hat tip

I bought a hat this weekend at the Seventh Avenue Fair. Just that morning we had watched the scene in You've Got Mail where Kathleen sees a butterfly on the subway. It gets off and Kathleen speculates it is probably on its way to Bloomingdales to buy a hat, which will most likely be a mistake, as almost all hats are. But this woman had made them herself out of silk tweed and Italian fabrics, and I wanted three of them, actually. But that would have been risking a triple mistake, and there was also my self-imposed budget to consider.

I've been thinking about hats a lot lately. The last time in my life that I truly dressed the way I wanted, I owned lots of them. I had a hat to wear in the rain, even one that reminded me of Paddington Bear. I only have one hat left from those days. (Four. Make that four that I wanted to buy this weekend.) I felt compelled to get at least one, if for nothing more than the gesture of solidarity, new-found loyalty to myself.

I picked an ivory silk tweed with pink and brown in it. I wore it again yesterday when we went to the donut shop and felt completely ridiculous, but it reminded me of a part from Paris je t'aime where a young woman tells a guy that when women do something to feel beautiful, we do it for ourselves and not for anyone else. I liked the way the brim shields my face from the sun, and when pushing the stroller I could look down--like I was concentrating on navigating the uneven sidewalk--and steal peeks at passerby without having to muster prolonged eye contact. New York City seems to be wearing off on me like that.

If I had a black baseball cap it would be my hat of choice today to go with the yoga clothes that are my casual summer garb. We're off to the library, looking for You're Wearing That? Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Communication by Deborah Tannen, PhD. And I'll be wearing what I want.