Hats for the Holidays

I've come to notice that a New York Christmas is quite different than the native Midwestern Christmas which I am accustomed to. First off, people wear hats in New York, real hats - classy, expensive hats. As I drove up Park Avenue today, I noticed a woman wearing a dark coat with a fur collar and cuffs and a maroonish colored hat. She looked quite beautiful - it framed her face quite well. It being Park Avenue and all, I assumed that this woman was rich. Now, had she been hatless, I probably wouldn't have liked her. But this being Christmas and all, and she had that great hat on, I sent her love vibes instead of those lousy, I want to be rich too/instead of you vibes.

In Minnesota, people don't wear real hats. Minnesota is, above all, nice, filled with nice people and nice things. Real hats draw attention to oneself, which is a no-no in Minnesota. I grew up believing that the key to living a full and successful life was to never draw attention to oneself. Honestly, drawing attention to oneself, is the equivalent to saying I'm better than you are. And in the socialist state of Minnesota, we are all, theoretically, equal. To buck the trend is not nice.

Instead of real hats, Minnesotan's wear ski caps, stocking caps, and even face-masks. One year I gave my father a potpourri of face-masks for Christmas - silver, red, black, and green. I thought it was an awful present, but Mom convinced me otherwise. She said he has everything he needs, and this is practical, durable and washable. How can you beat mom-logic like that? Personally, I find face-masks to be very spooky, but he wears them when he jogs his 4 miles a day. I think if I ran into a face-masked man jogging in the freezing, nighttime cold, I'd be scared as hell. I don't think my father thinks he's scaring people when he's jogging, he just thinks about keeping warm.

When my father opened his carefully wrapped present (not!) on Christmas Eve, I detected a slight note of disappointment from him. He was a good egg and all, he always is, but really, even at 57 nobody really wants an arrangement of face-masks for Christmas. Consequently, this year I'm gonna try to get him something a little less face-maskish and little more fun.

--Lynn Ellen Franz

Read next article.
Return to table of contents.
Return to BRETTnews.