This I Believe

Nancy - Raeford, North Carolina
Entered on December 8, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

Dear This I Believe,

I am sure I have defamed in my essay and it is most likely not usable, but thanks for letting me get it off my chest!!

I like hats and I have a great one on the shelf in my closet. It is straw, although now that I think about it, it’s heavy for a straw hat and may be made of that weird paper stuff that renders it ‘crushable’ and ‘packable’. It has a wide straight brim and a flat crown. It has no extra adornment to take away from it’s classic lines and straightforward simplicity. It is a hat a 21st century Zorro would be proud to wear, although it is not black. It also does it’s job, shielding my face from the sun with that wide brim. It feels good on my head and, best of all, flatters me. I like the way I look in it.

However, every time my hand reaches out for it, I hesitate. My lovely, fun, flattering hat is red. The problem? A perfect example is the last time I wore it. My husband and I went to the tall ships festival in Beaufort, NC last summer. I wore my superb hat A woman a good bit older than me was organizing the line. She used me as a marker for the next group on the ship because of my distinctive hat then asked, ‘But where is your purple?’

Now, while close to 50, I am not there yet and I like to think I look younger than my age. 99% of my hair still springs from my scalp as brunette as it was when I was a high school student. I work outdoors, I ride horses daily and I am an independent thinker. I haven’t felt the need to dress like my peers since I was an insecure middle schooler.

I believe the Red Hat Society has ruined a perfectly good accessory for the rest of us. I congratulate anyone who strikes out for more fun with like minded souls. If it brings you happiness, go for it! But I miss my red hat. I want them to give it back. When I wear it, is not a symbol of fun and independence after 50. It is an attractive and useful bit of apparel that I would like to wear without anyone assuming it denotes membership in a club. I am on an active search for a great bumper sticker I saw recently. “When I am old, I won’t be caught dead wearing purple.’