I’ve always loved hats.
At the beach they save the day several times a week when heat and humidity make for pretty constant bad hair days. In Florida Ted is notorious for coming in after Bodie’s morning walk and saying, “Let’s go somewhere for breakfast”. I will give him a look, point to my frizzy hair, and say something to the affect of, “Do you really want to go out in public with me looking like this?” And he will say sweetly, “Just put on your hat.” And I do.
I left my “bad hair day” hat in Florida because as far as I’m concerned there is NO HUMIDITY in Michigan. I know I’m going to hear some “back talk” on that statement from folks up here, but seriously y’all – compared to Florida, Michigan really has NO HUMIDITY. If you don’t believe me, just come on down south any day from April through October.
But sometimes I just like wearing a hat. And since I’ve been on the island I’ve been popping in various stores, trying on hat after hat with no “bingo” moment. I swear one day I found a shop downtown with a whole WALL of hats – and I tried on every single one. Nope. Not a single “bingo”. Too tall, too short, wrong shape, brim too narrow, brim too wide.
One morning when Blake was here we walked up to Surrey Hill to grab some donuts. On the way back down I stopped by The Paddock, the little “thrift shop” next to the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly House. And there – on one of those bald, white styroform heads – sat this old, battered, black felt/wool hat. I picked it up (no price tag anywhere), found a tiny mirror against a wall, and plopped it on my head. And even though it was dirty and misshapen (it actually looked like someone had gotten mad and stomped it on the ground), I kinda liked it. Blake’s one comment was, “If you like it, you should get it.”
But I didn’t. I put it back on the bald head and we went home to eat our donuts.
The next morning was Labor Day, and Blake and I were going over to Mackinaw City to meet Ted and have lunch after he finished the bridge walk. Strangely, I’d been thinking about the hat all morning. I know – weird. So I asked Blake if he would walk back up and ask someone in Wings of Mackinac how much it cost. I said, “If it’s more than $10, don’t get it.”
Ten minutes later he was back, hat in hand. “How much?”, I asked. He grinned and said, “The lady took one look at it and said, ‘Is $2.00 too much?'”
Since then I’ve worn that hat quite a few times. Most people look at it a little strangely – like they’re trying to figure out just exactly ‘what hat shape is that supposed to be’. But then they usually say, “I really like your hat!” And I do too.