Thursday 22 January 2009

Let's talk about that hat

And now for a little light relief—Ms Franklin's hat (my current fave is Jon Stewart's). I just thought I'd add my observation that the wearing of a Serious Hat to a Serious Occasion is a thing from another generation, to Americans anyway. British women, on the other hand, still do hats. Not just to weddings and funerals, not just the old ladies, but young things too. I'm not so young, but when we got invitations to the Queen's annual summer garden party in Edinburgh last year, I was all aflutter when I realized I'd have to wear a hat. "Tiaras will be worn," as they used to say; one just doesn't attend these sorts of things bareheaded. It was intimidating, the prospect of a hat, but man was I excited to see the Queen (my mother-in-law is involved in our local community council, and when colleagues of hers eschewed the event, we snagged the tickets). I feel mixed things about the royal family, of course, being American and all that; I can empathize with my Scottish fellow travellers, some of whom are vehemently opposed to English rule with all its history. But, holy cow, the Queen! So off I went to shop for a hat. Enclosed is a picture of me on the train to Edinburgh on the day, wearing a bespoke "fascinator" from V.V. Rouleaux ("bespoke" means "I was robbed"). It's barely visible, sorry. I shied away from the Serious Hats—didn't think I could pull one off—but on the other hand I worried whether a fascinator would be "enough" and "appropriate" to the occasion. The salesgirl assured me it was the same as a hat, for all intents and purposes. And having one made expressly for me felt validating. Still I felt really dumb in it. When we arrived at the party, though, wow—you should have seen all the gorgeous hats! Every lady there was worrrrrrkingggg itttttt. I shoulda gone for it. Next time. I've been schooled, now, in The Hat.
Anyway, last night I had some serious fun with Ms Franklin's hat, Photoshopping my friends, my husband, my dog. Hats are cool! In that so-uncool-it's-kinda-cool way, which, trust me, I should know about.

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