What Is This Hat and Why Do I Keep Buying It?
I made an order to Forever21 last week for a variety of reasons, one of them being "it's fall," another being "I can't afford clothes that don't collapse in the wash," and the last one being "olive green." And one of the things I bought was a hat.
I buy a fall hat every year. They are piling up in my apartment at an alarming rate, their floppy brims ridiculing me in colors of taupe and beige and burgundy and black. They are the monstrous and ever present fall hat--too big to stay on my head, too proud to leave my closet, too irresistible to stop me from purchasing them. I try to run from them, but find myself too weak to resist.
What is the point of this damn hat? Is it to look like a witchy Indiana Jones? Is it to avoid looking at people in the eye? Is it just another shout into the void of hats looking okay-but-not-great on people?? Why do they haunt me?
I'm not a particularly strong woman, dear reader, but I can admit my faults. I can't stop buying these hats, regardless of their use or purpose or look. Online. At Target. At small boutiques where the receipt looks like it came from a tiny typewriter. I hate them. They make me look like a moron and are the opposite of practical. They fly off your hat at an elf's breath. They are impossible to pack, and are mostly made of felt. The felt gathers all the dusty dreams and pet hair in your house, and if you don't have a lint roller, you're stuck to look at them for eternity. And yet every time I see one at a store, I gravitate to it. Perhaps if I find true love's kiss, the spell will be broken. I don't know. So I buy them.
Someone once said "we dress for the job we want." In that case, I want to be someone who wears knee-high suede boots to a wine tasting sponsored by Benefit Cosmetics, and is also tall enough for the boots to be knee-high and not torso-high. Instead, I am a pathetic shrew of a woman who has a variety of failed trends in her closet, like floral bomber jackets, hi-lo dresses, and velvet. I drink old yellow wine I got for 8 bucks. I once got a free cookie at a coffee shop, which was pretty glamourous.
But perhaps I buy this hat to remind me of my dreams. I could be the kind of woman who can wear giant hats and ask the waiter to box up my salad at brunch. I could be the kind of woman who is trendy and cool, and has rustic wooden things in her apartment and wears her denim jackets only on her shoulders, like "oh I'm so cold." I could be the kind of woman who wears a big ass hat. But maybe I'm too afraid to succeed at it. Perhaps I buy this hat because I can't run from myself anymore--if I do, the hat falls off.
And maybe I could be one of these women, I think to myself, as I burp into my napkin. I could be one of those women, I think to myself, as the leaves fall, my t-shirt gains another food stain, and the other hideous hats grow tired in the back of my closet.
Either way, I'll probably wear it once.