This morning I turned up at Specsavers for a checkup, as requested, and discovered I was a clerical error. I’ve often suspected as much. So, finding myself with a free hour before I was due to meet Mr F for lunch I did what any self-respecting girl would do: tried on hats.
I love hats, and today I found two that were as ravishing as they were affordable. But what’s the point? I spend most of my waking hours in the kitchen or at my desk and even when there is an occasion that seems to warrant dressing up, no-one does it any more. I’ve seen a guest at a black tie dinner in Jesus sandals. And I have a horrible feeling my generation is to blame.
My mother wore hats, until she discovered allotments and the hooded anorak. In the early Fifties I remember her wearing a natty little black velvet number, like a matador’s hat, with a birdcage veil. I’d kill for that hat now but hindsight is a fine thing. I was in the vanguard of the herd that discarded hats, gloves and stockings and exchanged them for T shirts and long curtains of henna’d hair. Not jeans. I’ve never worn jeans, but on every other count I’m guilty as charged.
Mr F said I was a chump not to have bought a hat. ‘Wear it to Tesco’s’ is his motto. When you’ve suffered years of ridicule over your bow ties I suppose you develop a thick skin. I’ve seen people react very oddly to my husband’s neckwear. Some laugh nervously, some bristle, a few take him to one side and ask him if he’ll show them how it’s tied. In Liverpool strangers wearing wife-beater vests called him ‘tosser’ and ‘wanker’. I realise this speaks volumes about Liverpool but still… If he’d been wearing a baseball cap that said I EVERTON he could hardly have aroused more hostility.
So I’m sitting here thinking those were very lovely hats. I’m sitting here thinking, as I’m already a dinosaur in so many other respects, why not get the dinosaur outfit? I don’t know. I’ll sleep on it. Play me some Porter, please.