For years I have looked at women in fancy hats and admired them for being able to carry them off so elegantly. The scene from ‘Titanic’ where Kate Winslet’s beautiful face slowly emerges from underneath a fancy wide-rimmed hat is one that has made a lovely little spot for itself in my ‘long term memory’. For the first 33 years of my life in India, I had never seen many women in hats except in films. While secretly being deeply fascinated with hats and ogling at them in the streets, markets and shops, I didn’t actually believe that I could wear one because:
- It might look really strange on me.
- I’ve never done it before.
- It’s not the kind of thing people like me do.
- Where would I go wearing a hat?
- I don’t have the right kind of face for it.
- I wouldn’t know how to pick one!
- I couldn’t carry it off with elan.
- My discomfort would show.
- And so on and so forth….
At a Christmas fair this morning, I spotted a hat shop from the corner of my eye. I walked past it and bought a few other things from other shops. I was with friends who I trust. If anything looked funny on me, we would have a laugh together. So, after 16 years of thinking about it, I gingerly approached the shop, feeling like I was just about to make an absolute big fat fool of myself. The lady at the shop welcomed us with a lovely smile that made me feel a bit better. She showed me felt, velvet, corduroy, tweed, leather, silk, wool, possum hats, berets, fascinators with feathers and great big wedding doo-daas! It was party time! I tried on all kinds of hats and looked at them in the mirror at various angles. We did have a good time going through the lot of them. At one point, they all went quiet and asked me to look in the mirror. I did. That was it. We had found the right one.
I have a hat! 🙂