So, a funny thing happened on Nov. 1, I turned 36.  I guess it isn’t exactly funny, I get older every year on that day. However I’ve never spent my birthday money on a Fedora.  I always buy books or clothes or pay bills with the extra windfall. This year I bought myself a new Fedora. I have always liked hats, not ball caps, but hats. When I was little I wanted the straw Easter hats with the frilly bows and ribbons, Indiana Jone’s hat was a must, and I really wanted a Canadian Mounties hat.  I was told by someone that I looked very silly in hats, and hardly even wore a ball cap if I could help it. As time dragged me through my adulthood years I still had the stigma of looking silly in hats, so I continued to be hatless. Then I met a thirteen year old girl with very high self esteem. Her mom and I are good friends. I went to Indiana to visit my friend, and her daughter was turning thirteen. I happened to be there for the girl’s birthday party. The girl wore so many shades of purple my head spun. Her shirt had a circles on it in various shades of complementing purples. The girl’s skirt was a vertical striped pattern in different hues of purple. Then she put on bright pink knee high socks and white paint splatter Converse tennis shoes with a big pink peace sign on the sides. To make her outfit complete, she put on a black and dark purple, horizontally striped hoodie.  It was um… well it was hideous.

Now if I remember right thirteen was an extremely mean age.  Kids are cruel.  I was picked on so much when I was thirteen, school was hell. When I told my friend’s daughter that she clashed and the fashion police were going to give her a ticket she said, “I know. I don’t care. What do the fashion police know anyway?”

My jaw hit the floor. I sat there reeling. She knows? She doesn’t care? Has being thirteen changed that much? I asked her mother about all this, quietly of course, without the daughter in the room. My friend said that her daughter has always worn whatever the daughter wanted, matching or not, and that the girl honestly didn’t care. Ok then. I shrugged and let it go. At the party, no one even said a word about the girl’s clothes. The outfit stopped bugging me after awhile to the point where I could focus on the daughter and not what she was wearing.

I have been thinking about that birthday party ever since it happened. Could I, at 36, be like my friend’s daughter? Well I could, what would the consequences be? More peace of mind for me. How liberating would that be? I still get picked on, but the worse part is I still let it bug me. WHY??!? (Smack my forehead yet again…) I went to get my fedora with my husband. I wore it all day yesterday. I got a lot of good comments about my hat. My husband said that I was cute. I love my hat! What do the fashion police know anyway?