Have you ever seen a group of women all wearing red hats, and flamboyantly dressed in purple? These older ladies can be seen lunching and laughing, and generally whooping it up all around town. Some of them even wear feather boas… Truth be told, my mother is one of them and, on a recent visit home, I crashed the party. But I did not wear the requisite purple, nor the red hat. According to Red Hat Society lore, someone my age wears lavender and pink instead.
The Red Hat Society was founded quite by accident by a woman who bought a stylish red hat for herself, then started giving them as gifts to her friends. The purple attire came about as an homage to the poem that begins, “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple…” Now, there are a bazillion chapters all over the country.
On the first Wednesday of every month, when my mother and her friends get together adorned in their whimsical outfits, they remain mindful that everyone is not as carefree and blessed as they are. That’s why they never fail to pass around an envelope for their donation to a food pantry.
I was expecting lunch to be a quiet affair in a subdued café. Instead, it was a raucous celebration in a sports bar with Bon Jovi and Led Zep piped through the loud speakers. The ladies talked about hair and makeup, current events, and their families, just like my friends do when we get together. And I nearly forgot how much older they were until the talk turned from gardening, to their former careers, and to their numerous doctor appointments. Save for the arthritis, they were mostly just like their younger counterparts.
So thank you Red Hatters for welcoming me into your circle, and for offering me a window into what lies ahead. It promises to be fun and fabulous!