Hat head

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

Geoff and I dashed into WalMart, after having picked up a few groceries at the supermarket next door. It was getting late and we were treading dangerously close to “People of Walmart*” territory.

I was on a mission - a mission to procure a new hat and become awesome. I often have ill-planned notions and this one in particular involved me looking fresh and flirty in a fedora. You know, like Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon or Jessica Alba.

There was absolutely no way I was going to pull this off.

I headed to the hat department and grabbed the first fedora I saw. It was super cute – straw colored with a sleek black band and - because we were in Walmart - it was sensibly priced at approximately $4.32, plus tax (and a smiley face).

I lifted the hat from its cradle and held it in my hand. I could feel myself getting closer to nailing the chic “It” girl look I’d always tried to achieve. The excitement was audible – mostly because I was squealing out loud. The noise attracted the attention of an employee from the nearby jewelry department.

Jewelry Girl: “Can I help you ma’am?”

Me: “No, thank you. I found exactly what I was looking for!”

Jewelry Girl: “Oh. Are you buying a gift for someone?”

Me: “No – it’s for me. I’m buying myself a fedora! I’m so excited.”

Jewelry Girl: “Um. Alright then. I see.”

And with that, she walked away, which was fine with me because really, she was cramping my style – what with her “ma’am” this and “ma’am” that. I’ll bet no one calls Halle Berry ma’am, especially when she’s wearing her fedora, I thought (quite possible out loud, given the look Jewelry Girl gave me).

As I began to pull the stylish accessory onto my head, I heard angels singing, followed by the sound of a record being scratched. Then, only crickets.

Here’s the thing. I have a freakishly large skull. In other words: my head is so big, airplanes need to be diverted when I’m in the vicinity. Which is why we don’t live near an airport. Anymore. In fact, the only person I’ve ever met with a noodle bigger than mine was my dad. I still remember him, Geoff, Jan and I standing in our kitchen with a measuring tape. He won the pumpkin head contest that day but only by a hair.

So the fedora didn’t fit. Whatever. I’d just try on another. And another. And… another.

Eighteen fedoras on the floor later, I spotted the big floppy sunhats in the next aisle.

Of course! A sunhat. How did I miss those? I could totally rock a sunhat. Sunhats are big and Blake Lively looks great in one. Blake Lively has blond hair. I have blond hair.

This was a no brainer.

Just as I was struggling to pull one of the largest of the “one size fits all” trilbies over my gargantuan bean, Geoff wandered around the corner --- wearing a fedora.

I wanted to shout, “you prick!” but the truth was he looked great in the hat he had just discovered, so instead I yelled, “lucky bastard!” thus giving Jewelry Girl yet another reason to grab her cell phone camera – you know, for the People of Walmart's annual “middle aged women with matronly arms and giant heads" edition.

Noticing my predicament, Geoff suggested I try the men’s department.

It made sense for me to follow his advice since between of the two of us, he was the only one who didn’t look like a cartoon character who had just spent the night wearing a cap in a clothesdryer.

He was right (of course), because within seconds of walking past men’s underwear, I found a massive straw hat with a colossal blue and white band. It was just hefty enough to conceal my viciously vast cranium – and my left ear.

Here's a reenactment:

"Well, Howdy Ma'am"

Before checking out, I also managed to find a mis-sized women’s sunhat, which was more Barbra Streisand than Blake Lively, but it fit (sort of), and at that point, that's all that mattered.

Okay Barbra, you win.

In the car on the way home, I snatched Geoff's fedora in a last ditch effort to appear cool. I managed to squeeze it onto my head and in doing so, discovered the real problem with me and hats...

Nevermind my head -- look at the size of my freaking face!

Behold, the final reenactment:

I thought the scarf might help me pull of the Jessica Alba look.
I was wrong.

Looks like Jewelry Girl was right. I expect to see myself on People of Walmart within the week.

No, really.

*For those who don’t know, People of Walmart, is a website where users submit images of peculiar-looking folks wearing tight pants and carrying pet monkeys while shopping at the open-all-night chain stores - typically between the hours of 2am and 4am. In other words, it’s not pretty and I’m ashamed to admit I’m aware of it’s existence. But clearly, not ashamed enough.