I hate hats. I hate them for the very simple reason that I can’t wear them. Call it dome-envy. Every winter as the temperature drops and my ears begin to freeze I start anew my lifelong search for a hat that I can wear.
Sure, I can actually wear any hat, I don’t have that freakishly large a head, at least not physically. It’s simply that there does not exist a hat in this world that I can wear that will not make me look like an idiot. It’s a curse.
As the rest of the city is bundled up against the frigid winter clime, they’re donning wool caps, stetson, fedoras even decorative head gear. Me? I just got a pair of those behind the head ear muffs, they’re the head warmth equivalent of a band-aid on an amputation.
There are two reasons I can’t wear hats, both are ridiculous.
1) I have a pin straight asian baby hair. Unfortunately I’m not an asian baby. It’s unfortunate because asian babies are the cutest things in the world, and I generally aim to be cute. It’s even more unfortunate because whenever I put a hat on, my hair instantly becomes matted to my head like a crop circle.
2) I have a cone shaped head (refer to the column about me being born and having a giant head). Hats enjoy showing off this alien-esque slope. I generally aim to not look like an alien, even an alien asian baby.
This whole hat thing has been a very serious issue for me from way back when I was a little boy. When other kid’s were out playing in the snow, ensconced in winter time head coverings, I was running around bare-headed and pneumonia-bound. It was a sad, mucous-ey time.
When I was about eight years old I postulated the following: “There is a perfect hat out there for everyone.” I’ve been on the journey ever since to find my hatmate. The one, undeniably perfect hat that will not press down my sensitive locks, or make me look like some chest-busting extraterrestrial.
The results, as you can imagine were laughable at best.
Age 12: The Tweed Hat
At some point during the 7th grade I thought I was cool enough to be one of those old-guy type kids. You know, the kids who play chess during lunch with themselves and talk about how juvenile middle school is. I wore this hat when I did it. I got less play than an Alabama public theater.
While it certainly looked awesome, no one can deny that, it eventually became too much when I started wearing a tan blazer to school. My Mom made me stop wearing it because she was afraid I’d be bald by the time I was 17. I silently thank her every day for this.
Age 13: Coffee Hat
I spent the three years following the Tweed Hat Phase (THP) trying out new and exciting options for head covering. I wore a jester’s hat for a summer in what I can only assume was an attempt to cover up all that torrid sexuality that was built during the THP. Either that or I was really into D&D at the time, I can’t remember.
Perhaps worst of all of them was the cabbie hat I picked up in some thrift store one weekend. See, in my little home town someone had just opened a coffee shop. You know, late night hanging out, singer-songwriters, pretentious art done by some retiree living in the hills, thirteen year olds thinking that drinking coffee and listening to singer-songwriters will get them laid.
I also started wearing a wife beater and flannel shirts, it was about as cool as the under-side of a ball sac after a marathon. Four black and white journals of bad poetry and one caffeine addiction later, I gave up the hat.
Age 15: Long Hair
Eventually I became so fed up with the process that I just grew my hair out. What a mistake. The only thing worse than short baby asian hair is shoulder-length baby asian hair. There I was, on the tail end of puberty, greasy faced, bespectacled and Blossom-haired. Yes, I understand the irony of looking like Blossom and not being able to wear a hat.
Enduring a year and a half of explaining to people that I was, in fact, a boy, was not cool at all. Fortunately, all pictures of me from that time period were ritually burned by my mom. Again, I thank her for this.
Since those days I’ve had a string of on again, off again relationships with hats, never lasting for more than a few months. Settling down with a hat is a serious proposition, and while I understand the joy people get out of having that kind of bond with a piece of headwear is worth it, I just haven’t found the right hat yet.
I’m not going to stop looking, though. I’m pretty hopeful, my headmate’s got to be out there, sitting in some window somewhere, waiting for me to come along. In the mean time, I think I’ll keep up the fling with the ear bud’s, nothing wrong with a little healthy experimentation, right?