The Red Cartwheel Hat
As I approach Christmas this year, I’m thinking with gratitude of all the generous people who have given me hats. I have had the good fortune to have many people give me family hats, hats they no longer wear, hats they saw in thrift stores or estate sales or garage sales and got for me. About 40% of all the hats featured in The Hat Project were gifts.
Giving gifts is a basic human impulse. It makes us feel happy to make someone else happy. I think it’s easy to remember the bad side of human nature—selfishness and anger and heedlessness—and ignore the generosity and kindness and love we also show. So many Christmas movies are about just that--remembering the good we can do for each other and trying to do it.
Today’s hat was a recent gift from a friend from the pool, Mary. She sent me a picture of some hats she was looking to downsize from her collection and asked if I was interested. I said yes 😊.
We made a trunk-to-trunk transfer in the health club parking lot after water aerobics one day. (These parking lot transfers always make me feel like I'm participating in illegal deals). She handed me a bulging Hefty bag and also presented me with this cool retro wig /hatbox.
In the picture she emailed me, this red cartwheel hat appeared almost identical to one I already own, the Floppy Red Hat (another gift). Even the bands are the same. However, when I put this hat on, I discovered that it was structurally much different, with a stiffer brim that gave it a completely different shape when worn.
I hope you have a happy holiday, and that the coming year brings you kindness and warmth.
Ann Hillesland writes fiction and nonfiction and collects hats. In this blog she vows to wear (not just model, but wear out of the house) every one of her hats, blogging about their histories and their meanings for her.