For My Friend Judith~

For My Friend Judith  ~

Warning – When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

 By Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple

with a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

 And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

 and satin candles, and say we’ve no money for butter.

 I shall sit down on the pavement when I am 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 pickles for a week

 and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts 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.



The Red Hat Society

The Red Hat Society began as a result of a few women deciding to greet middle age with verve, humor, and elan. We believe silliness is the comedy relief of life, and, since we are all in it together, we might as well join red-gloved hands and go for the gusto together. Underneath the frivolity, we share a bond of affection, forged by common life experiences and a genuine enthusiasm for wherever life takes us next.

 Women of a certain age wearing red hats and purple outfits! Could world domination be far behind?!


23 thoughts on “For My Friend Judith~

  1. Hey there…I’ve seen you around so many places, I thought I’d drop in and say hi! I found the above poem and showed it to my mother 30 yrs. ago, when she was 35 and I was 12. She adopted it as her own, and I thought she’d be delighted to learn that there were others who loved it as well…but she’s always been the one who stops liking something if it gets “popular”. Meh. But never mind her, I’m so glad y’all are having so much fun and playing around…just wish people would do it earlier, and not wait so long! I’ve been playing and being myself for most of my life…and wearing purkle and red too! My current colors are hot-pink and black, to match my little pink-leopard spot ears that I wear everywhere (and my little purse, and the shoelaces on my (fake) black Converse, and fingerless gloves, and yeah. I don’t know how to take a “style” to extremes, not at all! 😉 ) I think it comes from being a child of the 80’s. I caught Cyndi Lauper disease. 😉

    Anyway, hope to be back often, and I’ll see you soon!

    KC & Co.

    • You sound too wise to be a child of the 8o’s. 60’s maybe but not 8-‘s. This must mean you are an old soul. I love it.
      I also am quite emamored with your own self of style. My attitude is if it does not please me than just who am trying to please, and why?

      I love the thought of your pink leopard spot ears. Photo Photo! And your entiire style. You sound like my kind of girl and like my granddaughter who I call my “little Bohemian “. She just as independant and takes after this child of the 60’s, her Nana. That would be me.

      I look for ward KC to us becoming fast friends.I do hope you keep coming back, and I’ll be checking your blog out next.
      Thanks sweetie!

      • Just for you, I’m gonna put my best pic so far up on my blog…for everyone to see…*shudders*

        Also, I ❤ the 60's, 50's 40's…all the way back to the 20's. And technically I was born in 69 (The month after the Moon Landing!), so my mom says I'm a child of the 70's…but my loves and attitudes and musical tastes and such? Totally 80's.

        On the other hand, my insatiable eclectic-ism comes straight from my mom. I've learned more and absorbed more through her books (yay readers digest condensed books, shakespeare, roald dahl, Suzuki Bean, O'henry, Mark Twain, japanese myths, greek and roman myths, brothers grimm, hans christian anderson, ray bradbury…etc.) her music (Ian & Sylvia, Kingston Trio, Buffy St. Marie, Joan Baez, Momma's and Poppa's, Peter Paul and Mary, Beatles, Loving Spoonfuls,and most of the musicals to hit Broadway up to Cats (including Hair…whee!), than any school could ever teach me. Plus loads more that I'm not remembering right now…if it was folk or 50's – 60's – 70's rock, she had/has it.

        Also being years in advance of most "appropriate" reading for my age group, from pre-school, and seeking out and finding books to support my habit. Like finding the used textbook room at my elementary school, behind the stage in the gym where we went to church on Sundays…I spent many-many hours in that room, reading book excerpts from 5 or 6 yrs. worth of reading textbooks.

        And yeah, me and Cyn had a guilty love affair during the 80's and still now. I say guilty because I grew up in hick country. If it wasn't country or screaming hair rock, it was "gay" or "girlie", neither of which I minded, but I didn't want them to know that. My crippling social insecurities procluded that. *shrugs*

        So there you have it…the recipe that made the original dough that has baked and hardened into the creature of today. *hugs* I'm -very- glad to hear from you, and hope to be visiting you a lot! As for pics, I wanna see your "little bohemian" please!

        KC & Co.

        • I said my granddaughter? It sjould have been my daughter as my oldest daughter was born in 73, and our baby in 76. I had you so much younger for some reason, not one i even know now.

          I’m looking forward to that pic. I’ll look when I split from here. Your mom and I no doubt would become fast friends, I read llike her. listen to the same music. My girls could name a Moody Blues or Fleetwood Mac tune in 1 to 3 nots by the time they could talk. I kid you not.

          Peter, Paul & Mary still very much part of our family and extended family. In fact I have a surprise for you. Go here and have a peek…..

          • Eeee! Lucky wench! *fan girls all over you* Paul (Noel) was my baby…he was such an awesome comedian…but Peter was so dignified and quiet, I liked him too. Mary was cool, but without the trio, she wasn’t my favorite. *shrugs* Mama Cass was my role model, btw. Love me some Cass. But back to you, you lucky wench you! I’d imagine you can still feel the kiss whenever you look at the pics. I know I would. I can’t believe you had the courage to do that! I bet he loved it! *g*

            He has passed his talent down to his kids, from what I can see. Both Bethany and Chris are awesome musicians. Listening to my collection of PPM mp3’s from my moms full collection of albums, btw. And it’s all your fault! *laughs*

            That is totally awesome, and I love it, and I love you for sharing! Would you believe I’ve been to -one- concert in my whole life, and that was by accident?

            I was doing my bi-weekly treat to myself, as I was making $25 a week welfare at the time…every other week I’d go to the mall that had a $1 store and a bookstore, and get my necessities at the $1 store, and then buy one paperback book, and a quarter pound of sesame sticks and a soda. I’d take them upstairs, to the balcony that overlooked the big back patio bordered by the river and sit at a table and read my whole book and eat my treat as slowly as I could. When I finished my book, I finally looked around, and wondered where/why all the people had come from…then I looked down toward the patio, and saw a crowd, and a stage set up…and then a cheer, as Martina McBride walked out. I had the best seat in the house…and got to hear the premiere performance of “Independence Day”…by accident. *laughs*

            As for my mom…maybe, maybe not. She’s a hoarder…thus the complete collections…but after all these years, she’s collected enough…stuff…that it’s overwhelming, and lots of it is not even stuff, but trash. For instance, every sauce/straw/napkin/plastic spoon etc. must be saved…every grocery bag must be saved and folded into a specific knot, and put into yet another bag for storage…we used to (before I pitched a fit after a bit of fork was spit out of the disposal and barely missed my eye) wash every plastic utensil and save them…there’s so much mail/catalogs/magazines, etc on her bed that my dad has to sleep on the couch, and she curls up on one little space in one corner. *sighs* The worst part is the reason for the collecting/hoarding…it’s simply because she wants to. In my pseudo-psychiatric opinion, she’s narcissistic to an extreme, and doesn’t even know it. My whole life, her stuff was her stuff, and woe betide the child that touched -her- stuff. Like her giant garbage bag of legos…*rolls eyes*

            And that doesn’t even consider the fact of her terrorizing all 6 of us…but especially me, as the oldest. Her favorite question was “What are you doing?” If I answered something like “Reading…” she’d ask “Why aren’t you doing something?” So I got really good at reading very fast, in between chores, hidden in a closet, in the bathroom (the creative ways I hid the books still tickle me) and etc. And she still wonders why I “ran away” every two years from 5 yrs. old to 19, when I “ran away” out of state. Bleh. And yet, for all of that, she’s one of my best friends…difficult, but still my friend. I love her…just not as a mom. *shrugs*

            And wow…I apologize for the length of this ramble…if you want to delete it, you have my permission. *hugs*
            KC & Co.

          • I could never delete such sharing sweetie. You are a cherished peach and I hope your mom knows how blessed she is.

            As I first began to read, My mom’s a hoarder I started to smile that knowing smile, my girls and grand kids would say the same about me…. but as I read further I realized you are serious. NOT exaggerating. Honey I’m sorry that you have had to deal with this. O wonder of you could put your finger on something from her childhood.

            I don’t hoard and stash things like that, but I am awful about art supplies, books, greeting cards given to me, any gift for that matter whether I like it, it fits, or what, I never can get rid of things. When we moved a year ago after being in our prior home just 7 yrs it took me 3 months to purge my art room. (she shrugs)
            I know mine comes from never having anything as a kid, coming home from school one day when I was nine seeing a county sheriff and a moving van moving out our entire household of furniture. Apparently when my dad spilt he also stopped paying the car payment which had the household furnishing been put up as collateral Something that today cannot be done by loan institutes.

            I wonder what happened in your mom’s life that traumatized her so.

            Yeah you && would have a blast. Listening PP& M, The Mamma’s & Pappa’s I adore. Monday Monday.. gosh take me back.


  2. Pingback: Mad Hatters Party with the Red Hat Society and Cardboard Ruthie « Cee's Life Photography Blog

  3. Me, one more time. I had a tea party to attend this morning, and pretty much ignored my email. I’m sorry to have missed this earlier today. Our tea party was great, and Mom and I went to a new grocery store – I just got home, and I was reading comments to me before looking at posts. Thank you for reminding me. Lots of love, Judith

  4. My dear friend, Toni,

    I am touched and honored that you would dedicate this post to me — I am wearing purple today, and a pinky red because I’m about to turn 52. You are a vibrant, energetic woman, and you have helped to make my life so much better. Thanks so very much. You know I love you, Judith

    • This was so important to me that I not only share this poem but do so in your honor. I think it’s a great tool to use to help give ours selves permission to play. To just Be “Me”

      You are giving me way too much credit Love, you are doing so much good and meaningful work it’s hard not to part of your cheering team. You inspire me to do my best each day to live my finest, I think about you in my morning because I always save a new post from you to read. Even if a post happens to be a bit down it’s helpful and meaningful to me since it causes me to reflect and examine.
      Thank you for your loving friendship Judith, I’m blown away by how much caring for someone I’ve not met can happen. It’s amazing!

    • Purple seems to look awesome on all of us. I have several red hats -wish I was giving you your first, My tip is look in vintage and antique shops, and don’t get tied to a color. Almost anything can be re-painted red. You are the master of color and paints!

You are most welcome to share your thoughts, comments, and/or complaints here. Know though complaints are only handled on the 2nd Tuesday of the week.~ The Management

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