I have a hatrack and a cupboard shelf full of hats.
I adore hats and love to wear my handsome white stetson, with special protection against UV rays built into the fabric, on a hot summer's day with a floral sundress.
I knit beanies for babies and toddlers and recently got generous friends to crochet or knit 40 small hats and I handed them out at a needy little creche I often visit. At Christmas the teachers, California and Gratitude helped the children select ones that fitted and then we had a fashion show to a jaunty piece of music. One little girl with a flower on hers won our hearts completely.
I have worn my share of amazing hats to the horse races. I was even invited one year to tread the ramp to show off in my elegant 'My Fair Lady' hat, lent to me by my ever so elegant friend Marianna Von Bosworthy, a vague relative of some insignificant royal, I keep being told.
I swivelled and posed as to the manor born and went home grateful to be able to take off my pretend persona, put my feet up and have a 'cuppa tay'..........'til next Durban July.
I adored the Royal wedding hats..........totally impractical bits of veil with swooping feathers tickling other people's noses. Huge cartwheels magically attached to the sides of their wearers' heads, Force 10 glue I suspect. Completely blocking the view of the bride for the unfortunates behind.
My dad was a dapper Frank Sinatra look alike and he went off to his Manufacturing Engineering Works every day in a neat, beautifully crafted, felt hat. There was always a dash of red in the feather in the hat band. It matched his wonderful sense of humour and spoke of a wicked youth which he somehow preserved into his eighties.
I envy my sister who is able to tie a piece of a table cloth around her head to frame her big blue eyes or lounge on a sunbed in a floppy woven hat and look mysterious.
There are the days of course when a frivolous or even a sensible hat is out of the question.
One wakes with the feeling of doom dogging one's footsteps, if indeed one can persuade oneself to leave the protection of one's bed. One stands in front of the open cupboard and searches through the hats until one finds the one that fits the mood..........
Self Doubt...Despair.....Misery.... or sheer Cussedness!
Lack of Self Confidence comes only in black and it is LARGE and a thick veil covers the face. No chink of hope there.
Grief is also black and is swept by long flowing shreds of fabric that shroud the shoulders.
Sadness is a dark grey and fits snugly like those pudding bowl hats fashionable after World War 2. It pulls down snugly so that the eyes can barely peep out.
Guilt shrieks the sin out loud and attracts blistering comments from many loud mouths......
The hats to be specially punishing are made out of concrete.........heavy beyond human endurance, crudely rough to hurt tender flesh and ugly beyond description.
They are of course perfectly free............and one can wear the hat of choice for as long as one likes. An added advantage is that one can change the chosen hat for something even heavier, at any time of day or night.
A particularly fashionable middle of the night 'Wee Willie Winkie cap' is named depression and one can even wear it to work and keep it on for the next night of tossing and turning.
So the choice of your hat for the day ahead begins the moment you open your eyes. Certainly circumstances might be argued for a horrible choice of hat!
NO absolutely NOT!
That is the very day you bypass the shelf with all those gloomy dreadful hats and deliberately choose something light, even frivolous. Something that might make a stranger in the bus or the car park attendant comment on how pretty you look.... how lighthearted you must be...or what fun you are having!
Many of us live lives that if we pitched up to work in a 'brave' hat the boss might urge us to lie down and take our temperature.
SO............the choice is probably, if you want to maintain your reputation, in your imagination. But, we have each of us, male or female, worn a hat that boosted our morale...so the answer is simple.
Shed the concrete 'chapeau' and put on that bit of net and feather nonsense, or that suave Fedora and lift your chin, look the world in the eye and WALK WITH ATTITUDE.
A WINNER EVERY TIME.