Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hell with it, I'm in

Last summer, at an outdoor concert, a gaggle of purple-clad (and more than slightly tipsy) older women sitting near descended upon me to chatter and oooh and ahh over my chihuahua, LilBit. They were flamboyant and uninhibited, dancing with abandon, and with each other and with men that were DECADES younger than they were. I chuckled to myself, recognizing this troupe as part of the Red Hat Society. One of the women there enthusiastically approached me about joining (you have to be 50 to be a Red Hat . . . thanks alot, Drunk Lady), but then she saw the horror on my face and assured me that she knew I wasn't 50 (nice save, Sousearella) and that I would be a "junior member" and therefore, a Pink Hat.

I swore to myself that the day I became an ANYTHING hat was the day that I resigned myself to wearing polyester mumus and carrying vodka in a Pepto Bismol bottle in my purse. I would have hit full Elizabeth Taylor mode. Hell, I've already got the pocket dog and gaudy jewelry.

Yesterday, I received a "special invitation" from the "Queen" of the North Georgia Red Hat Society via MySpace, again, asking for my participation.

It seems to be a fate that awaits me. Still reluctant and bitter, I visited the site and read this:


When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple
with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am 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 pickles for a week
and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts 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.

That sounds reasonable, I guess. Now I just gotta find a pink hat for me (and a really tiny one for LilBit.)

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