Society of women too old (over 50) to contribute to the gene pool who've decided to take the poem "Warning" by Jenny Joseph to heart ("When I am an old woman, I will wear purple, with a red hat that doesn't go.."...she was all of 31 when she wrote it) by wearing red hats and purple dresses as a sign of being happily irresponsible after a long life of shouldering responsibility as mothers, wage-earners, and community leaders.

They go to tea and cocktails, and engage in the kind of healthy female bonding promoted by Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. This may be all well and good, for them I guess, but even as I reach the magic age, I feel a few qualms. For one thing, most Red Hatters have found a way to make the red-and-purple thing "go", mostly by choosing red with purple undertones and purple with red undertones. Second, it trivializes the name of one of the most divine authors I know, Lady Murasaki Shikibu, or Woman, Clan Purple, and the color most identified with enlightenment and the Spirit. Idiosyncratic, I know, but true. Also, although I enjoy the idea of being old and wise, being old and "professionally" childish (as opposed to maintaining at least the memory of innocence) simply sounds like the classic 20th century idea of being a teenager long after you're old enough to vote and pay taxes.