Sunday, 18 March 2007

Hat Shop

Dan on his travels had spotted a hat shop in Newton. We stopped by there yesterday. "You don't want me to go in with you, do you?" Dan said.
"Of course," I said impatiently. "I need some feedback on how the hats look."
"Unlike me, you look good in any hat, even a woolly hat. You're a hat person."
"Oh, no. You're not getting away with that. You're coming in with me," I insisted.
The shop door was boarded up and we thought it might be closed, but the boarding was the result of drunken vandalism. "They didn't take anything or harm the hats," the proprietor said.
"Thank God," I said looking around at the array of hats displayed in all the colours of the rainbow. I had a vision of drunken hooligans running around the streets of St Helens in fabulous feather hats.
"Have you got an appointment" she asked. An appointment to try on hats?
"Our customers usually bring in their outfit so I make time for them," she said. "But I'm not busy if you want to have a look. They're designer hats. You can buy them but they're mostly for hire."
I'd never thought of hiring a hat, but at prices of £250-350 it certainly made sense. I'd only wear it the once and then it would be cluttering up the bedroom.

My outfit, which I'd brought with me, is cream and black. I tried every similarly coloured hat in the shop. Dan turned out to be a great help. We narrowed it down to two. One was called a kissing hat. The brim although huge was turned up away from the face, so that the Mother of the Bride could kiss the wedding guests without doing them an in jury. Dan liked this one. The other was a classic style with a wide brim and feathers. It looked fabulous from every angle. I knew that was the one. I felt right in it. Dan liked it so the deal was done. I have to pick it up on the Thursday before the wedding and I can keep it for the weekend. If it's not damaged when I return it I get back my deposit, which is the hire charge twice over.

"Does the Mother of the Bride leave the hat on during the meal?" I asked the proprietor.
"The Mother of the Bride is the most important person, after the bride, of course. If you leave your hat on during the meal, everyone else should, but if you take it off so should the other guests. It depends on what you feel comfortable with."
"Such power," I said. "I'll confuse everyone by pretending to take it off, but merely adjust it."
"It'll be like in Japan, when everybody waits for the highest ranking person to start eating before they can join in," Dan Added.
"Well it wasn't so bad helping me to choose a hat, was it?" I asked Dan after we'd said our goodbyes to the girl.
"No, it was OK. I thought the shop would be full of women trying on hats."

Copyright © 2007 Barbara Attwood

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