I am endlessly fascinated by what people decide to post on Facebook, and even more enthralled why. One woman reports about her plane being delayed out of Chicago and another tells us where she dined that evening and what she consumed. We even get to see a photo of her, her husband and a couple of unsmiling relatives seated in front of their half-eaten dinners.
Babies and grandbabies are popular subjects.
Cats and dogs are insanely popular.
Homemade cupcakes and other assorted snacks rank right up there.
Self-congratulatory posts abound. Patting oneself on the back for everything from attending a conference to speaking at one, and from exercising to eating healthily. Someone even congratulated herself for blow-drying her hair straight, for the first time after four years. Another showed off her pregnant belly as if she were the first woman ever to give birth. And yay for the woman who told us that she was able to send something from her mobile device to be printed by her office printer. Now that was a bit of utterly fascinating information!
Kids’ sports achievements get their share of attention.
And who can ignore the stupefying number of vacation posts and photos from around the world?
One young woman I know, a graduate of an Ivy League university, astonishingly posts non-stop drivel about her life on Facebook, including the garbage she discovered on the floor of her car (left by one of her kids). She used to be interesting.
I know. I know. I don’t have to read all this stuff, but I can’t help myself. It’s riveting to learn what goes through our minds. We used to keep most of it to ourselves. Now that we have the means to let it all out, there’s no holding us back.
P.S. Just saw a post of a dog wearing purple sunglasses.
I think I speak for most mothers when I say I cannot imagine how I’d live through the unimaginable pain of losing one of my children. It is a mother’s worst fear and it lives inside of you every moment, even when your child is grown up and on his own.
FOF Linda Hill’s heart broke nine years ago, when her son, Josh, was killed in a car accident, days after graduating from Yale University. “My heart is still broken and always will be,” Linda wrote to me recently. A center on the Yale basketball team, Josh was able to attend the prestigious Ivy League school thanks to “good financial aid,” Linda said, but she delivered 650 newspapers every night to help pay for things the aid didn’t cover.
“Everyone loved my son. He had a knowledge and kindness far beyond his years. He would not allow anyone to be bullied. He had a sense of humor that made everyone flock to him,” Linda wrote.
Barbara, President George Bush’s daughter, was Josh’s classmate and friend at Yale. And her father, a Yale alumnus, became one of Josh’s biggest fans. Josh and the President met for the first time in the workout room in The White House. “It was just the two of them,” Linda recalls. I had begged Josh to get a haircut before he went there, but he said to me, ‘It’s just someone’s parent’ and ignored my suggestion.
When the two of them were exercising, President Bush looked at Josh and said, ‘What’s up with the haircut?’ Without missing a beat, Josh answered, ‘What’s up with that Sammy Sosa trade?’ (If you’re a baseball fan, you’ll know what that meant. If you’re not, it doesn’t matter a bit.)
Barbara sent Linda a letter recalling that Laura Bush was worried about which bed to give Josh that weekend, because he was so tall. “He wound up sleeping in the [you guessed it!] Lincoln Bedroom,” Linda told us.
“President Bush loved Josh because he teased him mercilessly,” Linda says. “At Barbara’s graduation party, four days before my son died, he and President Bush kept going after each other. The President had fallen off his bike the day before, so Josh said to him. ‘Thank god for bike helmets because the last thing this country needs is you with more brain damage.’ George Bush laughed his head off. The last thing he said to my son that day was, ‘I’d better see you in Crawford this summer.’ He called me the day after Josh died and told me he and Laura didn’t sleep at all. He was crying on the phone.
“My son was my best friend in the world,” Linda said. “Both his Yale coach and his high school coach said at his funeral that they had never seen a closer mother-son relationship. And all of his friends who spoke said he told everyone I was his best friend. I miss him so much. I feel so sorry for myself sometimes but I try not to and not to feel bitter.”
Linda ran a group for parents who lost children for seven years, “but couldn’t take the pain anymore,” so she quit. She generously offered to help anyone on FabOverFifty who is going through similar circumstances. You can email her at email@example.com
Today, I bring you a guest post from fellow boomer blogger and brilliant sports marketing executive, Brandon Steiner, on the 10 things he wishes he knew when he was 30.
I wrote my own list for Brandon’s blog, which I’ve previewed below Brandon’s list. (You can see my full list on his blog.) It’s interesting to see where we think alike.
Chances are the men in your life know Brandon. He’s the founder and CEO of Steiner Sports Marketing, the largest holder of autographed memorabilia in the world, and marketing representative to big-name athletes, including Derek Jeter, Peyton and Eli Manning, and Mariano Rivera.
Brandon grew up in Brooklyn and graduated from Syracuse University. He lives in Scarsdale.
MY RETROSPECTIVE WISH LIST, BY BRANDON STEINER, 54
1. I would have learned more about how my body works—and treated it a lot better. I would have eaten smarter. Growing up, I wish I had listened to the older kid in my neighborhood who snacked on carrots and celery when I was eating all that candy and cake!
2. I would have gotten a lot more sleep.
3. I would have gone home for dinner more when my kids were real young—or at least left work a little earlier, some nights.
4. I would have learned how to play a musical instrument and, hopefully, played in a band. (Having hobbies is really important as you grow older.)
5. I would have visited my mom more, taken her out to dinner more, etc.
6. I would have learned to dress better, much sooner. (How you look really matters sometimes and there were many occasions when I didn’t look my best.)
7. I would have continued taking classes after college. By taking one class a semester during the last 25 years, I could have earned a second degree and been a lot more knowledgeable on many more subjects.
8. I would have taken more vacations in my thirties. I was so driven to build my company that some years I barely took any time off at all. Very foolish.
9. I would have continued cooking and baking, instead of stopping when I was 22. My family has never really seen that creative side of me.
10. I would have learned the financial side of business better so that I could have understood the benefits of borrowing money and using loans to build your business. The lack of cash flow in the early days put a tremendous amount of pressure on me and probably held back some company growth.
MY RETROSPECTIVE WISH LIST, BY GERI BRIN, 66
1. Angry people are unhappy people. Trying to assuage or please them won’t lessen their anger. It’ll only increase yours. Steer clear of them whenever possible.
2. Lying in the sun for hours, with baby oil (mixed with iodine) slatered all over your body, could lead to incurable—and fatal—skin cancer.
3. Your family is your biggest advocate.
Please visit Brandon’s Blog for the rest of Geri’s List
What’s on YOUR retrospective wish list?
I am baffled when I see FOFs who are beautifully dressed, down to the smallest detail, and perfectly made up and coiffed, but their hair is woefully thin. Thin, as in, their scalps are showing. What makes a woman, who obviously spends time and money on her appearance, look past her thinning hair? Do her husband, kids and best friends ever hint that they can see her scalp? And why doesn’t her hairdresser point it out? He’ll color and cut her hair, collect his fee, tell her she looks “mah-velous, darling” and send her on her merry way. Is he afraid to mention the thinness for fear he’ll offend her?
Perhaps I’m being shallow, but I think thinning hair looks worse than a shaved head on a woman, especially when the balding spot is close to the front of her head. When I noticed the hint of scalp peeking through my retreating tresses, about two years ago, I couldn’t get to LeMetric fast enough. I had seen its no-nonsense ads for its “hair systems” for years. It was time to act.
Fast forward to today. I have been wearing a LeMetric “piece” since then (see my photo on the header of this blog) and consider it as much my own hair as the thinning hair it covers. Made of real, quality hair, it’s actually stitched to my real hair and I wash and style it just as I would my true tresses (such as they are.) But the best thing of all is that I hardly have “bad-hair days” anymore. My LeMetric piece doesn’t frizz, so even when it rains, it looks pretty good. Frankly, I don’t care if the whole world knows I’m wearing a hairpiece (or had liposuction to reduce my jowls.) My hair looks good, which makes my face look better since the hair frames the face. Put an unattractive frame on a great photo and the photo doesn’t look quite as lovely.
Elline Surianello, founder of LeMetric hair salon
FOF Elline Surianello, the founder of LeMetric, has become a dear friend. We are forever working together on ways to communicate to other FOFs how a full head of hair will change their looks completely. And I mean completely. There isn’t a single woman who doesn’t look fantastic with a fuller head of hair.
Of course, not every one of us loses her hair to the same degree. Some FOFs might need just a little extra hair at the crown or in the back. Others might need more coverage at the front hairline. Others might just want to add volume and height throughout.
Collectively, women spend billions of dollars on color, cuts, shampoos, conditioners, and a gazillion other treatments that straighten, curl, shine, add volume, bounce and lift to our hair every single year. When we asked FOFans on Facebook how much they spend annually on their hair, many said between $1,000 and $2,000.
Considering all the attention—and money—we give to our hair, I propose everyone take the following steps:
1. Answer this question: Do you want your hair to look the best it can?
2. If the answer to question 1 is yes, take a critical look at your hair in the mirror and honestly answer these questions:
A. Does your hair look sparse, especially in the front?
B. Can you clearly see parts of your scalp peeking through?
C. Are you finding more hair in the sink or shower after you wash it?
D. Are you finding more hair in your brush after you brush it?
E. When you run your fingers through your hair, does it feel like you don’t have much volume?
3. If you’ve answered yes to A or B, and yes to C, D or E, chances are you could use a hairpiece.
If you’re still with me at this point, take a look at this short video and listen to what my friend Elline has to say about hair loss. I don’t know anyone who knows more about hair than she does. Elline creates pieces for every need, and she’s designed small pieces that can be strategically clipped into the hair in seconds and are priced extremely well.