Welcome to my world: Celebrating Women

Although I have a husband to discuss things with, I feel it’s important to get together with women friends on a regular basis. I think “me time” is good for all women, no matter what age. Women just seem to understand each other.

I was fortunate enough to have five older sisters, who celebrated each birthday together for some 40 years, before they died.

After moving to Allentown 10 years ago, my friend and classmate, Joyce, invited me to join her Wednesday breakfast group of 5 (now 8). All of us have commented on how much our weekly chats helped us in some way.

And then there’s my 20-some Red Hat Dutchie group who meet once a month. We not only have lunch together, but on occasion we’ll have someone speak on a subject such as quilting, we go on bus trips, and we attend plays.

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Sister’s Day — In browsing web sites for women’s celebrations, due to my strong bond with my five older sisters, drew me to Sister’s Day. The day seems to have sprouted when a bunch of girlfriends got together for a vacation in 1997. It turned out they all had sisters, which got Tricia Rivalto Eleogram and Stacy Lowrey Beery, attendees, thinking about a gathering for sisters. By 1999, after several failed attempts to “celebrate the bonds of sisterhood,” the day finally got the recognition for Sister’s Day on Chases calendar. It’s held annually the first Sunday in August.

National Girlfriends’ — According to Wikipedia, “the word ‘girlfriend’ was first used in 1863 as a woman’s female friend in youth … In 1922, the word girlfriend was used to mean a man’s sweetheart.”

In the case of Thema Martin, of Atlanta, Georgia, since August 1, 2004 was deemed a special day “just for girlfriends to express gratitude to one another. Ladies can get together to go to a park, a Broadway play, or eat at a restaurant.” Thema told me, “My favorite is getting together to have luxury slumber party … If you can’t get together with your girlfriends today, plan an outing for another day.”

Nothing Like a Dame Day — Sarah “Dixie” Laite, a writer, speaker, and editor of Nickolodian, created this special day on April 17th annually — her birthdate. The day is to “celebrate the dames who’ve gone before and urges you to celebrate the ‘dame’ that lies within.” Dixie suggests watching old time movies with noted dame actresses, such as Myrna Loy, Gloria Graham, and Barbara Stanwyck, who not only command respect but demand it.

Incidentally, ‘dame’ comes from the Latin “domina” meaning “mistress of the house, lady.”

Spunky Old Broads (SOB) Month — SOB’s, the good ones that are feisty, is a monthly — February 1-28 — celebration of spunky women over 50, who have no regrets in life, no matter what traumas they’ve hurdled, and are still full of spirit.

This monthly celebration was started by Gayle Carson, who survived three bouts of cancer, 16 surgeries, death of a husband and son. Through it all, she built a company of 7 offices, and travels globally as an international speaker, coach, and consultant. Now that’s the kind of Spunky Old Broad I’d love to meet!

Gorgeous Grandma Day — This Gorgeous Grandma Day was created by Alice Solomon. Some of her accomplishments are graduating from college at 50, high fashion model and lecturer, having a syndicated column, writing A Guide for Gorgeous Grandmas. She’s written her first book called, “Love, Sex, and the Single Gorgeous Grandma: Reflections on Being Single over 50.

Gorgeous Grandma Day is celebrated on July 23 for women over 50, who have grandchildren, and grown old gracefully. Suggestions for your gorgeous grandma are taking her to dinner, spending time with her, or sending flowers. I, myself, so enjoy when a grandchild calls me to do something together.

Red Hat Society — It was the poem, “Warning.’ By Jenny Joseph, that inspired Sue Ellen Cooper, of California, in 1997. The poem begins, “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple, with a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.”

Sue Ellen wanted to buy something special for her friend’s 55th birthday. Having been inspired by the poem, “Warning,” she bought a vintage red fedora and encouraged her friend to “grow older playfully.”

Eventually, Sue Ellen bought a red hat for other women and held a tea party — in red hats and purple dresses — on April 25, 1998. And the Red Hat Society was born.”

Sue Ellen has since established a “Hatquarters,” she serves as Exalted Queen Mother, and has written books, called “The Red Hat Society: Friendship and Fun After Fifty” and “The Red Hat Society’s Laugh Lines: Stories of Inspiration and Hattitudes.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, “The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship, it is the spiritual secret which but few discover.” I can attest to Emerson’s statement, through my life I have discovered the glory of friendship in women.