There are two kinds of people in this world: those who look good in hats, and those who look godawful. This is not a hair/hairless dichotomy. I have seen bald people work a hat like they're Agyness Deyn and the hat is a lycra body stocking. Similarly, I have seen the follicle-challenged wear beanies in scenarios where all I can think is "Surely the wool is scratching your head directly. Surely all you want right now is to get a hand up under there and itchityscratchityscratch? But you can't scratch or EVERYONE will think you've got NITS* ew ew ew**".
I have seen people with unprepossessing locks transformed by the application of a wee scrap of felt and feather. But there are also girls with the glossiest manes whose hat makes said beautiful pelts look triangular by making it appear to start at roughly ear level. I suspect that there is something important about finding the right hat, and wearing it with the right attitude.
At high school, my best friend and I had a pact. No hats at our weddings, oh no. We would not have a horde of middle aged ladies parading millinery matched to their twinset and pearls.*** We were not hat girls, no way no how. She has lovely glossy hair that did not need to be covered the only types of hats we owned: winter beanies and caps with neck flaps for sun protection. I have horrid, hateful frizzy hair which it should have been a pleasure to hide but, with it tucked up under a beanie, I look All Ears and Nose.
Occasionally, over the years, both of us have tried to amend this position. For example, we have tried fascinators at the races. Mine spent all day at a wonky angle and generally looked disproportionate to the size of my hair (I can forgive my family many of the dud genes they have gifted me: giant fleshy earlobes and less than 20/20 eyesight for example. But WHY oh WHY did I have to inherit thick, frizzy, mousy hair in the worst possible combination of hair-genes from either side of the family? SELF-INDULGENT SADFACE). Best friend pulled it off with more aplomb, but I think we still generally feel like frauds in a hat.
Which is why it came as a surprise to me when she sent me an email, explaining that the head wear she'd be rocking for my wedding looked much like this:
*Headlice, for those challenged by the Kiwi lexicon. Feeling a box of birds? Got your knickers in a knot?
** God forbid people should think you have a common childhood/close quarters complaint. But I always feel sad for people with nits, like they're WWI soldiers facing the worst of humanity in terrifying conditions, who are about to go over the top and ON TOP of all that are suffering the indignity of itchy critters in their hair and pubes. And if it’s a child, then I also get a case of the sads because my experience suggests that their mum is about to come after them with a bottle of the most nostril-searing, eye-stinging stuff known to mankind and they will get repeatedly dunked in the bathtub to rinse followed by a gorilla grooming session with a fine tooth comb. Fair to say my Mum has a zero tolerance policy on nits and a love for the personal hygiene habits of the great apes.
*** Probably relevant to point out here that she and I grew up in a pretty low-socio economic area and did not know anyone who wore twinsets and pearls or who wore any hat other than a beanie with "D---- Rugby Club" printed across the front. I think we'd based our no hats rule on back issues of the NZ Woman's Weekly featuring Sarah Ferguson's wedding to the Duke of York. Best friend is a ginger and role models were hard to come by in the pre-Christina Hendricks era.