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Miles Apart

auntietkOnline Now
Member Since Jan 3, 2007
2688 Images, Last upload Feb 17, 2015

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"When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat ..."

... and that's as far as they got.

Today I saw
A hundred women
Dressed in purple
With red hats

To the nines
Filling the hotel lobby
With stylish confidence

"I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit"

All of them in red and purple
And a certain income bracket

The Red Hat Society publication says
"As is our usual dress code -
Wear colors with PRIDE!"

Dress code?
I do not believe
These women
Are spitting
Stealing flowers

They are having a pajama breakfast
And they're going shopping
"It's time to take our love of shopping
To a whole new Red Hat level!"

The women I saw
Were socially conscious
And appear not to have
Finished reading the poem

"We can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat ...
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes"

Those stylish ladies
Of a certain age
Did not inspire me to think
Of independence
Self awareness
Caution to the winds
But of debutantes
To a current trend

"But now we must
Pay our rent and not swear in the street
We must have friends to dinner and read the paper"

I do not mean to tar
All Red Hatters
With the same
Sequined purple brush
And there's nothing wrong
With having fun

But it seems to me
If you take a poem
Name your society
Based on its message
You might want
To know
What it says

I leave it to you
To decide
What you think
Of poetry
And women in red hats
With purple trim
That matches their outfit
Who would be horrified
If told they must
Act out
The entire poem of which
They have so fully embraced
A line and a half

Lines in italics are from the famous poem by Jenny Joseph, which I hope you will read in its entirety. I can't quote the whole thing here due to copyright constraints. Read the poem WARNING by Jenny Joseph

Lines in this typeface are from the Red Hat Society's official website, and refer to their annual Bash, which is being held in New Orleans in August.

Everything else is my own writing.

Thumb done in ArtRage and CS3.

You can see a larger version of the photograph in my gallery HERE

September 13, 2010
118.3 kB

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Canon PowerShot SX20 IS
Shutter Speed
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F Number
Focal Length
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Image Comments

Sep 13, 2010 10:09:34 pm
They missed the boat for sure. Not one of them looks like they're having any fun at all---somebody forgot the rules!! Great shot, and a wonderful perspective!!

by beachzz Homepage »

Sep 13, 2010 10:39:35 pm
I've heard of this organization before but knew nothing of it. It has been fun researching the Red Hats with you! They certainly aren't living the life style of Jenny Joseph's old girl:) Great bit of writing...sets up the situation without coming across as judgemental...quite a feat!

by bmac62 Homepage »

Sep 13, 2010 11:22:26 pm
I've read the poem and these ladies are NOT living up to the standards of the poem.
Great observation

by Faemike55 Homepage »

Sep 14, 2010 1:18:18 am
The foibles of society - remove any common cause and something else will take its place - like wearing a ... whatever!
Great collage of the wearers,

by cfulton Online Now!   Homepage »

Sep 14, 2010 1:50:53 am
HA! What a strange "Game". Really Odd ideas to Have parties of special outfit. :)
ANd they all look so serious :) I thought they should have fun. But it was also interesting reading Tara :)

by helanker Online Now!   Homepage »

Sep 14, 2010 2:02:16 am
Only once did I participate in wearing a common color. A homophobic fellow I once worked with made a snide comment about/to another guy in the office who was wearing something pink (I cannot even remember what it was). So, all the men in the office wore something pink the next day. The homophobic fellow was visible uncomfortable all day, and a good time was had by almost all! Love your comments—they are spot on!

by whaleman Homepage »

Sep 14, 2010 3:22:05 am
Poor darlings!
Why have they waited till now, I wonder. I love your poem!

by durleybeachbum Homepage »

Sep 14, 2010 6:59:18 am
Lovely poem and captures. :)

by DAVER2112 Homepage »

Sep 14, 2010 9:21:38 pm
I love that poem, and I often wonder if it's the inspiration for Gogol Bordello's Start Wearing Purple. Eugene Hutsz is a smarty, you know (and he's cute too!) It's funny, I first read that poem in 1987 during my freshman year at Columbia College and it's one of my favorite poems...but I do wonder why these women look so serious! Shouldn't they be spitting or something? I'll be not a single one of them farted either! WOW! I love the writing here, the way everything is so interwoven...text is a true art-form you know, and you've done a brilliant job here.

by Chipka Homepage »

Sep 15, 2010 12:10:16 pm
Wonderful writing, Tara! You have many talents, I see! I'm heading over to look at the larger photo, too!

by RodS Homepage »

Sep 21, 2010 7:00:28 pm
Miles Apart. I wear pipe-burned shorts and tattered T -shirts. I too am a social comment worthy of no note. Fabulous fable!

by jo_dis Homepage »


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