Warning by Jenny Joseph

My mother and grand-mother (same side) are both members of a not-so-secret society known as the Red Hat Society (aka Red-Hatters) It’s basically a social group of women (55+ years old) that get together and plan events, trips, parties, etc. As is their custom, they typically dress up in red hats and purple dresses. On these occasions, they can be seen gallivanting around town, packed into large, four-door cars, acting like pre-teens out on a slumber party, minus the jammies (that is, dressed up in nice outfits of purple with red hats). They have become quite a niche market too. From pens, to pins, to fridge magnets to handbags and jewelry – there isn’t a knick-knack or accessory that hasn’t been “themed” for these ladies. Did I mention it’s ladies only? Well it is. They have a men’s group that compliments them and Jr. clubs for ladies under 55 yrs old, too. This is all because of the following 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 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.

Have you seen these ladies? Do you know any? Would you join?

One thought on “Warning by Jenny Joseph

  1. Yes, I saw a group of Red Hatters yesterday at dinner. these women were having a great time laughing and taking pictures of each other. What a great group of women. My friend who was with me (she is 52) thought trhey were silly looking, but she is having many negitive feelings about everything. by the way I am 51 and love it.

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