Friendship! Friendship! It's the perfect blend -ship!
Outside of my family and Soft-Coated Wheaton Terrier, Orchid, nothing makes me feel warmer and fuzzier than my girlfriends! Yesterday was no exception as five of us lunched, as we do twice weekly, outdoors at the Luxe Bar Restaurant in Chicago.
Our conversation over lunch last Monday was about bunions, bras and breast lifts! Oh! I almost forgot...Donald Trump, too!
The real value of this story is the importance of having girlfriends to laugh, share, learn, help and gossip with on all things good, small or naughty. Girlfriends are the frosting on our cake. They can be our support beams 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 cardiac 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 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?"
"Marilyn was in her forties and I don't know about Penelope," said Carol.
When I got home I emailed Penelope, traveling in and around Croatia! "How old were you when you had bunion surgery? Can you wear high heels comfortably?" Within five minutes I heard back from my close girlfriend. "I was fifty-eight and I can wear most heels. Do you have to have surgery?" From Chicago to Croatia my girlfriend took her time to answer my question. She was there for me.
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 lamented.
"Ok, don't listen to me but I think you will be sorry."
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.
So for you darlings, who I know and do not know that have 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 water melons. 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. 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 beautiful, summer day was mixed with laughter and group therapy.
Darlings, I want to share our group 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!'
We went on to discuss Donald Trump. All of us were dismayed by Hillary Clinton's lack of transparency, etc. My dear girlfriend, Ruthie, stayed at the White House during the Clinton presidency and all of us drool over that fact. Overall, our group believes in the social issues but none of us feel entitlements should be handed out to those capable of caring for themselves. Two of us lean left and three lean to the right. We don't argue over our political differences. We discuss and try to sway.
Lunching twice 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.
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 pen an email to 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.
The phone today is so 1990 because of the Internet. But it has its fabulous place. 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 Orchid. 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?
LUNCH WITH THE GIRLS
On Monday and Fridays as I have mentioned, I 'lunch with the girls.' We meet every week at Gibson's Restaurant or the LuxBar, both in Chicago, for lunch and cards. I have been so busy of late that I have told them I can only lunch. I feel badly when I am not with them because it is my loss.
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.
Darlings! I don't know most of you but I am enjoying sharing my story and passing on information that you might need. That is what friends are for, in good times and bad times. I know we wear a lot of hats, darlings...don't forget to wear the most important one - your girlfriend hat!
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