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What’s a Falsie?

Mere months ago, if someone had told me I’d be using the word “falsie” in a 16 second video viewed by thousands, I would have laughed.  And then I would have panicked.

When Hilary and I started working on this venture of sharing my diaries and tidbits of our lives, I knew I’d be stepping out of the proverbial comfort zone, perhaps to my peril.  Sometimes it has been a nerve-wracking enterprise, complete with angst and last minute edits. Still, this week when I stepped in front of the camera and pointed out the house where, in 1969, a “bad boy” hung my falsie on a hook, I saw it as an innocent example of relatable adolescent angst.

When I said “falsie,” not for a moment did I consider some followers would be bewildered by this term – or that they wouldn’t have a clue how to spell it. “What’s a faultsy mean?” asked one Tiktok viewer to which someone replied, “I think falsely, LOL.”  Another wanted to know what a “foxy” was. (Blame my Maine accent for that one.)  “What’s a fallsee?” asked a third, and still another questioned, “What’s a faltsy?”

I was wondering why someone didn’t just google it, but then I did just that and discovered that while you can find the old-fashioned definition I was going for, in today’s vernacular, “falsies” are more likely thought of as fake eyelashes.

For the record, falsies in my time were pads you could slip into your bra to, uh, enhance your natural beauty, or something like that.  And in 1969, like countless teenage girls, I wanted to look grown-up, so I spent a few dollars to fill out my brassiere.  What I didn’t say in the TikTok, or in the first episode of our podcast (“You forgot a Bra?”) was that I had sewn a set of falsies into the one bra I owned, but because I was hoping to attract the attention of the “bad boy,” that day I’d doubled down and slipped a free-floating extra falsie on each side.  Somehow and unbeknownst to me, one of those free floaters broke away like a little billowy UFO and in the dark, it drifted to the asphalt only to be discovered in the light of day.

To the TikTok viewer who inquired if karma ever caught up to the bad boy, I’d like to say that said boy apologized the next day, so no bad karma necessary.  Besides, I’m the one who probably deserved some kind of mystic retribution – I accused my eleven-year- old male cousin of snatching the falsie out of my suitcase and planting it in the road. 

On April 23, 1969, I memorialized my falsie tale in writing.  Since then, I’ve recounted it time and again, but now sharing it (and other stories) online even for a few seconds has become its own wacky yarn.  

“What the hell is going on in Maine?” asked one TikTok viewer.  Another person simply stated – as if it’s a well-known fact – that Maine is just like this, which is how Stephen King gets his inspiration.  I certainly don’t want to be responsible for some wacky Maine trope, nor can I see myself starring in one of King’s novels, but I have to admit I’ve encountered more than my share of eccentric people and situations. So when one TikTok follower noted to her friend “She’s unhinged like us,” I took her observation as a compliment.  

A rereading of my diary reminds me that my fade-away-falsie wasn’t my first undergarment debacle.  On August 27,1968, I wrote, “The boys were trying to decide who to throw in next and they decided on ME! I screamed loudly, but I still got thrown in.  My shell got wet and my falsies were showing…”  

Come to think of it, my TikTok commenters may have a point. Because if you mix in the above scene with some bad karma for the “bad boy” in my falsie tale, you’ve got yourself the perfect plot twist for “Carrie.”

Which reminds me: My parents were extras in “Thinner.” If you’ve listened to episode six of our podcast, you’ll recognize how perfectly titled this movie was for my mother. But that’s a story –  or maybe even a TikTok – for another day.

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