Skinnywench’s ‘Word a Week’ challenge is HAT. My sister and I were made to wear hats when we were children, and we absolutely hated them. Our mom was very hat addicted, and looked really chic in her royal blue satin pillbox hat with the dotted lace netting which came down over her eyes, making her look both elegant and mysterious. Her favourite was a gold one very similar, which she wore with a silky blue and yellow dress and jacket. Then there was the one with the long multi-coloured feather on the side, which prompted an old man in our church to loudly remark half way through the sermon, “Oh…… you’ve got your Robin Hood hat on today, have you?” As you can imagine, she was mortified, as the preacher paused and the congregation turned around to have a look. 😀
Mom was the smartest lady on the block, and we were so proud of her. Her obsession with hats did however create a problem for my sister and I, as we also had to have a hat to match our ‘Sunday best’ outfits. This of course was in the days when kids didn’t have a wardrobe full of clothes and dozens of pairs of shoes. We just had our school clothes, our playing outside in the garden clothes, and our best clothes. The winter ‘best clothes’ were worn from autumn until Easter, and then we got a new outfit for the spring and summer months. Our parents were very sensible with their money, and realised that children grow very fast, and therefore by the time the shoes and clothes were past their best, we’d outgrown them anyway. The hat and gloves however, were mandatory and non negotiable, and it was during my growing up years that I realized that the words ‘hat’ and ‘hate’, very closely resemble one another.
Our family were considered quite ‘posh’ for the area we lived in, and when my sister and I ventured out on our walk to Sunday School, we came in for some teasing and ridicule from some of the neighbourhood kids. My mom tried to make me feel more positive about wearing hats, by telling me that I had “a hat face,” whatever one of those is? I have very unfond memories of our series of hats through the years, and besides the horrid bottle-green school beret, the ones that really stick in my mind are the yellow feather efforts which made us look like a couple of canaries, my sister’s gold-coloured velour bowler hat which was always worn at a rakish angle, and my putty-coloured, blancmange-shaped hat with the gold beads, which was once snatched off my head by the local bully girl and tossed over a shop door’s security gate. It took us quite some time to find a stick long enough to reach it and drag it back through the bars. Needless to say it never looked quite the same after its ordeal, but was unfortunately for me, considered still wearable until the end of the summer.
When I left home, I only wore hats of my choosing, and they have been worn for a purpose rather than as decoration. There was the rabbit-fur bonnet to keep my head and ears warm, which I was wearing when I met hubby one cold November night. He really liked me in that, and we’ve been together ever since. I mostly wear a peaked cap when on holiday and in the sun. This is my favourite, and I’ve nearly lost it a couple of times.
In Bali I found a cute straw hat at a market, which served me well for the time I was there, and got left behind when we packed.
In Ecuador I was cajoled by a very persuasive salesman, into buying a genuine Panama hat which was supposed to be fully collapsible for travel, but when I got it home, couldn’t be coaxed back into it’s original shape and ended up in the trash can. When we visited Mount Rushmore, it was so very cold and windy, that this warm hat was absolutely essential. Those past Presidents don’t look very impressed, do they? I do believe that Abraham Lincoln was trying his best not to laugh. 😀
My relationship with hats over the years has been a very chequered one. That song, ‘You can keep your hat on’, definitely isn’t my signature tune, although I really love it. I hope that as I grow older, I can take hubby’s advice when he says “keep your hair on,” as I don’t ever intend to be like the old woman in that poem by Jenny Joseph, who “wears purple and a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.” Just to end off, no post on a hat theme would be complete without this shot of Princess Beatrice in the hat that launched a thousand Facebook pages. 😆
To see more entries for Sue’s hat challenge, just click here.