Friday, February 7, 2014

Hatters Gonna Hat

You would not believe me if I told you I used to hate to wear hats. My photo albums are full of pictures of my children and me trying on hats.  Beautiful hats, silly hats, practical hats, antique hats, cowboy hats, Santa hats, winter hats; hats upon hats upon hats.  These hat pictures only date back a few years, though, so we have been making up for lost time.  There was a time that I wouldn't have DREAMED of trying on a hat; someone might see me. Someone might think I was asking for attention.  Someone might think I was being obnoxious.  We couldn't have anything to do with silliness in public.

Then somewhere during my middle-aged years, I lost my need for conformity, I loosened up, and I no longer cared what other people thought of me.  My best friends encouraged me to be silly. My children responded to this fun new way of being a mom, and we began to do silly things together. But when I was younger, oh, I wouldn't have been caught dead in a hat.  Not even in a snow storm. Not even on a rainy day.  

Hats were embarrassing.  Hats drew undue attention to me, one so undeserving of attention. I was so worried that someone would make fun of me, I would rather have stringy, wet hair hanging in my eyes than wear a hat.  I would rather have my ears freeze than wear a hat.                                                                                   And then, when I started to live an active lifestyle sometime in my forties, hats became necessary. Okay, so I started with helmets, but if you've ever worn a helmet, you can appreciate what a vital fashion accessory a hat can be after wearing a helmet.

Sometime before I turned fifty, I took up riding a Harley.  A helmet wasn't required by law, but it seemed mandatory to me.  Helmets mess up hair; that's a given.  HELMET HAIR was my biggest fear, and to my wardrobe I added scarves, bandanas, doo-rags, baseball caps, and skull caps.  Then we started riding bikes, and my closet contained a bicycle helmet.  After taking a couple of ski lessons, I started to acquire my own ski gear.  Realizing my proclivity for falling down, I decided a skiing helmet was a must, so I bought one of those, too.  Helmets took up most of the top shelf in my closet, and hats to cover helmet hair took up the rest.

A couple of summers ago, my high school girlfriends and I were planning a casual get-together, and I casually mentioned we should form our own little Red Hat Society.  The idea caught on with some, and we ended up having the most delightful afternoon together.  The pictures from that day bring back the sweetest memories.  I will forever be grateful to Margaret for making each of us the perfect hat that suited our individual personalities and tastes.  Mine sits in a prominent place on my nightstand, waiting for the next special occasion.

When my son and daughter-in-law were shopping with us one day, we were walking into Costco. "I wonder if they sell hats," my son said.  How odd, I thought.  

"Are you looking to buy a hat?" I asked.

"MOM, we HAVE to try on hats and take pictures!"  Silly me, of course we do!  How could I forget that?

And so we do.  We try on hats at Cracker Barrel, T.J. Maxx, Ross, Target, and thrift stores.  I've tried them on at museums, Walmart, Scheels, and Cabela's.  We even sneak pictures at trendy, upscale boutiques that post rude signs about not taking pictures.  What does it hurt to have a little fun?  Who knows, if the hat looks good in the picture, maybe I'll buy it.  That happened once in Park City, so I'm sure the store owner didn't mind as much when I walked out with the hat I'd been sporting while snapping selfies.

Nothing makes me smile like pictures my kids send me of their trying on hats.  We always have so much fun when we're together, posing for pictures, and trying on hats.  Hats let us try on unexplored personalities.  Hats let us be someone else for a moment.  Hats allow us to give ourselves a chance to have a little fun.  Hats hide our messy hair, and keep the wind from blowing our hair all over our heads.  Hats let us be silly, and who doesn't need a little more silliness every now and then?

Cracker Barrel has nice hats...

and fascinators.

Scheels & REI have practical hats.

TJ Maxx offers a wide selection.
I knew Jason was a good fit with our family
when I saw this picture.

Sierra never tired of dress-up.

She'll even SLEEP in her favorite hat.

Mullets, ball caps, and tiara.  We've got them covered.

A little hat therapy at REI.


Santa Dreads

No vacation is complete without trying on the
hats in the tourist shops.

A SMALL sailor's hat.

Antique shops have COOL hats!
Sometimes I wear them just for fun, not just to be funny.

We're so glad Dylan's wife will join our fun!
Her fishy face to go with her fishy helmet.

I don't need Halloween as an excuse to wear
a hat. Well, maybe with THIS particular hat.

Must've gotten my love for Santa hats
from my Dad.
Daddy sent this Virginia hat to me.  It came in
handy on our rainy field trip.

Christmas fun with our married kids.

I finally got my crown on my last day of
teaching last year!

Janet and I sporting our Red Hat Society creations by Margaret.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. What a fun family ritual, Denise. LOVE it. Keep laughing because sometimes life is really hard. :)


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