I LOVE MEN! NO, REALLY…

•July 15, 2014 • Leave a Comment

As long as I can remember, I have been surrounded by men.

Growing up, I spent my weekends fishing or riding dirt bikes with my Dad and my brother. Every Summer at camp, I would hang out on the steps of the boys’ bunks each afternoon because my closest allies were there, not on the girls’ hill.

1044446_10151616093506746_1363279487_n

Later, in college, I would find myself surrounded by the brothers of the fraternity where I was a little sister. They were my partners in crime (some literally) and my adventure mates. I was their ear, and everybody’s “sister.” Not so sure I always loved that last part, but that’s another blog post entirely.

Post college, this trend of men in my life finally hit me, when I found myself in the Bahamas with 12 men as part of a bachelor party (and no, I was not the “entertainment”).

It wasn’t that I didn’t have girl friends, but my confidants and most of my adventures – always dudes. I am not entirely positive as to why. I never actually thought about it until my dear friend Sara, recently asked me. Best guess, without paying a therapist, in my younger years I was way more comfortable in my own skin around people that also wore no makeup and had no boobs. :) Very. Late. Bloomer.

So clearly, I love men. Really.

Fast forward to the second incarnation of my adult life and opening my lingerie boutique in Boulder, Colorado. It was a labor of love, to pay tribute to the incredible strong and independent women that paved the way out West, long before my kids and I moved across the country and made Boulder home.

It was also very much my intention to shake things up and make men feel comfortable in this traditionally frilly land of uneasiness, not only by making it fun to come in and hang out a while, but ultimately, taking the fear out of all the little, sexy, silky things surrounding them. Did I mention little? Every detail of the physical store – down to the cowhides, barware gift-wrap and saddle – was intended to welcome men to the pseudo-Bourbon bar.

What I learned during the seven year life of The T*Bar, is that I not only love men… Apparently, I sorta speak dude.

10269584_10151974424786746_6483279987952037659_n

TheTBar.com was born of my melting pot of circumstances. I have a unique perspective: a lifetime of being a guy’s girl, years of successfully pulling the right information out of men when attempting to buy lingerie, realizing where the disconnect is and actually being a woman who understands sizing and what women actually wish to sport around in. Not to mention my insane obsession with lingerie. A superfecta!

After years of observing the challenges of men just wanting to do something nice (and hot) for the women in their lives – buying lingerie – it occurred to me that there was a way to ease the angst and help men do this in a painless way beyond the physical store. TheTBar.com actually helps men get it right. While doing this in store was a T*Bar no brainer, providing men the ability to get the same result, from the privacy of their home or office, enables even the most timid to join the ranks of the lingerie heroes! After all, we believe it should be equally as fun to shop for lingerie, as it is to take off. You heard me, fun!

Like the lovechild of Bettie Page and Paul Newman, The T*Bar empowers men, and the women they love, to embrace and own their sexuality in a playful, powerful and inspired way, with no apologies.

Simply put, The T*Bar is the conduit between men’s fantasies and women’s desires. Everybody wins!

 

xo-Debby

PS-Stay tuned for the new site/blog unveiling soon :) For now, visit us at http://www.thetbar.com

Remembering

•April 2, 2010 • 3 Comments

I have been thinking about my Nana a lot this week. It started when I came home and my house smelled of the Passover smells that I remembered from her apartment building when I was a child. I had been cooking the food for our Sedar and went out to run an errand. When I returned home, I got out of my car in the garage and was overpowered by the smells and flood of memories. The next day I couldn’t stop thinking of her. I kept wondering what she might say to me if she were still alive. I have had a lot of questions for her lately. So many choices and challenges, and no Nana to talk to. When she died, I was not long out of college and hadn’t really embarked on the road that brought me here, nor had I faced more than one or two real challenges at that point in my life. My Nana was something. She was very intelligent. She never went to a University, but she read incessantly and loved her crosswords. She was very opinionated, yet diplomatic. She could cook wonderfully, and she was a stunner. I remember she had silver white hair. She looked like she was made for that hair color, though, obviously wasn’t born that way. She was glamorous, from my point of view. She also loved my Pop Pop until the day she died, ten years after he had passed away. She lit up when talking about him. I distinctly remember staying with them overnight, and my brother and I laughing, because my Pop Pop would chase her around the apartment grabbing her and making her giggle. After all those years, they were giddy like teenagers, when they’d flirt. Of course, as a child, you think, “oh god, here they go again! It’s so embarrassing.” I look back, and have for years, with the most amazing fondness of that memory and many more. My favorite one, was how they’d tease each other and we’d all tease them, “that it would never last”, speaking of their marriage, always knowing how incredibly in love they actually were. I think they had an incredibly healthy view of sex and were not ashamed that we knew they still “did it” :)

I know that she was the female influence in my life for many things. Even things I am sure my parents probably think they somehow were responsible for, I feel she may have really been the influence behind. My being Bat Mitzvahed, the first girl in our family to do so, going to college, following my passions rather than being boxed into some predetermined role, our shared love of art and the desire to see the entire world. All of these things were our private conversations. She was someone who made me contemplate things, and made it clear that women should have their own opinion and be able to back it up. She assured me that I was filled with gifts and talents far beyond anything I could see then. I believed her and know that when things have been tough in the past, it was those conversations that gave me the strength to keep trying. When I was in college and my parents split up, my mom went AWOL, so to speak, disappearing from my life for about three months. I am not sure where or why, but Nana was on the phone encouraging me to stay focused on school and my life, not my parents’.

I wrote a quick note to my Dad yesterday. I told him of my smell induced memories and that I thought she’d be proud of the Sedar I made. I told him of how I hadn’t been able to stop thinking of her, especially yesterday (March 31). He replied that she was always proud of everything about me, and that it happened to be the anniversary of her death yesterday, and maybe that was why I felt her, especially then. I had no idea it was that date. Nineteen years have passed since she died. Almost as much time has gone since she died, as I had with her in my life. I laugh sometimes to myself wondering what she’d think of my store, and I know with utter certainty, she’d grin, ear to ear loving it and me.

Spring Cleaning

•March 13, 2010 • 4 Comments

As I was doing Spring-cleaning in my house, I found myself needing to clear out my mind, as well.  The store has been closed for a while now, and with that, initially, I was busy around the clock preparing for the next phase, a new, greater, properly funded e-commerce site. About three weeks ago, I came to a grinding halt. Both, the momentum and excitement ceased to exist. Fear not, it is back with a vengeance, but it forced a look inside me, and not just my cluttered abode.

There was so much more riding on the outcome of this venture than could be seen from the outside. Even the most astute observer, who certainly realizes the importance of someone’s livelihood, to anyone, could not possibly realize all that was tied to this venture for me, and my family.

So many things had brought us to this place. While cleaning in my home, I came across a small wooden box, which looks like a small treasure chest. It was in plain view, yet I had all but forgotten it existed. Inside were several journals written by me. I knew what was in them, yet they seemed so unfamiliar. I began reading them. I didn’t read them all. I couldn’t. They were sad and scared and filled with loads of pain. They were written over the course of two to three years while living in Miami and while going through the process of moving to Boulder and trying to heal the open wounds I landed here with. My children are now old enough that we talk about why I left and how incredibly difficult that decision was, but in that time frame, it felt life saving, and probably, in reality, was. My daughter is a young woman now and believes there is a story in those journals that should be written. I am not a writer, so I am not sure if it will happen. Without going too far astray, the story in those journals is about rebirth. Moving on from a painful battle with PTSD, which cost me my husband and separated a family. Maybe I will write about it someday, with the help of Casey, the actual writer in this family. More immediately, though, I am writing about what came out of that time period in my life. Part of that rebirth, was moving to Boulder, and opening The T-Bar. I knew when I left Miami that this life is short and precious and should not be wasted. I picked Boulder because I always loved it and it was a safe place for me and to raise children. I did not pick Boulder knowing I’d end up moving here without my husband. Fast forward beyond that part, I am now living here with them for over nine years. This is our home and this is our community. We love it here.

When I look back on those journals, I remember the person who showed up here one day, absolutely terrified and shell shocked for so many reasons. She didn’t resemble any part of the person I knew in younger years, nor the person I am today. The T-Bar was opened as a tribute to the strong women of spirit that settled this area, but also, and I never said this publicly before, as a tribute to all the women of courage that have had giant obstacles or odds to overcome, and did so with grace, quiet strength and sheer will. I had hoped that I would ultimately be included on that list, in my own rite. That was the final piece of The T-Bar’s conceptual history.

So, in my house I sat cleaning out clutter, reclaiming a peaceful home, and while doing so the clutter that had built up in my mind the last few months. When asked why I put a hold on my decision regarding mastectomy ( http://thetbar.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/reconciling-choices/ ), I answered, because I am trying to save my business and that is of equal importance to me as my health. Many think that is crazy, but I spent over five years developing this concept, building relationships and really believing in the idea that the outcome would be bright, empowering (forgive the overused term, but it applies) and a legacy to my kids that was a tangible reminder of everything I raised them on.  Life is short. Live passionately and do what you love. Never give up without trying every last thing. Do your best and you can be proud. I had to do this now, or after surgery, if I ended up going that way, there would be nothing to go back to. I also knew that my decision to put off any immediate action with my health wasn’t scary to me. I had lived scary before and that was all through the stories in those journals. I knew what I was capable of enduring.

After months of trying to raise interest in my concept and raise the money to take it online in an effective and properly funded way, I am not there yet. I continue to try, but it just may not happen. The physical store needs the aid of this online presence to thrive therefore it will no longer exist if the fundraising efforts are fruitless. The clutter in my mind that needed clearing was that voice that felt intense fear and failure. I had to remind myself, that being an entrepreneur is risky, and failure happens. A dear friend, and someone whose opinion carried a lot of weight with me, had told me a while ago, that I shouldn’t feel a sense of failure if the business had to close. That the courage to take the risk, the creativity of creating the concept and the whole hearted attempt to make it work, should be remembered with pride, and not the feeling of failure, if it didn’t work. I spent the next 20 months after that conversation trying absolutely everything and giving my best to this business I love and trying to help it endure the economic times.

During the time the store has been closed to the public, I have had a different work schedule. I am working at home on the e-commerce plan and therefore I have had more time for some things that recently had been less frequent. I have cooked a lot more meals. I have had more time to go to the climbing gym and be showed up by my son, Bailey. I have been able to pick my kids up at school instead of their riding the bus. It has been wonderful. Right down to being able to hear my son say thank you for dinner every time I cook for him. Amazing, really. I am not a stay at home Mom, though. I did that when they were younger. I am ready to continue these things, but with my store and website re-open so that the picture is complete.

As I said before, there was so much more riding on the outcome of this project. Everything I came here to find, achieve and give to my family was tied to this.  In the Spring-cleaning process, I came to accept that maybe finding the journals now was a reminder of how far I had come and to clear out the sense of failure regardless of the final outcome. Practically speaking, it was a time to clear the clutter as well. We may need to move depending on how this chapter turns out and are prepared to do so with heads held high.  So back to the process of trying to raise money and maybe, just maybe there is a new project in those journals for the future.

Looking Forward to 2010 and Beyond!

•January 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Dear T-Bar friends, fans, followers, and loyal customers

2010 is bringing exciting changes for The T-Bar. We are moving forward with a combined store and an online strategy!
In order to achieve a successful combined vision, we will temporarily suspend normal retail hours. During this transition, we will gladly open by appointment for a private shopping experience.

Stay tuned for an even more exciting T-Bar in the near future.

To schedule an appointment please contact us at 303-444-5453 or info@thetbar.com
Follow us on twitter @TheTBar or our facebook fan page “The T*Bar Boulder”

Thank you for your continued support!
The T-Bar Boulder

Reconciling Choices

•October 5, 2009 • 7 Comments

app_full_proxy

This is a follow-up to My latest obsession and why I do what I do! posted December 2,2008

I haven’t written in a while. It has been a very long year for me both personally and professionally. I have been sort of in survival mode just to get through each week and somehow blogging just didn’t seem like the priority. After months of more surgeries and more biopsies, I had found myself in a situation that was more complex than I ever expected. In the midst of a failing economy and business struggling to survive it, I found myself having a total of four surgeries last year and then in April was told there were more things growing that needed biopsies. Each time my doctor seemed surprised that they were back already and each time the pathology was slightly further down the food chain. Still, I wasn’t told I had Breast Cancer, just that it would likely have become that if not removed. I had ten biopsies and currently several growths not yet dealt with. This is where I think confusion as a patient comes in. The gray area is how it was referred to. You are hearing you don’t have cancer–YET. Then, these are not normal changes. All the while, being given information as though you do, in fact, have the disease already. It was at this point in time that I was given the information about how I was at high risk for full blown breast cancer  and what that meant in terms of potential ways of dealing with it. The next few months became a fact finding, second opinion, confusing abyss for me. I spent hours googling language from the pathology reports trying to understand everything that had been presented to me. What was apocrine metaplasia, cell alteration which shows cytologic atypia, mitotic figures, columnar cell alterations or ductal hyperplasia?  The words that stood out were abnormal cells, atypia, microcalcifications repeatedly. At the beginning of Summer, I consciously decided to put it all on hold until after Labor Day and my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. So here we are. Labor Day a month behind us and my decision still not in stone.

The choices:

Neither one felt right. I am not currently sick. I am not fighting for my life. I am at extremely high risk for that in the future. Still, I am having a hard time reconciling the treatment options. So the choices are at this point, going on Tamoxifen for five years with residual benefit for an additional  two to three years or a double prophylactic mastectomy.  Tamoxifen supposedly reduces risk by up to 50 %. When I heard this option, initially, I was sure I would decide in this direction.  Frankly, it sounded awesome because it meant no surgery. It sounded practical because it was chemotherapy, but in a pill form, which was neat and convenient. Except, it is not either of these things to me, now that I have thought about it. It meant I would need to take chemicals everyday for the next five years with the potential side effects including hot flashes, nausea, fatigue, mood swings, depression, headaches, hair thinning, dry skin, constipation and loss of libido. Hmm, I could live with the dry skin, I thought, I live in Colorado, so it sorta comes with that anyway. The rest, not so much. These were the more mild, more common side effects mentioned. The more serious ones include increased risk of Uteran cancer, which I am already at high risk for. Suddenly, I realized I was not real excited about this option. Of course, I also wondered what happens after the five years and residual two to three after taking it. So onto choice two. Bilateral mastectomy with bilateral tissue expanders and dermal graft and reconstruction. Yep, that was the official name. I know because I had to get it right to see if my insurance would cover any of it. Supposedly a 98-99% reduction in future risk. There are so many reasons why this was absolutely the most horrible thing I had heard. For starters, I had not really understood what a mastectomy really was. Really. When I saw photographs of the actual procedure I was to consider, I went completely numb. I had no idea how completely brutal it would look. I was told I was too thin to consider using fat from the abdomen or rear end in the reconstruction process, which I believe helps the implants look more natural, like breast tissue. So the next series of photos was showing how they use expanders to slowly stretch the skin out to accomodate implants. Every two weeks for several months, until they would be able to switch the spreaders for implants in my current size, they would add air to expand my skin. At that point another surgery to receive implants and then two subsequent procedures to get nipples fashioned from tissue and then a nipple tattoo. Holy shit. I had no idea.

With all of this to consider, I happily went off into Summer and back into denial that this was actually my life. I wasn’t sick!

So, here we are. I am certain that if I had been told I had already progressed to cancer that I would have made the decision already. The lumps that are currently inside of me are growing and I really will not know what they are comprised of until they come out. Somehow, I was paralyzed by the fact that nobody could tell me how long until it would be cancer. If I knew it was within the five years that they said was possible, I’d do it. If it were twenty, maybe not. It was at this point, about a week ago, I realized I needed to let go of the idea that I would ever have those kind of answers. Ridiculous. If doctors knew that much about this disease and who gets it and all the whys, there wouldn’t be the one in eight statistic of women getting this disease. With that, I realized that while emotionally hard for me, I was lucky because I am not currently sick and have every reason to believe I will remain that way if I did this.

Then there are my children. Of course I want to be here for them, but when I think about my thirteen year old daughter, I think about what I would say to her. She is at very high risk, not only because of my history, but her paternal grandmother’s a breast cancer survivor, and we are of Ashkenazic Jewish decent. She is going to have to be diligent and if she were faced with the same decision, I am certain I would say to her, yes, don’t be afraid. You are beautiful regardless. You will be loved regardless. You are still your amazing self.

So, a few days ago, as I was telling someone new in my life and that I care for, about the last nearly two years of my life. I was terrified to share all of this. I was afraid it would change how they saw me. I didn’t need to be. The response was “you shouldn’t be afraid to tell me. It is real life.” In that very second, I realized maybe I was having trouble listening to my own advice. It is real life and I was fortunate to find the first,  and every subsequent lump, early and before it was too late.  I will still be all of the things that make me, me. It is time to make the decision.

DSC00779_2

Casey at her Bat Mitzvah

Casey at her Bat Mitzvah

Are you a Vixen? What is your lingerie personality?

•April 20, 2009 • 11 Comments

Lavit

Let’s face it. How we dress can affect how we are viewed and how we present ourselves to the world. I am always droning on about my belief that it all starts with how we feel about ourselves, followed by what we choose to put on underneath the shell. This led me to thinking about one of my favorite blogs http://www.knickersblog.com and their lingerie personality quiz http://www.knickersblog.com/quiz Just as we have different personalities outwardly, we have different lingerie personalities. We express ourselves, like art, using these details to convey something, whether or not someone else has the pleasure of actually seeing the knickers or not!

We want you to take their quiz! Figure it out! THEN…..write in and tell us what your lingerie personality is AND visit http://www.thetbar.com and tell us what you’d pick to express that personality. One lucky winner will receive a $25 gift card to apply toward their lingerie personality selection!

The Frisky

•April 3, 2009 • 3 Comments

T*Bar Underoos today’s Frisky crave!! Yee haw!
http://www.thefrisky.com/ click to win underoos and T*Bar Stingers tee

tbar_underoos_c

Or Buy it now at http://www.thetbar.com

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.