Wednesday, September 24, 2008

War of the hats

For many years I have had a hat fetish. It started around age twelve, when my father gave me one of his old newsie caps. I wore that one into the ground and was rewarded with one of my very own. There is a great picture somewhere of me wearing matching sweatshirt and pants, a reversible corduroy vest made by my grandmother decades ago for my father, newsie hat and, wait for it... velcro sneakers. I truly was my own fashion icon.

Over the years I made my way through several more pairs of caps, but it wasn't until college and SG that I found my newest hat niche: the brimmed hat. The Pacific Northwest has a lot of weather, both nice and not-so-nice, and it necessitates a head covering. SG saw a need and filled it with a tan $15 number from Bi-Mart. I wore that until this past spring, when, sadly, it was accidently knocked off my head while rushing to get into the car as my mother, SG and I were leaving an outlet mall. It wasn't until we were almost home that I realized I had left my precious, precious image sitting on the parking lot!

SG let me mope for a while and then presented me with a nifty black poly-cotton trilby from Berkeley. I have become quite fond of this hat (the first time one of my students saw me wearing it, she commented, "You're so handsome!").

Unfortunately, or at least entertainingly, Mother Superior Yid is not a fan. She has repeatedly told me this, in a variety of ways. Here are a few of the most amusing exchanges:

Mama Yid: I have to tell you, I really hate your hat.
Me: I know. You've mentioned it.
Mama Yid: It's just... it's so... ethnic.
Me: I don't even know what that's supposed to mean!
Mama Yid: And it's not even the
right ethnicity.

This was news to me. I thought she didn't like it because it looked too Jewish. But, never one to let her get away without explaining a ridiculous comment, I insisted on dragging it out of her.
Me: Really? And exactly what ethnicity is it?
Mama Yid: Well, if you must know... it makes you look Hispanic.

At this point Abbot Yid made an unkind comment about my pale skin and her bad eyes.

Another good one-
Mama Yid: I've decided something.
Me: Yes?
Mama Yid: I will buy you a new hat. If you agree to not wear this one around me.
Me: If I agree to not wear ANY around you, can I have two?
Mama Yid (excited): Really? You'd do that?
Me: No.

And most recently-
Mama Yid (looking through a magazine): I've found it! I've found the hat for you!
Me: I have a hat.
Mama Yid: No, a good one.
Me: Fine, where is it?
Mama Yid (pointing) this one.
Me: Dear God.
Mama Yid: What? It's authentic and everything.
Me: First, it's a Halloween costume, and second, it's too tall for my head. I don't understand why you object so much to a fedora with a small brim when you apparently want me to wear a ten-gallon cowboy hat.
Mama Yid: Don't make fun.

I can only wonder where this ongoing fixation with what I wear on my own damn head will lead.

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