My parents gave me a lot of great things. As long as you get past my height, bad eye sight, or the fact that I am destined to have high cholesterol and blood pressure, possibly leading to my heart exploding into a billion pieces, their genes did a pretty decent job.
There is one other major issue I have dealt with my whole life, though.
I have a giant head.
It is not unreasonably gigantic. I have never been in severe medical danger because of my noggin’s heft. At no point in my life did I find myself having trouble fitting my head through doors or getting my skull stuck in tight places. Aside from looking like a life-sized bobblehead doll, there were no major issues.
Despite the fact that I have lived a relatively normal life, I have not experienced a life without hardship. Throughout my years on this planet, I have watched person after person walk about, their head covered by hats.
“Hey,” I would say. “I think wearing a hat sure would be swell. Those gentlemen sure do look dapper with their head wear. Why, I do believe that I will run out and get myself a hat right this second!”
Off I would go to the local hat store (the local hattery?) to find myself a hat. With my money gripped in my tiny little fists (I also have small hands. Forgot to mention that.), I would rush in.
“Hey mister!” I would say to the hat salesman working behind the counter. “I would like one hat please!” Then I would shower him with this money as he provided me with the cap I so desperately desired.
Carefully, so as to not disturb the hat’s stability, I would lift the hat and place it ever so gently on my head. Eagerly I would run to the nearest mirror and stare at the result.
It would look terrible.
I would move the hat left and right, thinking that perhaps I had put this hat on incorrectly. Looking again, I would see the same result.
My head was just too big for any hat to look good. I was destined to spend the rest of my life with a nude head, lest I cause myself to look like humorous caricature with a tiny, itty bitty hat placed gently on top of its head.
Then today, it happened. It was nothing short of a miracle.
My wife and I walked into the store. On the south wall stood a full rack of caps from my hometown and favorite terrible baseball team, the Kansas City Royals. In front of me stood dozens of people trying on hats. There were men finding protection for their balding heads. Women declared this hat or the other hat to be “so cute.” Kids ran in circles screaming and throwing things. Kids are obnoxious, particularly in public arenas.
“I wish I could find a good Royals cap,” I said.
“Well, let’s look,” my wife, said. I tried my best to guide her away from my imminent humiliation, but there was no use. She had already started the hunt.
She picked up an aged looking blue number and handed it to me. I immediately thought of the hats that have haunted my past, made my head look ridiculous. Then I thought about the fact that someone with lice could have tried this hat on before leaving it in the store. The only thing that would make my head look stupider than a hat is shaving my head to remove bugs.
“Try it on,” she said, interrupting my thoughts of pests infesting my cranium.
Slowly, I slipped it on. I felt the hat cover my head and immediately shuddered. Behind me I heard my wife snort, laughing at the sight in front of her. Then, everything changed.
“I never thought I would say this,” she said, still laughing a bit, “but this hat actually looks good on you.”
Like Usain Bolt, I took off running. I’m pretty sure I broke the sound barrier getting to the mirror off to the side of the hats. I might have accidentally run over a few of the obnoxious, whiny children, but they probably had it coming.
There, in the mirror, I saw me. But on top of my head was not my normal skull top, but a hat and, for the first time in my life, I did not feel like that hat made me look stupid.
A few hours later, my brand new hat and I had bonded. After time spent in the sun, I felt a burn growing on my arms. My face, though, was conspicuously burn-free. Not only that, but I didn’t have to worry about my hair looking stupid because my dear beloved hat was there, covering up whatever mess might be on my head.
Suddenly, I saw a world of possibilities open up in front of me. I could be outside and not squint into the sun. If I ever chose to run for a political office, I could actually throw my hat into the ring, although I’m pretty sure I would still have to fill out an application and get signatures before they would put me on the ballot. If, for some reason, I ever need to pick a person out of a group of people, within second my hat could be filled with names to be drawn. The potential was endless.
I may still have a giant head, but none of that matters now. I have found a friend who doesn’t care. My hat and I will be best friends forever.
Or until that whole heart exploding thing. Maybe my hat can remind me to avoid bacon…