Article: Spotlight: Words: Red Hat Ladies

 
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Image Spotlight: Words
By Sharon Brown on September 9, 2012

How about a smile this week?

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Imagezuzu
Sep 10, 2012 12:57 AM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
I ran into a large group of Red Hat Ladies at a holiday brunch in a hotel several years ago and was struck by the differences in women's and men's attitudes toward them.

They were garishly dressed, of course, many of them sporting purple wigs and boas, and they were very loud. It was interesting to see all of the other women in the restaurant smiling happily when they caught sight of the ladies or heard them laugh uproariously, while all of the male patrons looked angry and disgusted.
ImageSharon
Sep 10, 2012 1:18 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Much as I hate to say it, I've never really been impressed when I run across them in public places. I'm sure it depends on the chapter, but around here it seems that they take that garish hat as permission to act childish, petulant, arrogant, rude and annoying, not necessarily in that order.

I thought I left all that public behavior behind when I retired from teaching high school juniors and seniors.

On the other hand, one of my best friends is so totally into her chapter she eats, lives and breathes it. And she is not either of those words I just mentioned in real life. She lives 400 miles away from me so I haven't seen how she is within her group.

I'm sure they aren't all annoying. Smiling
Imagezuzu
Sep 10, 2012 2:25 AM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
Well, there are allusions to rude behavior in the poem, and while I don't think anyone should "press alarm bells" or "pick the flowers in other people's gardens and learn to spit," I guess I'd rather see old ladies being rowdy than moping in a corner. Most of the old ladies I know spend their time moaning about their aches and pains and berating the "younger generation." I think it has something to do with life in the country. Old people in the city don't act "old." Smiling
Imagevic
Sep 10, 2012 4:20 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
If you have what you did for your mom Sharon, I would love to see a photo Lovey dubby

I've seen groups of the red hat ladies out too acting rather "weird". But I do like their attitudes and beliefs - sort of like dancing in the rain. I also agree with their philosophy in that we have to set an example for our children but sometimes, it's fun to just do silly things -as long as we don't offend others-

I've always been a bit of a non-conformist and pretty much taken the road less traveled. But I'm totally cool with traditional folks as well.

I've lived in the country most of my adult life and am so young at heart you would think I'm a 2 year old Big Grin
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Imagezuzu
Sep 10, 2012 7:47 AM CST
Name: Zuzu
Northern California
zone 9
Glad to hear it, Vic, but I suspect you're too young to qualify for a Red Hat. Maybe it's just my neighborhood. The women of my age here think going out to lunch is a frivolous and nearly wicked thing to do. Hilarious!
ImageSharon
Sep 10, 2012 8:29 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Their attitude is great; the premise behind the group is wonderful.

There is a high end consignment shop here that my friend owns and for years I've decorated the shop and done all her displays. Sometimes I cover for her when she has to be out of town or when she's ill and can't come in. My work is purely volunteer, but sometimes when a particularly lovely piece of furniture or decorative piece comes in, I get a rock bottom deal on it so it all works out well for me.

One day last summer the local group of RH Ladies came in following their monthly gathering and lunch at Cracker Barrel. We also have dress clothes and accessories in the shop. Vintage things, too, like jewelry. There were 14 of them, I counted, and all 14 must have tried on, carried around, picked up, adored, handled, took down, sat on, had their picture taken with, draped themselves in or otherwise handled 95% of the items in the 12 separate rooms at the shop.

Only one of the 14 made a purchase. She found a black and white flowered Big Buddha handbag for her granddaughter, still had the tags on it and marked down. She spent about $10 for it.

They had such a good time playing Dress-Up, they said, the had decided to come into the shop more often after their meetings.

Took me several days to redress the mannikins, redistribute the items into their proper places, make sure the tags were where they were supposed to be. I didn't grumble because the one who bought the handbag had told me she'd recently had her third heart surgery, was going to be 73 soon, and was afraid she wouldn't live long enough to make it to her granddaughter's 18th birthday in the winter. She wanted to go ahead and get the bag early.

I swear she had the most fun that day. She laughed and sang along with the rest of them, happy as could be.

It's a little like a masquerade. Maybe beneath the frivolity of gaudy hats and loud voices lies a reality that is terribly difficult to face sometimes. I admire their ability to do that and can laugh right along with them.

I don't usually get caught up in group activities, though, so I'm probably the odd one out. And Vic, I get along very well with children, too. Smiling

I'll find the picture, I hope I kept it, and will share when I do.
SunnyBorders
Sep 10, 2012 9:56 AM CST
Name: Charlie
Aurora, Ontario, Canada
Zone 5a
I love the poem, Sharon.
To me it's so positive: the freedom of older age.
Why should the young (whom I do strongly support) have all the fun!
ImageSharon
Sep 10, 2012 10:16 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
I love the poem too, Charlie.
Think it should apply to every oldster!

I never did learn how to spit, though.
Imagevic
Sep 10, 2012 10:33 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Zuzu - trust me - I'm so old I have one of those sun visor cap thingys that is purple with red hats on it Big Grin

I'm 62 Hurray!
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
ImageSharon
Sep 10, 2012 10:39 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Ha! My baby brother's age and he and I never went to school together.
Sooooooooo old.

But you are July and he is October. 1950 must have been a very good year. Smiling
Imagenap
Sep 10, 2012 10:40 AM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
I have never experienced Red Hat ladies. Have never seen one. Don't think I even heard of them. But I am not too crazy about what I saw on Google when I searched them.

The first thing I did was click on this site. See the 6th photo from the top. I do not like that.

So I clicked on the official Red Hat Society website and read about them. I think the concept of it is great, and that they can have a positive impact on women's lives. The definition of "fun" is different for each of us, so I guess I shouldn't judge the Society, just the behavior of the members of it.

But all that said, I think the poem is rather nice. My sister (who is now 72) sent that to me on one of my milestone birthdays. My sister is someone who might consider posing for that picture I linked to above.
Hilarious!
[Last edited Sep 10, 2012 10:41 AM CST]
Quote | Post #911214 (11)
ImageSharon
Sep 10, 2012 10:58 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
The society concept is great, Nancy, and you are right, we shouldn't judge it because of the behavior of some of its members.

Not too fond of that picture either, but I've seen some of the same in action around here.
Imagequilter5
Sep 13, 2012 6:24 AM CST
Name: Barb Jenkins
Hillsborough, NH
This was my tribute to the Red Hat Ladies after I had read the poem and before the organization was around my area. Thumb of 2012-09-13/quilter5/10f2fd
Imagenap
Sep 13, 2012 7:33 AM CST
Name: Nancy
Buffalo NY
!!! WOW !!!

That is beautiful, Barb!

What did you do with it?
Imagevic
Sep 13, 2012 8:30 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Oh Barb - I love it Hurray! Hurray!

Love those shades of purple Thumbs up
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
ImageSharon
Sep 13, 2012 10:30 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Great, Barb!! Did you do an entire quilt or is it just the one block?

Beautiful work!
ImageLarryR
Sep 13, 2012 12:07 PM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA
I agree Lovely, Barb!

Thumb of 2012-09-13/LarryR/b81b47
My RHL garden bed Big Grin

Good to hear from you, Nancy!
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
As a gardener: When planning for a year, I plant corn. When planning for decades, I plant trees. When planning for life, I train and educate people.


Website: https://cottageinthemeadow.plantfans.com/
ImageLarryR
Sep 13, 2012 12:13 PM CST
Name: Larry Rettig
South Amana, IA
When I am old I shall play: http://growingbolder.com/media/health/aging/never-leave-the-...
Cottage-in-the-Meadow Gardens: Come on in and take the tour! Check out the photos!
As a gardener: When planning for a year, I plant corn. When planning for decades, I plant trees. When planning for life, I train and educate people.


Website: https://cottageinthemeadow.plantfans.com/
ImageSharon
Sep 13, 2012 12:23 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Ha. Great tribute, Larry, your RHL garden.
ImageSharon
Sep 13, 2012 12:41 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Larry, that video is absolutely priceless. So much of it I do. I play jacks, I still do hopscotch. I even jump rope occasionally and I play marbles. But his attitude and all the little things he does is absolutely amazing. I can do this. I CAN!!

Thank you so much. For a minute there I thought it was you. You almost have a twin! Smiling

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