I've only just heard about an international group called the Red Hat Society. Where have I been? Under a rock perhaps?
They are a group of ladies dedicated to growing old disgracefully.
They were inspired by this poem:
Warning ~ By Jenny Joseph
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 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 practise a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
I had read this poem over at Kelly's place and thought it was spot on for almost all my female friends. Although after listening to Carolyn and Gabrielle talk about becoming invisible to shop assistants after "The Menopause" set in, I can totally understand why women over a certain age have a driving need to wear red and purple, so that the world is forced to take notice of them...and why after all the stuff they've lived through they delight in behaving badly.
That is the essential spark of the Red Hatters, to laugh and have fun once everything else is said and done. So they meet a couple of times a month or maybe more, to have fun with other women who are determined be remembered in their dotage as the mother, sister, aunt, grandmother and friend who wore purple and silly red hats!
Of course you need to be over 50 to be eligible to wear the purple and red, but fear not all those who are younger are still encouraged to join and become one of the memorable crowd...we can wear pink hats and lavender.
I intend to track down the Ballarat chapter and see if Maria might like to come along with me. She is most likely to continue to embarrass Trick, Raphy, Millie and myself until the she dies...she may as well do so in the right company!
I wonder why there isn't a brother society for all the silly goat fathers, brothers, uncles and grandfathers...I know of at least one that delights in going into toy stores and pressing every button that produces noise, and inflicting terrible "dad jokes" upon his offspring and their nippers. I think perhaps Mustard caps, and Orange shirts are in order?