ANYhoo, the bagel shop closed, and a chicken restaurant opened in that location. We were underwhelmed, and didn't go. Evidently we weren't the only ones, because eventually it closed too. Driving by today, I saw a sign for the new cafe there, and we gave it a try.
I'm happy enough; we could use a new breakfast place, the menu and prices were fine and the people seem nice. Peanut was bummed that they didn't have crayons. She has a point, as it's easy enough to keep plastic cups of crayons to keep kids busy drawing on their paper place mats before their meals come. Maybe they'll come around to that. Then again, maybe other kids draw on the tables instead, which might discourage me from giving them crayons, if I were in the restaurant business. Anyway, I usually have crayons in the car for this kind of thing, so now we know this is one place to bring them in. In the meantime Peanut carefully constructed and dismantled a tower of coffee creamers, then sorted all the rectangles of jelly into piles according to color and restacked them in their little caddy. Then, from our window booth overlooking the lovely parking lot, we counted cars of different colors.
We became very interested in the diners across the room: a dozen or so old ladies, all in kooky red hats. The hats were everything from patent leather baseball caps to giant felt affairs with satin ribbon and purple feathers. The ladies seemed to be enjoying themselves very much. When some of them stopped near our table to put on their coats and gloves on their way out, I sort of asked them what's the deal. "We are very curious about your beautiful red hats!" I said. Turns out, they are a chapter of the Red Hat Society -- haven't I heard of it? They're older ladies who put on crazy red hats and get together doing whatever any of them wants to do. "See what you have to look forward to!" they told me ("...as soon as you can ditch junior" they left unspoken).
My favorite bit from their website:
"The spirit of the Red Hat Society forbids rules, per se. There are, however, some common-sense guidelines that we must insist upon:Well yes. Common-sense guidelines. Of course.
- You must be a woman of 50 or over (or you may be a Pink Hatter under 50), and you must attend functions in full regalia, (red hat, purple outfit for women 50 and over, or pink hat and lavender outfit for women under 50)."
I'll be eligible in less than 10 years, folks. Given how hard it is to find a hat that both fits and flatters, I don't think it's too soon to start shopping for a red one.