Mad hatter


I read the other day that women who wear hats are destined to remain single for eternity. The article, perhaps tongue-in-check admittedly, said of the many faulty traits/mannerisms/sartorial choices that you need to hide if you ever hope to meet a mate is the wearing of hats. This is a serious problem for me but may explain why my love-life is about as lively as a roomful of tax accountants.

I don’t remember when my hat-wearing became such an obvious “issue”. Indeed, as I write this I can see out of the corner of my eye my collection of hats perched proudly on my specially-bought hat rack. I have at least a dozen of them in various shapes and sizes. One of them I even bought in a men’s shop. And I won’t mention the scarves. I have about three dozen of them in an array of colours so resplendent I often resemble a peacock when I wear them. I sometimes wear both a hat and a scarf. At. The. Same. Time. I’m sure such an (un)fashionable choice of accessories is likely to result in my dance card remaining empty for some time yet.

I like hats. Mainly because they are very good at hiding my hair. You see when you own a serious hat collection like me you can never really have a bad hair day. That’s because if you wake up one morning and your hair looks like you have spent the night with every one of fingers lodged in a light-socket or it appears that birds have decided to make nests for their young in your hair because it’s just the right consistency to raise their chirping offspring, well, you just pop on a hat and no one need ever know the horror that lies beneath.

One of my ex-boyfriends used to say that my hair made me look like Krusty the Clown and another said that it was like I had a ghost on top of my head. I’m still unsure whether these were terms of endearment or perhaps, as is mentioned above, they were indicating – albeit in a reasonably humourous way – that they would never marry someone with such a ridiculous mop on top of their head. And most of all, someone who wears hats to hide the hilarity that is obviously their hair.

Over the years my hair has been long, short, curly, red, white, orange and it’s been dreadlocked. That was probably my favourite hairstyle of them all because at least back then no one asked me when the last time it was that I washed and/or brushed my hair. For someone with locks about as luscious and thick as a spider’s web, the unkempt look is just part and parcel of my everyday life. I can brush my hair in the morning and one small, untimely whisper of wind can result in me looking like I’ve spent a week living rough under a bridge by the time I get to work five minutes later.

I spent $180 on a haircut a few weeks ago and even the hairdresser looked defeated when I walked out looking pretty much exactly the same as I had when I had walked in 45 minutes before. But sometimes when I let my quasi-afro roam free, it can have unexpected benefits. I recently sauntered into a pub and a very hot man walked over to me as soon as I walked in. This was very unusual. No one usually talks to me – well, sometimes they do but they often don’t have many teeth. I was automatically suspicious but also merry enough to ask: “What’s your story?” He looked me up and down and said: “I came over because you looked so interesting.” Ah, that old chestnut, I thought, so I replied: “It’s the hair isn’t it? He smiled a bit sheepishly and replied in the affirmative. I knew it. Not the legs. Not the tits. Not the smile. No, it was my hair.

Who knew that hair could pick someone up? Maybe that’s what that journalist was alluding too? If I hide the ridiculousness that is my hair under a hat, it may be preventing me from using what appears to be my most interesting feature to attract a mate. I always thought that it was what was inside my head that was the most alluring part of me but obviously not. Jesus. No wonder I have been single for so long.

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