It struck me as funny when I saw one of the gals at my dentist, Dr. Paul Berger’s office, walking around with a handful of teeth. I meant to get her name and didn’t, but she smiled and let me take her picture.
Then one of the dental techs stepped into the room, and clowned around as well. This was my first visit to Dr. Berger, so his staff members are still strangers to me, and obviously fun to be around. The proof is in the pictures. These two beautiful women with a sense of humor made getting a filling a lot less stressful.
It was late in the day, and with mouth still slightly swollen, I dashed home, changed and headed for a party at the Murphys Hotel for the Calaveras Arts Council. I walked in and there were the Red Hats enjoying a party of their own at the bar.
My good friend, Joellyn Gano was the first person I saw, outfitted in her gorgeous red hat and purple dress.
Several years ago, I expected when I had “time”, as though I could simply catch some, I would join the Red Hats because they have a lot of fun. I can always sit home and quilt when I’m old, which somehow is ten or more years beyond my curent age.
I know nothing about the Red Hats organization, but I do know what inspired it, the poem: When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple.
I expect everyone has heard of, or read the poem, but just on the off chance, I copied it from the poem’s author’s book by the same name. She is 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.