The Red Hat Society is a global society that “connects, supports and encourages women in their pursuit of fun, friendship, freedom, fulfillment, and fitness”. Founded in 1997 in California, the group was originally restricted to women over the age of fifty, but now welcomes members of all ages.
Distinguished by the bright red hats and purple clothes that members wear to meetings and events, the Red Hat Society has become an international society “dedicated to reshaping the way women are viewed in today’s culture.”
Speaking as a man (oops, first mistake), I think the Red Hat Society is a brilliant idea with a marvellous attitude to life. Let’s go girls!
Over many years, I have heard women of all ages saying that when they get older they will not care about what others think of them, or care what they look like, or care about what they say and feel. I like that.
Unfortunately, women (yes and us guys as well) are too often fixed into our own mindset, or lifestyle, or ways of doing things, that we just cannot seem to loosen the bonds of the way we really are. Sure, we can say we will change in later years but we rarely do. We might think we do, but honestly we don’t.
Then along comes people like the defiant Red Hat Society ladies and they show us that wearing a red hat (when a blue hat, or even no hat, would be a more expected choice), is absolutely allowable in our older society. Fresh air.
What difference does it make if those who don’t understand sneer at you or whisper about you..? Absolutely none; in fact, the ladies in question are more than likely having the last laugh, because they have learned what the youngsters have not.
The freedom to say what we want and act like we want and wear what we choose is a Rite of Olderhood – we might have trouble touching our toes but we don’t have to ask permission to try. There is no guardian of best practice for us Oldsters.
I once knew a woman who was rather unconventional . She lived in a small cottage on the waterfront and lived almost like a hermit. She was very nice, but just strange. I met her a few times and actually rather enjoyed her zaniness. Yet, I, like others, labeled her as an eccentric old lady. We didn’t really pay much attention to her ways.
Her nephew and his wife visited her once and I was invited to meet them. A normal, ordinary couple who lived in Liverpool, England. We got on very well.
Then one evening the niece asked me what I thought of her aunt. I told her what I thought. Not critical as such, just a little bit offbeat. I said that I had this vision of her as an old woman with the strangest tastes.
The niece said, “Yes, that’s what everyone thinks. The truth is that she is a genuine European Princess, with truckloads of money, who just decided to step out of normal society and could easily afford it,”
Wow, did that re-shape my vision, and I immediately understood why she would wear a red hat on a scorching hot summer’s day:
“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat that doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.”
© Bill Storie, Bermuda. 2013.
For more information regarding how to join, or even start a chapter of your own please click here: http://redhatsociety.com