Red Hat Ladies

They came into the restaurant, the ladies in purple dresses, decked out in feathery boas, glittering broaches and pins and rings made of rhinestones or zircona, their blonde or gray curls topped with red hats adorned with feathers, ribbons, flowers, fruit, jewels, and whatever else came to mind, talking and giggling and patting their hair with gloved hands, sharing gossip, secrets and pictures of their grandchildren and pets as they made their way to the big round table at Red Lobster, where they would debate at length the merits of various menu items (and afterwards change their order twice after the longsuffering waitress had written it down) before finally settling on the all-you-can-eat soup and salad for their one monthly outing.

Two hours later the petite waitress (a single mother, trying to make it raising two children on tips and no child support from a dead-beat ex-husband) asks, “Can I get you ladies anything else?” as she clears the dishes and picks up her $1 tip from each place.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
Red Hat Ladies, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

5 thoughts on “Red Hat Ladies”

  1. To be truthful, I was dismayed to see my entry (Supposing) move down in the ranks until I saw that “Red Hat Ladies” had taken the top spot. This is a marvelous story; well written, poignant, and timely. I gave it 10 stars the first time I read it. Well deserved placement in the current ratings (8.6 of 10)!

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  2. I used to be a waitress, and years later, I actually talked to someone once about why they only left $1 apiece for the waitress. He got very angry about it, but his friend said he always left $5. One lady I know said shes was so embarrassed when everyone only left $1 that she went back and gave the girl a $20 tip, because she didn’t want to get into a row with her lady friends about it.

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  3. I wrote this just before donning my purple and red and meeting my fellow Red Hatters at Red Lobster for lunch. Of course, everything happened almost exactly as I had written it, except they have taken the all-you-can-eat soup and salad off the menu! And I often go back and leave more tip I am so embarrassed.

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