The Red Hat Society

lady in a red hatThey sat in an alcove in a local restaurant, resplendent in red hats and purple dresses. I knew right away this was chapter of The Red Hat Society.

The four of us -- female almost-retired teachers all -- took the bold step of approaching and asking questions. The laughter and obvious fun the local chapter was having provoked this page.

So much of the news for retiring women is not good.

Just as pay for women continues to lag behind pay for men, retirement income for women falls short all too often.

Of course I want women to be aware of the options available to make retirement as comfortable as possible.

But women being what we are, we can have a good time in the company of other women without breaking the bank. That's what The Red Hat Society is all about.

Inspired by the poem, Warning, by Jenny Joseph, The Red Hat Society gives women an excuse to get together for a bit of fun. The society was conceived in a thrift store where the originator bought a red had on a whim.

Women form local chapters. Chapter members meet in their regalia -- red hats and purple dresses -- for tea or lunch. . .

. . .and fun in the company of other women.

Of course you don't have be retired to join The Red Hat Society. You don't even have to be over 50, the age required to wear the official garb of red hat and purple dress. Women under 50 wear pink hats and lavender dresses.

Audrey has teaI don't have a red hat yet. (I get dreadful hat head.) But I've got purple clothes that would do splendidly. And I certainly know how to "do" tea! My neighbors give broad hints about being invited into my back garden for tea in the summer and I'm happy to accommodate them all.

The chapter we saw yesterday is not taking new members, but the four of us decided that when we can take the time, we'll start our own chapter, maybe one for former teachers.

One thing I didn't know until I visited The Red Hat Society Web site is that there is the opportunity for members to participate in special discounts, too.

Fun and a way to save money. Does it get any better than this?

The Red Hat Society is a gold inspected4u choice.

Update: March 29, 2007

Well, I obviously got the hat. Yes, that's me at that top of the page, peeking over my glasses at you.

Retirement planning for women