing. Nothing would have happened. Plus back then we didn’t know he had given his heart to Camilla. So fine.)
Back to the Tag fashion faux pas and the Blame. There are a whole bunch of reasons to get married, or even to move in with your Sweetie: love, lust, friendship, companionship, zipping up the back of your dress, AND PERFORMING A FINAL CLOTHING CHECK BEFORE AN EVENT.
This is a sore spot for me as EW is actually great about letting me know if an outfit is flattering or not and horrible about checking the little things. When we first moved aboard the boat in Maine, I cannot tell you how often I went to work with my slip showing or some other fashion faux pas. It got so bad, that I badgered the owners of the marina to install a full-length mirror in the common area. (Dora St. Martin, a Friend for Life and fellow liveaboard, called it the “Barbara Mirror” and got one installed in her new marina in Boston.)
Seriously, Prince Harry, when you embarked on this public marriage you agreed to help her negotiate steps and grass in her high heels, stand up for her against snarky tabloids, welcome her mom to England, and check her for slips, tags, bra straps, and other fashion faux pas. Harry, do your dang job.
And yes, I have not yet come to believe that bra straps should show and that there are rules. (I know this makes me old. Tough.)
Meghan, you looked great in that dress. Go take a nap—and stop scooching in heels while pregnant. That’s just scary on a whole lot of levels.
Do you remember the original “Dear Abby”? That’s where I learned of the “Pencil Test” pertaining to deciding whether or not to wear a bra. She said that if you could put a pencil under your braless boob and it stayed, you needed a bra. Recently, the best reference I could find online was in Urban Dictionary and had no mention of Dear Abby. I guess one sign of age is when your prior references are now just urban legends. Another sign is that it’s more difficult to find good, reasonably priced bras for women over 60. (Or at least this woman.)
When I was a perky, just blooming 14-year-old, I enjoyed a carefree summer of halter tops. Since then, I’ve never been without a bra in public. By the time my college dorm mate and I conducted the pencil-under-boob test I had a perky C-cup. Even though the pencil fell to the floor immediately—I told her I was not comfortable going braless because, “They just move around too much.”
In addition, I had another complaint about my breasts: They did not seem to like each other. From the time I grew breasts, mine tended to gravitate away from center. I did not need “lift and separate”; I needed “lift and smoosh together”. I can remember being envious of the cleavage my pre-boob BFF achieved so easily. Her B-cups loved each other
Fast forward 40 years, and this lack of friendship among “the girls” is even more pronounced. Not only do they hate each other, they have increased to a D-cup and each seems to have a love relationship with its corresponding armpit. This is not attractive. As for the pencil test, I have a pair of two-pencil boobs—I can hold two pencils under each boob! (I may actually be able to hold more, but was so horrified I stopped at two.)
You’d think someone whose boobs gravitate away from center while carrying multiple writing implements would be interested and adept at choosing a bra. I am not. Furthermore, the “lift and separate” bra appears to be a thing of the past (or suitable for those over 80). Now it’s “push up” and I’m kinda scared about how far I should push. Finally, bra choice is even more complicated by the fact that some (bless their cross your hearts) cost what I’m willing to pay and others cost more than I could imagine. Until this year, it never occurred to me to purchase a $60.00 bra; now that it’s occurred to me, I’m terrified of bra-buyers’ remorse. And thus the dilemma of finding bras for women over 60.
Instead of walking into a discount or outlet store, trying on a gross of bras, and taking home five or six that kind of fit, I need to get educated on bras. I’m not looking forward to it. And honestly, as much as I love her, Lynnelle is not the person to help with this. Those of you who’ve read the BFFs post know why. We do not share boob issues.
So, Women of the HaT Tribe—those of you who have never used a round Band-Aid instead of a bra under a knit dress and those of you who have the ample pencil-holding handfuls of breasts you acquired naturally—I ask you to provide me with your favorite bras and why. Also, if they come in under $40.00 each I’d be grateful.
I began my research with this article about helping “mature women” to find a bra. Imagine my surprise to discover that my style of breasts have a name; My “girls” are of the East/West variety. Who knew? Once I do the more extensive research and gather my courage, I will put on my least embarrassing bra and venture out to get fitted and purchase Barbara’s Best Bra for East/West Breasts. There will be a post. There will not be a video.
When starting this blogging adventure, I didn’t consider the fact that my boob secret would be published for all to see once – much less twice; twice in less than 1 month, no less. But since that cow (pardon the metaphor) has left the barn, let’s let it run free.
My boobs, whether God given or given by someone who just thought they were God, are far from perfect. They are not C cups (A½ – Yes, really.) My braless boobs could not hold a pencil or anything else without the aid of an adhesive. They are front and center and neither has a love affair with either armpit—or my waist, standing, sitting or lying flat on my back. I can run down the beach a la Bo Derek and not have one worry about blackening an eye nor creating a spectacle of anything bouncing or undulating in any direction—nothing above the waist, anyway. A view of me running away down the beach would surely make my backside look as if a litter of “puppies were fighting to escape”—but we’ll address the backside on another post.
Buying bras is typically no big deal for me. At all. My primary bra concern is not whether it lifts, separates, or smooshes together—but rather does it conceal the high-beams? My girls have TONS of personality. I can rarely go without a bra because that personality shows through. Shows REALLY well when it’s a bit nippy out (oops, I did it again). I wear a bra primarily to tone down the ‘personality’, so the bras I need must have a bit of density or padding. NOT a ton of padding because I don’t want to look bigger, just less perky.
When I’m wearing a top made of a heavier material and in a darker color, I may not wear a bra. If it’s a top with a thin strap or racer back, I’ll opt for Breast Petals. Earlier, Barb mentioned the Band-Aid instead of a bra trick—that used to be me, before I found the Breast Petals. Band-Aids or scotch tape. But, Yow! Pulling the Band-Aids off hurt—and the scotch tape was even worse. I found the Breast Petals back in the late 90’s at Macy’s when I lived in NYC and was ecstatic! Today you can find the original single-use, flesh toned, adhesive breast petals all over as well as breast petals in colors, patterns, and shapes. Not only that, the breast accessory market has continued to grow. There are reusable, silicone breast petals; Fashion tape (to keep the gaping, plunging neck line in place); breast lift tape (self-explanatory); “invisible” push-up, reusable, self-adhesive bras (I’ll have to see that last one to believe it—if anyone has experience with that one comment here. I can’t believe they work for 1 or 2 pencil gals.); reveal bra (not quite sure about this one) and on and on. Who knew?
Whether your girls are a 1-, 2-, or like me, a 0-pencil pair, finding a bra may (or may not) be a chore. But it’s clear, the breast accessory market is booming well beyond the bras. And seriously, we will especially welcome your comments and ideas here. Especially Barb. We need to find that woman a few good bras.
* FYI, The links in this post may be affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of them and actually buy something, Heals and Tevas will get a % commission. You can see our Disclosure and legal stuff for more details or let us know if you have any questions.
(Nothing yet – but we couldn’t start the glossary with B. Stay tuned.)
Barbara J. Hart. (See Bio.) You may call her Barbara or Barb but only a very select few may call her “Barbie”. If you have to ask, you are not one of those few. (And no, Lynnelle is not one of them.) Has one other alias. (See below.)
B.S. Before Sixty. We will use it a lot.
Bubs Barb’s alias. Originated by EW (see reference) and picked up by Favorite (see reference). The derivative is “Bubsy”. (Again, if you have to ask, no.) Pablo knows Barb as “Aunty Bubs”. Really.
Buhwheat EW’s nickname for Pablo because his curly hair reminded EW of Eddie Murphy’s Saturday Night Live Character. Lynnelle wasn’t amused at first, but gave up in the end. She left her darling dog with Barb and EW while she spent a month in Paris. When she and Pablo visited the boat a few days after she returned, one boating neighbor greeted the dog with a, “Hi there, Buhwheat!” Upon reaching the boat, she lit in to EW who still laughs at the memory..
Diva (See the Diva Post.) For the short version, trust us when we say there are divas we’d like to emulate and those we would not. (It’s like the good and bad witches in the Wizard of Oz.) We use “diva” because 1) it rhymes with Teva and 2) there’s a beautiful power embodied in that word—and in us.
EW, AKA Stewart D. Hart, Barb’s Husband for over 30 years. When emphasizing how his name was spelled for a newspaper reporter, Barb may have been a bit too forceful in saying “He’s an E W Stewart”. The entire article referred to him as “E.W. Stewart Hart”. From that point onward, Barb called him EW in social media, her sailing blog, and book. EW is a good sport and frequently calls himself “The Topic”.
Favorite, AKA Mo Hart, EW’s (AKA Stew) son. He is the “favorite son” because he is the only son. As an Internet Security Consultant, he was not thrilled with social media or blogging and asked Barb not to use his name, so he became “Favorite”. A year ago, he rescinded the request but was told it was too late and that readers wouldn’t know “Mo”.
IRL, short for In Real Life. Barb tends to use this a lot because she frequently “meets” other cruisers via Facebook and her other blog, www.hartsatsea.com. Both of us delight in finding new members and commenters who neither of us currently know In Real Life. Even more, we look forward to meeting members of the Tribe In Real Life.
Kurt, Lynnelle’s sweetie and new home mate. They have been a couple for a while and moved in together in her sister’s guest room when the house Lynnelle and Kurt were building ran months over schedule. They survived that in part because, since Kurt is a retired policeman who raised three girls alone, he is rarely surprised and largely unflappable.
La Luna, Barb and EW’s home. They have lived on a boat since 2002. (See Barb’s bio.)
Lynnelle Wilson (See Bio) As a child, she was known as Nell and contemplated going back to that for this blog. However, at the last minute she remembered that she often thanked her mom for the unique spelling. Being a 2-N, 2-L Lynnelle allowed her to procure @Lynnelle on Twitter and has generally been useful for social media, Linked-In, and Google searches.
Nell (See Lynnelle)
Pablo Lynnelle’s Labradoodle . (Barb calls him a Labradoodle-doodle because he’s ¾ poodle.) Real name: Pablo Ruiz (named after Picasso) but has a number of aliases. If he could speak, he’d tell you he was the cutest dog in the world. He hears that from Lynnelle all the time. As do we all.
Platinum Friend (See BFFs Post). Worth of real friends in today’s market. Gold and silver is so 80’s.
Post-Boob Friend (See BFFS Post). That friend you met long after you bought your first bra.
Post-Boob Job Friend (See BFFS Post) Lynnelle’s special category.
Pre-Boob Friend (See BFFs Post). That friend you met and before you got boobs. She knows pretty much everything about you.
Spike EW’s suggested name for Buh…er Pablo. It was a non-starter. Years later, in conversation with Lynnelle and Kurt, EW said, “Remember when you were going to call him Spike?” Like the Dallas Nelle she is, Lynnelle sat up and spit back, “I was never going to call this dog Spike!”
Stew (See EW)
Tevas (See “What’s a Teva”? Post) Barb’s shoe of choice. “Heels and Tevas” was the name Barb proposed within a half hour of Lynnelle presenting the idea of the blog as it most accurately represents their differences, Lynnelle is a Dallas Gal/Diva/Heels/Chanel/Paris kind of woman. Barb is a Small Town/Sailor/Backpack/Islands and Beaches kind of woman. Yes, we thought of the legal consequences. If challenged, we’ll go with “Heels and Teevas”, but we also think that they just might love it. Barb really wears Tevas on a daily basis and has not found any other sports sandal to fit as well for her. (Again, see, “What’s a Teva?” to learn why.)
WTF Not what you think. Stands for Weight, Time, Fortitude – the factors of Weight Management over 60
WYSIWYG Pronounced “wizzywig”. Lynnelle used the term in one of our planning sessions and all forward momentum stopped. For the record, Barb would have known. WYSIWYG in print, she just didn’t know one pronounced it. Lynnelle has a greater capacity for learning and embracing technology and new memes. Barb, on the other hand, used the words Emoji and Avatar interchangeably until ridiculed by her nephew. OH! WYSIWYG – stands for “What You See IS What You Get”. Of course.