I don’t particularly like going to the bank. I suppose there aren’t many of us who do, being that it’s a place where one’s monetary shortcomings are in full view and relative strangers make compulsory – and sometimes shockingly invasive – small talk while you perform mathematical magical thinking right in front of their eyes. Exiting a financial institution recently, and mired in my own apocalyptic calculations of my personal – and by stress-induced extrapolation, intrinsic – worth, I had a fleeting conversation with the most gorgeous woman who reached for the door at the very same moment, and from her I unexpectedly received one of the best pieces of advice anyone has ever given me.
It happened that she was dressed entirely in layers of plain but startlingly beautiful fabrics that flowed over her as though she was an animated marble sculpture from some wholly other era. She was, indeed, quite a number of decades older than me, and yet walking as quickly as I was. I wondered if perhaps she was just as eager to be getting out of that place. I held the door open for her, and as she passed by I was struck by how perfectly her gigantic woven hat was situated upon her head, and how regally she carried it above the rest of her ethereal ensemble.
She was so stunning; I’m pretty sure I sounded like a star struck teenager as I complimented her on the hat, saying that I wished I was a person who could pull off wearing something like that. I have never been able to manage hats. They make me self-conscious, they make my head itch, and even in the coldest of winters I am the idiot who has nothing on her head. And probably also has no socks on. Or gloves, or even long sleeves. I’ve joked forever to friends that I must have been a starfish in another life because I seem to hate having my points covered.
Anyway, she laughed and responded by saying “Of course you could wear a hat! Anyone can wear one. The key is that you have to just set it up top of your head and then don’t mess with it. Just leave it. Don’t fuss. And then don’t look in the mirror – just go about your day.” Continue reading