While some may choose to don an old-fashioned red hat, a new group of women that identifies with sunsets, seashells and cold cervezas on a picturesque beach would rather celebrate turning 50 with blue thongs - those that are on their feet, that is.

About a year and a half ago, Jackie Tushinsky and some of her friends were out for dinner celebrating a girl friend's 50th birthday. The birthday girl was getting gifts like red hats and purple dresses - Red Hat Society gifts. The women laughed at the idea of wearing the red hat garb. Then one noticed that the birthday girl was wearing a red thong bathing suit.

Days after the birthday party, the red thong topic kept coming up. Through the chuckles, the women realized a bathing suit thong looks similar to a thong on one's feet. They also realized they weren't frumpy, old ladies, rather they were vintage beach girls still active with surfing and swimming at the beach. Instead of embracing getting older, they were women who good-naturedly clinged to youthful exuberance.

And so the "Blue Thong Society" was born.

According to Tushinsky, who lives in the San Diego area, the Blue Thong Society is walking into new areas, including the Victor Valley. Last Wednesday, a new chapter got together at the Helendale home of Karen Shaw.

Chapters have sprung up in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Canada and even Ajijic, Mexico.

For more information, log onto www.bluethongsociety.com.