When a man wears a hat on a first date, especially a blind date, the female mind immediately becomes suspicious. What could he have under there? Is he bald? Has he recently gotten plugs and are they at that gross bleedy stage that looks like someone shaved bits off a possum and glued the rest of the possum on their scalp? Is he a ranga? Whatever the answer, it can’t be good. Wearing a hat is like carrying a backpack when you’re over 40 – it tells the world you’ve got something to hide but you’re not even concerned enough about it to do it in a clever way.
Seated across a table in a cosy bar from a man in a hat, the female mind begins to ponder what other eccentricities this individual may be hiding. Does he collect insects? Is he a sock-sniffer? Then things really start to unravel. I bet he over-pronounces words like “croissant” and describes himself as an “enigmatic loner with the soul of a poet.” Even when the conversation flows effortlessly and a bond is forged over a shared disdain for dub-step, it lurks like an ever-present shadow beast. She cannot shake the voice that whispers in her ear, “He’s wearing a hat. He’s wearing a hat. It’s night-time and he’s wearing a hat. It’s night-time and he’s wearing a hat inside.” Try as she might to ignore it, the voice remains, becoming more and more persistent.
She asks about his work, but can no longer focus on his words, her eyes drawn ever upwards to the grey cloth cap perched atop his skull like a roosting pigeon. She smiles and nods distractedly, mumbling an agreement to some unheard question, unable to concentrate on anything but the hat, now convinced that it is mocking her with its jaunty angle. Her mind begins to race, picturing the dozens of other hats that fill this man’s closet. Fedoras. Knitted beanies. Trucker caps. Oh god, what if he owns a beret? She forces herself to continue with polite conversation, all the while tormented with imaginings of various head coverings, trying to prevent the inevitable descent into bandanna territory.
Conversation dwindles, the glasses are drained and the date draws to a close. As they step outside into the frigid night air he draws up the hood of his jumper over his cap. Now she’s completely baffled. Does this guy have some kind of medical condition that requires him to keep his head at a balmy 28 degrees at all times? He leans in to kiss her cheek goodbye, the coarse tweed on the peak of his cap grazing the side of her brow. Inside she shudders a little.
Attention Men With Hats: it’s a deal breaker.