The status of the ‘hat’

Question to Americans: How many baseball hats do you see people wearing everyday, or any kind of hat for that matter? I’m sure you see hundreds. I know for one that my buddy,  Christian owns about, well too many hats for his own good. He wears one every single day and his hat always goes with his outfit. It’s his style. And it’s cool.  And that’s not weird (maybe he’s a little too into it, but that’s him and I totally dig it.)

Is that a typical American thing to do? Own lots of hats? Or to constantly wear hats?
I’d say that’s pretty darn common.

Americans wear hats. It’s a piece of clothing that we always put on. We wake up in the morning, we shower, we put on our clothes, tie up our shoes, and if you’re the Average Joe American male, you put on a baseball hat. Or if you’re a skater, you wear a beanie. Or if you’re a hipster, you wear a fedora. Whoever you are, I’m sure you’ve spent many days wearing hats.  Even girls wear baseball hats, there’s nothing wrong with that either.

But here in Spain, no one wears hats. I shouldn’t say no one, because people do wear hats. For necessity mostly (according to Marta. You wear a hat to keep your head warm.) Some guys wear fedoras, but like I said, they’re hipsters. Girls wear hats occasionally, but they aren’t wearing NY Yankees baseball hats.

When my father came to Spain, he wore his black Adidas baseball hat the entire time. Every picture that we took had my father wearing a hat. My mother and I were quick to note that he was the only person we had seen the entire week my parents were here wearing a hat.  At least a baseball hat for that matter.

For me, I wear hats pretty frequently. I like wearing my beanie, even if its not that cold outside. I like wearing a baseball hat, or a trucker hat, especially ones with the bill folded up. Here in Spain, I don’t bring out the hat so much because, like my father who stuck out like a sore thumb, I don’t want to be that guy.  But sometimes you have to just give into what you are accustomed to, what you like, and well, what you want to wear.

I noticed the hat thing before, sure. Even before my father came.  But today, Marta told me she found America, what was the word she used, neat, because people seem to always wear hats. She said she likes that about the States. And I asked why. She said that (excuse my paraphrased translation of our conversation from this afternoon), “Well, people wear hats when they go outside into the cold. But indoors, they take their hats off.” She and her friends even added that wearing any kind of hat indoors in Spain is considered rude.  Then Marta told the tale to her friends of when my buddy, Jared, was here just last week. He wore a beanie the entire time. To me, that’s just Jared and it’s completely normal for guys to wear beanies. It’s really no big deal. But Marta told her friends that not only did he wear the hat outdoors, everyday, even when it was hot out, but he wore it indoors, too! (Oh, the horror!)

Marta said it made her laugh.  She really found it amusing. I guess I had never really thought about it before, especially Jared being the “spitting image” American that gave Marta the impression that we always wear hats.  She just couldn’t understand why he’d keep wearing the hat even when he was indoors. That’s just really interesting to me because I never second-guessed it for a minute.

Now looking back on the last time I wore my red Chicago Bulls hat when I went to give a private English lesson, both of my pupils made a comment about it and then the mother walked in and said, “What’s that on your head?” Then she realized it was a hat.  It was something of a spectacle, or something completely foreign to them. Not only was there this strange American boy in their house, but he had on a bright, red hat.  And it was on backwards! (That’s really the only way to rock it, you know?)

Baseball hats do exist here, and some guys choose to wear them (never girls!), but since baseball isn’t a sport that’s played here (remember, baseball is our national sport, not theirs), it’s not a piece of clothing you see worn regularly.

When I went to Brussels, however, I noticed that lots of men wore baseball hats and that was one thing that turned me on to the place as a future destination for me to study because I’d be able to wear my hats and not feel like everyone is staring at me like I feel here.

Anyway, these are just my thoughts for today.

Write more later,

Graham

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