This probably won’t come as a surprise to many of you, but I’m nothing if not a man of consistency. When I find something that works, I stick with it, as evidenced by my trusty Honda, my ever-growing collection of Dave Barry books, and my timeless love for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
And so, quite naturally, my need for uniformity has played a large role in the development of my wardrobe, specifically my collection of baseball hats:
Yes, those are 3 different versions of the exact same hat, and no, I don’t buy them in bulk. Now, before you ask any more questions, let me explain my reasons for owning them.
These hats are black and drab, which is a critical component to my style. (The Drab Forgettable Look) The last thing I’d ever want to do is stand out in a crowd (shudder), and a drab black hat goes a long way in helping me fade comfortably into any given background. Basically, it’s social camouflage.
It takes the thinking out of matching. You see, I’m terrible at coordinating colors, mainly because there’s way too many of them, which confuses me to no end. (I mean, is fuchsia really a thing, and if so, is it really necessary?) Take a standard color wheel. If you were to show me one, I’d immediately get dizzy and have to lie down and rest for a while. There’s just too much going on with it, to the point where over the years I’ve been forced to develop my own personal version:
And so – with the help of this simplified color wheel – I’ve decided that black is the way to go in terms of my hat color, since it seems to match just about everything I own, including my ill-fitting J.C. Penney suit that I’ve worn only twice (both to costume parties), my swimming trunks, and, most importantly, my collection of drab black, gray, and blue shirts.
The Adidas logos on these hats don’t jump out, which is something that’s very important to me, as I don’t want to be a corporate shill. Unless a logo has something to do with the
Upper Peninsula, United States national
parks, or the George Strait 2005 Somewhere Down in Texas
tour, I don’t want it standing out. “Mind your own business” is my motto for
logos that adorn my wardrobe.
But why, you might ask, do I have three versions of the exact same hat? Are you really that lazy? Well, to be honest with you, it’s because I made a terrible mistake. I probably should have stuck with just two.
You see, I had a good system going for a while. I owned two hats, one old and one sort of new. The old hat (used for semi-formal, festive, and casual occasions) was dirty, faded, and smelled like campfire. The newer hat (used for black tie, white tie, and formal occasions) was slightly less dirty and faded, and its smell had yet to reach the point of turning heads. Basically, it was the perfect system. I either wore the old hat or the newer hat, and the simple choice helped to keep my stress levels low.
Then, however, in a fit of what I thought was inspiration – but which I later realized was a brief bout of insanity – one day I had the following thought: “Two hats are good, but wouldn’t a third one make things even better?”
At the time it sort of made sense. My old hat was getting quite ragged, to the point where the possibility of it dissolving in a stiff gust of wind seemed very real. So, I figured that by buying a third hat I could begin to phase out the old hat, namely by relegating it solely to campfire and sports duty. Then, what had once been the newer hat (and which would now become the middle hat) could take over some of the duties of the old hat, while the newly purchased hat would immediately be used for high-class gatherings, such as going to Kwik Trip or the ATM. Then, whenever the old hat did give up the ghost, the middle hat would seamlessly slide down to become the new old hat, while the newly-purchased hat would become the new newer hat, officially restoring the two-hat system! Got it?
However, I wasn’t counting on the old hat being as stubborn and ornery as it is. (I think it takes after me.) You see, no matter how many fires I've attended or how many sports I've played, it’s simply refused to give up the ghost. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where I’ve now quite certain it’s going to outlive me, and perhaps even modern civilization.
In addition, I’ve also realized that the newly purchased hat is, well, too new. It’s not faded at all, and it still has that annoying new hat smell. In short, it has no character, and when I look at it, I find myself thinking, “Why on earth would I want to wear you? What have you ever done to deserve that?” I then grab the middle hat and wear it instead, because it's been around the proverbial block a time or two, and I trust it.
So now I’m stuck with three hats: One that’s so ratty I’m sometimes mistaken for a hobo when I wear it, one that’s so new I can’t stomach to wear it at all, and one that’s just about right. Now, as you can probably guess, this disruption of the two-hat system has raised my stress levels to unacceptable heights, leaving me no choice but to search high and low for a solution.
The main problem I’m been having with reverting back to a two-hat system is that I simply hate to get rid of one. Throwing out the old hat seems insensitive, since it’s been so loyal to me over the years, and junking the new one because it’s just too new is plain silly. Luckily, I’m a problem solver by nature, and so I’ve finally come up with a solution, one that just so happens to involve you.
Yes, you. Now listen up.
If you ever see me wearing my old hat (you’ll know it because you’ll wonder why I have a dead animal on my head) I want you to steal it from me, run away, and either burn it or blow it up in some sort of dramatic explosion. Warning: Even though this is my idea, I might still attempt to chase you down, and perhaps even beat you with a blunt object, as I'm quite fond of that hat. However, remember that it’s for the greater good! If you succeed, my middle hat will then by default become my old hat, and the two-hat system will finally be restored! Then, after I cry a little over my loss, all that'd be left for me to do is jump up and down on my new hat for an hour or so, just to give it a little character.
Plus, you’d even get a reward out of the deal, as I promise that I'll take you out to lunch.
We’ll have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
We’ll have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.