Get Yer Pink Hat On

by

I got me a fedora.

I have been wanting one for a bit and when I saw this one, I had to stop and grab it.

Pink.

Sequined.

Jaunty.

Yes.

I said jaunty.

And it works with my hair and my eyeglasses.

Best of all.

The cost.

$4.49.

Courtesy of your local Good Will.

I nanny in Cole Valley Monday through Wednesdays and I walk by the Good Will probably once, perhaps twice a week, depending on what park I am headed to.  It is a great Good Will and it has big windows for “La Leche Vitrine”.

Literal translation from the French: “window licking”.

Now, I am not a typical window licker, I don’t often purchase what I see, I window shop a lot, I am good at it and it’s a harmless, cheap habit.  Today especially.  A girl can’t go wrong with a hat for under five dollars and it’s pink and it’s sequined.

It now also has a pink rose attached to it and a pink feather that I got last year around this time to make hats and all things haberdashery for the playa, from the arts and crafts store on Haight.

I was house sitting in Cole Valley, just off the Haight Street neighborhood, last year about this time and I had decided I wanted to make all my little hair pieces myself, instead of laying out forty, fifty bucks for the pieces that I was drawn to.

Hell I saw some cute ones at Lightening in a Bottle too, but all were quite expensive and I recalled again, with a smidgen of guilt for not having done anything with all the gear I got for this project.

Buttons, bows, ribbons, flowers, glitter, feathers, netting, little metal charms, embroidery floss, hair clips to pin everything to.

I got all the right stuff to make some fascinators and some other pieces.

And I never did it.

I remember taking it all back to Grace Land with me after the house sitting gig had ended and spreading it all over the gigantic table in the dining room, then getting out needle, thread, scissors, the fabric glue and sorting everything into piles and sighing and sitting down to go to it.

And not being able to go to it.

In hindsight, I was pretty depressed and not certain what was happening with my life, having just returned from France and it being a difficult transition from the 9th arrondisement to East Oakland, 51st and International was a bit of culture shock to me.

Granted my dear friend who was letting me stay, was a dear friend, and had all the comforts of a well stocked home, kittens to snorgle with, Netflix on the tv, internet, a big cushy bed, so much nicer than the lumpy futon I had spent the majority of my nights on in Paris, and a big huge vat of popcorn that he had gotten special for making kettle corn.

Thus began my slippery slope that led soon to my relapse on all things sugary and floury and donutty and icecreamy and basically way bad for me and my health.

I picked up all the flowers and ribbons that I had planned to bedeck myself with, shoved them in a hat box and went to the kitchen.

I got out the air popper and poured the kernels in.

I just started with butter and salt, a big glass of sparkling water, and I cued up the first season of the West Wing, which I had never seen before, and proceeded to check the fuck out.

That’s not a solution for me today.

Thank God.

I was reminded of that today and I am grateful to have the way of life I have now.

And also a degree of humility about it, I could have checked out with some booze, there was a fully stocked bar.

I could have checked out with some crack cocaine.

There was East Oakland right outside my doors.

And I did not.

And for that I am ok with the fact that I checked out with the popcorn, then the ice cream, then the donuts and macaroons, and Arizimendi pizza, the hamburger and french fries from Burger Joint, the boxes of cereal and more Netflix, and then lots of self-loathing and hatred.

I got through it with a lot of help from some dear friends who reminded me that this too shall pass and I went to work to get out of the clutches of my historical reliance on food as a means of self-soothing.

It didn’t work for me then, it never had, and it was the place that I went to.

I pray I don’t have to have the experience again.

I lost the weight I put on with that binge that ended up being about three weekends of self-destruction.

And for the first time, for me, it was not about losing the weight (in fact, I have only weighed myself twice in the past year so I don’t even know what it is), it was not about checking out to solace myself.

Buying that pink fedora at the Good Will store when I was window shopping on the way to the park was like waiving a flag of victory.

I wore it all day long.

I even rode my bicycle home with it perched on my head.

Which was a great test for Burning Man.

The brim shielded my eyes and did not get in the way of my glasses and best yet, though it was windy, it stayed put.

That is important.

And when I got home I was happy to deck it out with the feather and the pink fabric rose that I had bought this time last year.

In fact, I am so pleased with the results that I am thinking I may host a little playa prep party at my place and see if anyone wants to sit out in the back yard with me and enjoy the sunshine, drink tea, and make some fascinators and hats and clips.

It would be fun, I have the gear, and so many of my girlfriends are going this year, it might be just the thing to do.

Celebrate my 8th year returning to Burning Man by putting another feather in my cap.

Literally.

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