I was standing in an outdoor country market with my father, and there was a stall there displaying hats and other accessories. Like a fool, I picked up The Hat and tried it on. Almost immediately three women, all unconnected to each other, stopped mid-stroll and exclaimed in delight. The actual hat seller scurried back from the coffee area to add her approbation to theirs. She pointed out that it was a perfect match for my outfit, which it was. That's probably why I committed the initial folly of picking it up.
"You MUST buy that hat!" They all said. It was $30 bucks, which wasn't too bad, but I didn't know how I was going to fit the hat into my new pared-down lifestyle, so I told them it wasn't me. They disagreed vigourously. I expressed regret that I had spent all my money on fresh basil and Swiss chard; the hat seller announced she accepted Visa. Just then my father offered to buy it for me. I was outnumbered and outmaneuvered. Therefore I have a new hat.
I don't want to sound ungrateful. Of course I'm very happy that my father bought me a beautiful hat. But one has to be in a certain kind of mood to wear such a thing. For example, after the market, we went to a restaurant and as soon as I stepped onto the patio to find a table, every single person stopped eating and stared at me. It was a bit unnerving. It certainly wouldn't have happened if I had been bareheaded. It seems everyone likes to see a woman wearing a fancy hat, but very few women actually want to be the person wearing one. It's not hard to see why.
Another disadvantage of wearing a big, swoop-brimmed hat, is that because people are surreptitiously watching, it's much more difficult to make that fifth trip to the buffet table. There is a subtle expectation of more ladylike or feminine behaviour from the wearer of such a hat, which really puts a damper on any inclinations to pig out or lick barbeque sauce off one's fingers. It has occurred to me that I might lose a pound or two, simply by dint of wearing this hat.
So, I will probably wear the hat. Even my non-romantic husband was moved to give me a compliment on it. Obviously it was meant to be. When I wear it, it lends me a certain glamour that I normally lack. Perhaps the universe has a plan for me in which I will require a little more dazzling allure than I am usually able to exhibit.
If that's the case, I hope God will send me the lifestyle to fit the hat!