Laverne's View / Lifestyle & Retirement

Laverne's View: Let It All Hang Out

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My friend Sue was in her mid fifties when she decided she wanted to be an exotic dancer. I did my best to talk her out of it, but she had friends who danced – all younger than she – and they were making great money, so she thought she could, also. Her goal was to work until she saved enough to open a specialty bakery. Then she would quit.

Sue had an excellent body for a woman her age. She was raking in upward to $250 a night, but she wasn't content. Other dancers, most of whom were named Barbie, made double that amount. Sue was convinced it was because the Barbies were better endowed, and in the business of selling fantasies to men, size definitely mattered. Men's tips grew in direct proportion to the size of the breasts they ogled. Whether they were the real deal or surgically enhanced made no difference.

Sue took her bakery shop  savings and made an appointment to have her girls enlarged. To assure that she would pull in big bucks she said, “Heck, I might as well make this surgery worth it. Let's super size these cupcakes, Doc. How about building me a set of 46DDs ?”

Until then I never knew a woman could hold up that kind of weight without crumbling to her knees.

We made plans to meet for lunch a few weeks later. I was already seated when Sue's enhanced appendages rounded the corner and entered the room a full minute before the rest of her. When I finally saw her face she was beaming.

“Well? What do you think?” she asked, flaunting them in my face. “And if you think they look great now,” she continued, “you should see them when I lie down. They stand right up perky as all get-out, which does make sleeping on my stomach somewhat challenging, but you'll never hear me complain. I'm pulling in close to $500 a night.”

I gave that some thought. “There's something unnatural about that, don’t you think?” I asked. “When I lie on my back and watch TV from bed, my girls accommodate me by flattening like deflated tires, and hanging out in my armpits. By the way, since your feet always travel in the shadow of those mountains, don’t they get cold?”

A month later Sue and I took a vacation to France. The resort we stayed at had a topless beach. Not one to be mistaken for bashful, Sue ripped off her bikini top and set those babies free. Within seconds half the men on the beach were focused on her 46DDs.

“What the hell are they staring at?” Sue grizzled.

“You didn't expect to unleash those puppies and have them go unnoticed, did you?”

“All I know is when they were smaller men never paid this kind of attention to me. Now, suddenly they're interested.”

“You are kidding, right? Isn't this what you wanted? Could it be they’re staring now because you didn't look like this before? Or, maybe it's all innocent and they're taking bets on whether you can walk without tipping over onto your nose.

“Not funny.”

Times certainly have changed. When I married the first time, I was barely twenty-one years old, with a shapely figure. On our honeymoon I wore a demure, fitted, red wool dress with a sweetheart neckline that revealed less than one half inch of cleavage. The first gift my husband ever bought me was from the little shop in the Catskill resort where we stayed. It was a small heart-shaped gold and pearl brooch intended to cover my barely existent cleavage. Apparently he was afraid someone might mistake me for a woman.

Today’s moral standards are the antithesis of those pounded into my head in the 1940s. Back then I was taught what good girls did and didn’t do, and that having a good reputation was critical, because it would arrive at any given place before I did, and was something by which I would be judged.

I’m not thrilled with the huge swing the pendulum has taken in the sexual revolution. What I am is conflicted. Sometimes I think about how much fun it might have been to wear a scanty bikini back when I had a great figure to flaunt, instead of those industrial strength one piece suits that were carefully designed to reveal little more than neck and knees.

I hope I’m around when the pendulum finally comes to rest.
Editor's Note: Laverne H. Bardy is a syndicated humor columnist. Visit her at She's the author of “How The (Bleep) Did I Get This Old?” Her articles appear regularly on She blogs for the and is also a columnist for,, and Copyright, Laverne H. Bardy, published with permission.  

Laverne H. Bardy’s humor column, Laverne’s View, has been syndicated with Senior News Wire Services since 2004, and is read in newspapers throughout the United States, Canada and India. She wrote for 50 Plus Monthly, a regional New Jersey newspaper, where loyal readers laughed at her humor from 1999 to 2009. Currently she blogs for Huffington Post’s “Fifty” section, and writes for us here at, as well as and

Laverne began her writing career in the mid 1970’s, when she was asked to write and edit Hotline, the Parent/Teacher newsletter at the school her children attended, in Livingston, New Jersey. During that same period she wrote one play, collaborated in writing another, and worked with the Livingston school system’s psychologist to write a series of Behavioral Modification skits that were presented to parents and teachers of the student body.

Laverne wrote human interest stories for West Essex Tribune and The Newark Star Ledger for a stretch then went on to join the staff of Northern Horizon’s newspaper.

Some publications Laverne’s work has appeared in are Reader’s Digest, Mature Living, Montage Magazine, Northern Horizons,Woman’s Hockey, Big Apple Parents’ Paper, The Daily Record newspaper and New Jersey Jewish News. Anthologies include Chocolate for a Woman’s Courage, Rocking Chair Reader, Bedpan Banter, Story House, and Craft of the Modern Writer. She is currently working on a book, How the (Bleep) Did I Get This Old?, a compilation of her columns, life stories and ramblings. Laverne was interviewed by Bottom Line Retirement, twice.

When she is not writing Laverne gives talks and humorous readings in coffee shops, libraries, and for various organizations and workshops. Some of her topics include: Growing up in the Fifties, How to Get More Humor in your Life, and The Joys of Aging. Talks about the joys of aging don’t usually last more than thirty seconds.

Laverne was nominated for publication in the 2006 edition of Marquis Who’s Who of American Women.

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