There are two things I like about hats. In order, they are:
1. The way they feel
2. The way they look
This is my yang.
There are also, as it happens, two things I dislike about hats. In order, they are:
1. Other people
2. Other people
This is my ying.
The weight of a hat
I love the weight of a hat. I enjoy weight in general. Not just on my head, everywhere and via different forms. Coats, jumpers, over trousers, scarves, big glasses, boisterous socks; you name it. I find both comfort and security in the extra-ness of the added poundage. It’s my secret force field that keeps everyone and everything just that tiny bit further away. A hidden arms length. A mobile padding that keeps me in….like a cell if you will.
Without the added extra, I feel over exposed. I’m all fingers and thumbs and elbows. I feel a bit like an ill-advised lady in a way too short skirt, who feels the need to constantly hoick her hem back towards her knees. Yes that’s it. In public, surrounded by people and sans that little bit extra, I feel like a girl with her knickers perpetually in danger of display. It’s an anxious and self-aware roller coaster. So I put on a hoodie or a hat, or some such and so forth, to protect my fru-fru from you-you.
The look of a hat
The look of the hat is somewhat secondary and wholly subjective I suppose. I think I look just fine and dandy in a hat. More so even. Dapper, debonair and distinctly handsome. My wife concours, for were she to not, I would fear leaving the house. She is my social barometer. My yard stick. I am required to trust her opinion as it has been, repeatedly and ever-more-so recently, brought to my attention that I may have a skewed stance on such things as social protocol and not looking like an oddball.
So I ask my wife, two or three thousand times, whether I can wear this hat out and about? She dutifully replies in the affirmative and off I go. Every car window en-route confirms in the reflective that I am donning a smack daddy hat. I scan the faces of those I pass, looking for signs of ridicule or venom, but no-one bats an eyelid. I’m in the zone baby. My chest puffs to an over extended and grandiose 38inches and I allow myself a tentative swagger. Dun-dun-dun-dun-duuuuun-dun. You can’t touch this – can you?
Other people – what’s with the hat?
Beware people asking what’s with the hat? There is no answer. It’s a trick question designed to throw you off guard. Do not answer, for it makes you look weak. You must at all times stay classy and honour the hat. The worse thing you can do, is try to justify your hat’s existence. Steely yourself.
This is the truth of hats. People will take the piss and that is to be expected. At least if you’ve thought it through, it’s to be expected. If you haven’t thought it through, I have no idea what you do with your time? So, expect some verbal yo. You’ve just turned up with a hat on for heaven sake. This isn’t a fancy dress party. No-one’s getting married you ninny. What’s occurring on the ol’noggin top? You can’t roll up looking like a scene from Casablanca and not expect an eyebrow to raise amongst those that know and tolerate you. I bet even Humph took it on the chin the first time he walked into all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world. Jeez Louise.
So, if wearing a hat, my advice is get there first. Be prepared and organised. That way you have the upper hand. The hat is on the other foot. You can sit there, established and ornate, as potential piss-takers arrive and whilst still unsure of their social footing, miss the golden window opportunity of headpiece mockery. They will assume you are commonplace and thus you will be largely in the clear.
Turn up late on the other hand, and be ready to face jeers and cheers as you round an innocent corner into a world of WHAT’S WITH THE HAT JACK? Even though you know it’s coming, it’ll still set you aback. Just ride it out, it is to be expected. Remember what your wife said. Place your faith in her and wear the fadango out of your hat. Wear it all up in their face. Wear it like Jesus is watching.
Other people – Can I have my hat back?
I don’t know whether this is a phenomenon specific to me, the hat type, is a combination of both, or more universally, is cause and effect in hat wear? But when you wear a hat you have to hold on to it. Quite literally, because after everyone has taken the piss out of you for wearing it, 15 minutes later and for the rest of your public appearance, they will want to wear it.
Your hat will become the proverbial bike. Everyone will want a ride. You will watch your secret defence mechanism being passed from pillar to post, betwixt all and sundry, whilst you sit and feign nonchalance with a serious case of the bastarding hat hairs.
You will continue your ‘conversation’ with your peripheral vision in Lee Majors overdrive. At all times (ALL TIMES) you will know with 360 degree pin point certainty, where in the circuit of pates your hat is. You will simultaneously fake social interaction, whilst determining the cleanliness status and subsequent nit possibilities of the head on which your security blanket now perches.
This is the thing about hats. You kinda wear them to look cool and therefore screaming’ GIVE ME MY ******HAT BACK YOU ******* negates the hat. So you are required to sit as though your name is Ruprik, with your full head of slightly greying hair plastered to your forehead like you’ve just been birthed, until the nice chap in the corner deems to return your sanctuary to the sanctity of your brainpan.
The hat trick
And thus I can oft be found around the house donning a hat. The comfort of wearing a hat in the comfort of your own home, is nothing short of comforting. I enjoy a hat whilst watching TV. I enjoying sulking in hats. Indeed, were I allowed, I would make love in a hat, but alas my wife draws the line and uses a hat as her excuse, like Andy Capp’s wife uses a headache as hers.
And here endeth the sermon on hats. The trick to wearing a hat is to wear it with gusto. Don’t over think it. Don’t obsess about it. Don’t worry about.
I am not there yet.
P.S – what do you think about hats?
P.P.S – I don’t care. x
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