I think I shall go and buy a red hat!
I went for lunch on Wednesday, with a group of ladies belonging to the Red Hat Society, who incidentally are in many places in the world. Probably many of you have heard of them, but for those of you who haven’t it is an organization started by a woman named Sue Ellen Cooper. She had purchased a fun red hat one day and shortly thereafter read a poem called ‘Warning’, written by Jenny Joseph who lives in England. I looked to see if she was still living and couldn’t see anything to indicate otherwise, so am assuming she is. It was/is a fun poem written when Jenny was 29 years old and thinking about the carefree days when she would get older and what she would like to do and mentioned the wearing of red hats and something purple. The organization started when Sue Ellen started giving red hats and a copy of the poem to her friends, and ultimately Sue Ellen and friends decided they should form a group
I’ll print the poem at the end of the post, but I just thought I’d say that I think that I want to join this group, because it seems exactly what some of us perhaps need in out ‘more senior’ years. They are mainly ladies over 50, but if someone younger wants to join they may but must wear different colors until they turn 50. The actual colors worn are red and purple, two colors that really don’t compliment each other or the wearer really and the author Jenny admittedly doesn’t like the color purple.
As far as I know the only agenda these women have, is to have fun doing what they want and their meetings are done at various places. Wednesday, we went to a fashion show at a shop that sold clothing, costume jewelry and many other items, AND had tea and sandwiches and dessert squares and tarts…. not coffee you understand but ‘tea’. The next meeting is at a Bistro with quaint shops nearby to visit. Laughter is the main goal, and fun and fellowship.
I think I shall go and buy a ‘red hat’! Here is her poem, written in 1961 when she was 29 years old.
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens . . .
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.