On April 22, 2008, in “Entering the Blogosphere”, the very first Fifty is the New blog post, I wrote, “Will I have something to say as I am catapulted into the world of commentary, citizen journalism and navel-gazing? I continued with this pretty clever strategy, “For backup, I have enlisted the help of some articulate, powerful, funny, sexy and smart voices. Other women, friends of a ‘certain age,’ whose reflections make me sit up and take notice, wonder aloud, laugh, get enraged and engaged in life—mid-life.” Yes, quite clever, enlisting those women, if I say so myself…
Since that first post two years ago, a lot has changed. There were few blogs written by middle aged women back then, and now there are many. Baby boomers on Facebook? Not in 2008, when it was still an online campus, a collection of pimple-faced college kids and a few early adopters. In these past two years, we’ve put a new president in office, brought ecology back, and now there are more women over 50 smiling from the cover of magazines. (Hey Ellen! Lookin’ good)!
Its Saturday morning and the winter is coming to an end. Although here on the tundra we are wary of any irrational exuberance until May. The phone rang and I heard Heidi’s voice say, “Want to go for a walk?” I cannot think of anything I would rather do at this moment than join her and her beautiful sad-eyed dog Sara on a stroll around the Lake Como in the crystal sunshine.
My mum and dad would take a walk every Sunday afternoon. They talked quietly while my sister and I wandered along with them, playing make-believe games and seeing who could run the fastest. In the past few years I have become a walker again. There is singular joy in strolling along talking to my companions or, when I am alone, talking to myself. It seems as if walking frees the tongue and the mind. Difficult topics can be broached more easily; old hurts can be mended, secrets may be revealed, sadness might suddenly find release, and laughter often comes unexpectedly. Read more
Keeping up with your girlfriends can be a challenge. Connie Stetson offers up a solution that is shaken, stirred and intoxicating.
“It’s 5:00 PM. Do you know where your vodka is?” Okay, I actually stole that line from my pal, Barbara. It was just too funny not to use and she’s a funny girl, especially around cocktail hour. I’m not sure exactly how much vodka she and I have consumed over the last 20 years, but certainly enough to be awarded Russian citizenship with full honors. “Nostrovya,” ya’ll!
When I moved up here to Yosemite 23 years ago, I fretted as to how to keep my friendships in L.A. thriving. For a long time, I’d find any excuse possible to get back there. I needed a haircut, shoes, movies, the theater, the Apple Pan, or just the smell of good, salty ocean air, (which I still long for every day I’m in the woods.) But mostly, because I was so bloody homesick for everyone who knew me, and because I had not yet reinvented myself into the mountain bitch I am today.
I’m not sure anymore who’s idea it was to start the Monday Night Martini, but Barbara and I agreed that Monday was good, because nothing was on TV anyway, and who doesn’t need a cocktail on Mondays, yes? Read more
Cathy Fischer wraps up this month’s friendship theme with an ode to the gay boyfriend
There’s no one like a gay boyfriend to tell you, you look divine (and he probably would use that word). Only a gay boyfriend could appreciate your shoes and hairstyle as much as your most stylish girlfriends do, and there’s no one like a gay boyfriend to behave perfectly on a date, to scope out the cute boys with you and for you, when not competing with you, of course.
I’ve had gay boyfriends as long as I could remember, having always been involved in dance and play production…you know, the arts. When I was a freshman in college, I was a bit naïve. I often had crushes on the gay boys. Practically the entire cast of Guys and Dolls, were boys’ boys. You know, the pretty ones, the ones with the wicked sense of humor, the great sense of style? It took me a little while to catch on, but once I did, I accepted my fate, and was transformed and transported to fag hag heaven. Read more
The strange behavior of some so-called “close friends” has Carine Fabius rethinking the concept.
A very close friend of mine vanished out of my life without so much as a goodbye. That experience forever seared its mark into my “open to all newcomers” disposition. Another intimate of mine decided after 15 years that she no longer wanted to be friends, but she refused to tell me why. She tried the silent treatment, but I kept hounding her until she finally sent me a cryptic email that said, “Give me some time to sort it out.” That was in 2002. I stopped waiting a long time ago.
A woman I was friends with went through a difficult time, economically, and no matter how much I helped (by referring business contacts her way) it was never enough, and she never stopped reminding me of it. I walked away from her, but I let her know why. Read more
Prudence Baird reflects on midlife connections in the age of social media.
I know why baby boomers are joining Facebook faster than Bernie Madoff’s victims are moving in with their adult children.
We’re not done yet. We’re not done dominating popular culture as defined by our presence in the media, including the “social media” like Facebook and MySpace.
We’re not done with—even though we’ve long exceeded—our 15 minutes of fame. Each. We’re not done prancing in the spotlight—even if for some of us, it’s our first time. Read more
Studies show that people with pals lead longer, healthier and happier lives. For our group post this month, we’re each sharing thoughts on friendship.
Melissa Howden reflects on the enduring impressions left by friends, real or otherwise.
Cindy Atkins had a long blond ponytail that swung from side to side. Invariably the bow in her hair matched her dress. At six, Cindy Atkins was my first real best friend. During the course of our friendship, which lasted until about third grade, I spent hours trying to coax my curly frizzy hair into a ponytail like Cindy’s. In the bathtub I would lay my head in the water and swish my head back and forth to get the feeling of a swinging ponytail. For a time, while my hair was wet, my ponytail would be smooth and organized like Cindy’s, but then one by one, a frizzy curl would pop out of my tight ponytail, all my effort defeated by nature. Be it for our friendship or her ponytail I have never forgotten Cindy Atkins. Read morekeep looking »