Sunday, March 27, 2005

To hat or not to hat?

Growing up I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. Both my grandfathers were raised in the era when a man wore a tie to work and never left the house without a hat on his head. Well I grew up hating hats. Both grandpas would make me wear a hat much of the time. I detested them. The hats, not the grandpas. They also taught me to take my hat off when I went indoors, to tip the hat when being introduced to a lady, etc.

Well I lost both my granfathers before I was 20. I'm sure that they are both disappointed that I don't wear a tie to work. Heck I don't even wear a tie to church. I wear ties to funerals and weddings. The few times I've dressing in a tie it's frightened my children so I try to avoid it. When my niece got married last summer I tried to get out of the tie. But she wouldn't have it, so I wore my Winnie the Pooh tie. That will teach her.

But now to my hat problem. Over the years I have lost not only my grandparents, but my hair. So now here I am, a bald guy living in the desert where the sun shines over 300 days a year. So adding the pain of sunburning your head to the factor that I had a brief bout with skin cancer on my head 3 years ago I've turned into my grandpas. I don't leave the house without a hat on my head.

I don't really like baseball caps. They just don't look good on me. Plus they don't protect my face or neck. So I wear hats, not caps. I have a variety of hats for different seasons and occasions. And in honor of my grandfathers, I try to follow the rules. I take my hat off when I walk indoors.

So this brings me to this mornings problem. I never wear my hat in church. The Sanctuary it indoors. But what should I do on Easter Sunday when services are held outdoors. I wear my hat to the church. But should I take it off when the service starts? If I do, will I be sitting in the rising sun, and again, put the exposed crown of my head at risk from the sun again? I don't know. Well this morning I took the hat off when the service started and left it off until the service was over. But this year I was shaded from the sun by a tree in the courtyard. Last Easter however I took my hat off and we were sitting in the sun. By the time services ended my head was starting to turn pink. Something I'm supposed to avoid.

So what is the protocol for wearing a hat in outdoor events where normally wearing a hat would be rude? But on the other hand should I put myself at risk to meet a society expectation, especially since men who wear hats are so rare these days, no one else is likely to know the rules anyway.

Since my grandpas aren't around to advise me I guess just off the top of my head, I'll keep making it up as I go along.

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