Cindy Joseph is one of our favorite experts. Known for her successful career as a 60-something model, she is a woman who embraces natural beauty, gray hair, and entrepreneurship. She is also the founder of the skin care and cosmetics line called BOOM! by Cindy Joseph. Her products are great for any age but we know that they’re especially appreciated by Baby Boomers.
We’re fascinated by what she told us about her recent wedding. We talked about her experience with finding love and saying “I DO!” after 60. Not only was she a beautiful bride, but her outlook on love and marriage at this stage of life was wonderfully refreshing.
Cindy and her husband, Bruce, have known each other for a little over seven years. At a wedding, one of the guests was their mutual friend, Bill, who has successfully paired eleven couples together. When they were introduced, Cindy had been single for a few years and thought a little romance in her life would be fun. She wasn’t quite ready for a long-term relationship so she said to Bill, “Can I put in an order? I’m looking for a summer romance.” (We love the cheeky attitude – cheerful and enticing). Despite her request for a casual setup, Bill believed she wanted more and he told Bruce about her. But it wasn’t until a year later that they formally met. “We were exchanging glances the whole time, like teenagers in a high school classroom,” Cindy says.
Fast-forward five years, and the topic of marriage began to arise. According to Cindy, it was nothing that she felt the need to rush into. Having already been married once before “for practical reasons”, she said “I had a positive image of marriage, but I was a rebel and an independent thinker, and I kind of thought that marriage was a farce. I’m such a classic California flower child.” It was Bruce whom she credits with making her see that marriage is about being a team. When they began talking about tying the knot, Bruce said, “Absolutely – I feel like I’m already married to you.”
One day, Cindy and a girlfriend were at a jewelry store, where she spotted an engagement ring that she loved, and casually took a picture of it to show Bruce. The actual engagement didn’t happen until a year and a half later on Cindy’s birthday in January. The couple woke up and she realized that Bruce was acting strange, keeping his hands in his pockets and acting nervous. She explains, “I got out of bed and said, ‘Well why don’t you give me my present?” He looked at me, dropped to his knee and said, ‘I want to give you the rest of my life.” He had a black box with a ring in it.” Cindy jokes, “I couldn’t even see it. I had to get my glasses.” But it was the exact ring she had picked out.
When we asked her how she went about planning her wedding, she replied, “We knew we wanted it be modest, intimate, and we wanted to do it at home. We wanted it to be just about us, without the pomp and circumstance – not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
The wedding was scheduled for the summer of 2011, but things weren’t going completely according to plan. Cindy felt stressed with her many different schedules and her company, BOOM!, was just taking off. All of that was taking a lot of the “fun factor” out of their wedding. “This is supposed to be for enjoyment,” she said. Since she and Bruce felt no pressure to get married and no pressure to have children – as most younger couples do – they decided to postpone their nuptials.
This past summer, Cindy and Bruce decided to take a course called “Saying Yes to Pleasure” at Lafayette Morehouse in Lafayette California. During their five-week stay, they met with other couples and took away a wealth of knowledge about relationships. “I understand that it will take a lifetime to get to know somebody,” says Cindy. “We learn to become uninterested in our partners when we get to know their habits and hear the same jokes over and over. But if you pay attention, you can always learn something new.” They were married six days after they returned from the seminar.
The wedding was just as they had originally wanted. Bruce wore a brown suit, and Cindy wore a beautiful strapless crepe number that she said “felt like a nightgown.” “The only thing we spent money on was the caterers, because we wanted to treat our guests and family well,” she explains. There were 40 people, and many family members were involved. “My daughter sang in the wedding, my son gave the first toast, and Bruce’s kids handed us the rings.” The ceremony took place in their home.
Even though Cindy didn’t focus on the traditional aspects of a wedding like a bridal party, or even a bridal bouquet, it organically evolved into a much more traditional wedding than she planned. “All of the things that people do traditionally naturally happened, because they’re logical. It makes sense to have a second pair of eyes. It makes sense to have someone helping you with your dress.” Plus, her daughter insisted that her mother hold a bridal bouquet. “Actually, I would have felt really weird walking down the stairs not holding something,” says Cindy. After the wedding, the couple opted to stay home rather than setting off on an elaborate honeymoon. Before the wedding, they had already been to Italy, Yellowstone, and then California for seven weeks during the summer. “We just wanted to stay home and savor everything.”
So how is Cindy enjoying life as a married woman? “I’m loving it,” she says. “It definitely feels different. If feels more serious. It feels like we are down for the count – not that we didn’t feel that way before, but there’s something about making a public statement… The tribe now knows and heard us say what we want. It takes a village, so if we get into a rough spot, we know that they will help remind us.” Her “tribe”, of course, refers to their closest friends and family – one of the couple’s greatest priorities. “When you’re over 60, you’re at a point where it’s… ‘Been there, done that.’ Your goals have shifted. You’ve survived, you know a thing or two. You’ve kind of got your life figured out. You focus on what’s pleasurable and what feels good; and when I say ‘pleasurable’, I don’t mean ‘fun’ – I mean ‘right’.” She also continues, “Once you’ve been in relationships and choose to be in an intimate, committed relationship after 50 or 60, you really know what it means. It’s not a frivolous thing. It’s not just romance. It’s more like, you know who you are and you know what you want.”
Asking her what it was that she looked for in a man, she told us that someone’s attractiveness has nothing to do with his physical appearance. Surprisingly, it’s not necessarily one’s personality that she cares about, either. “I don’t pay so much attention to personality. I do pay attention to character,” she explains. “How does this person feel about death? How do they treat the unfortunate? How do they function through life? How do they deal when the chips are down? Character is so much more important than personality.” She also advocates being as natural as possible, rather than using several layers of makeup to attract a partner. “Be honest from the get-go. You want them to love you until you’re shriveled up and rickety. Don’t rely on the spanx, don’t put on the bra that makes your breasts young and perky. Don’t be fake. Make them fall in love with the real you.”
Even though Cindy has the unique perspective of finding love and getting married later in life, she has some poignant advice for all ages. “What is attractive really has to do with how happy you are,” she says. “It’s not the size of your derriere, the shape of your nose, the color of the outfit you have on. If you’re going through life with happiness and joy when you’re single, then you can do it with a partner.”
“A partner is an add-on to a completely fulfilled life. I didn’t marry Bruce to feel complete – I was complete and whole and happy and dancing through life, and I thought that he would be a fun guy to share it with.”