Wednesday, January 06, 2016

The temperature was 16 degrees when I dropped my son off at school yesterday morning, but according to the weather folks, it felt like 3 degrees outside and I felt every bit of that bitter cold. Of course Nyles was leisurely walking around like we were in balmy Miami, until a strong gust of wind brought him back down to Earth. We ran into school, I kissed him goodbye, and I headed back to the car. As I got closer to the car, one of the bus drivers saw me walking by and said, "Where is your hat young man?". I told her I didn't have one, and she said, "You need your hat".

I do have a hat, but it is that hat I wear when I go running in the morning, so it is sweaty and not meant to be worn with fancy work clothes. I keep saying I'm going to buy another one, and then I forget and either a)throw on the ratty workout hat or b) walk around without one like I did yesterday morning. Neither option is a good look for a grown ass man. My wife keps saying that I need to stop faking and buy one, but we both know that the hat will not get purchased until she does it. That's just how these things go. But you certainly didn't visit my blog to hear about hatonomics.

When my grandmother was living (she died in 2004), and my family lived in Cleveland from 1980-1982 she was CONSTANTLY on my dad about wearing a hat. My dad would have a nice jacket, gloves, a scarf, but no hat. My dad would buy hats for my brother and I, and my mother had an assortment of hats, but somehow but father felt like he was immune from the effects of the mean, windy, snowy, Cleveland winter. One winter, my dad literally got frostbite on his ear and spent a brief time in the hospital. But did he buy a hat upon being discharged? Hells no.

When we left Cleveland and moved to Detroit, Connecticut and eventually Maryland, my grandmother would still ask my dad (and me) if he was wearing a hat, my dad would say, "Don't worry about me mama." Then my grandmother would bring up the frostbite, and my father would effectively shut down the conversation. He knew my grandmother was right, but he wasn't trying to hear that bullshit. If he didn't buy a hat in a cold-ass Midwest city like Cleveland, he wasn't going to purchase a hat any damn where. For the record, I always had a hat..up until yesterday.

Fast forward to my grandmother's funeral in 2004. It was like 10 degrees at the cemetery, and it was me, my dad, my aunt, my brother and my grandmother's best friend at the grave site. They lowered my grandmother's body into the ground (nobody cried, which was weird), and the pastor said a prayer afterwards. It was eerily quiet after the prayer, and we were all just kind of standing around looking forlorn (and cold as hell). Then out of nowhere my aunt looks at my dad and says, "Michael where the hell is your hat?". All of us fell out laughing and it broke the tension, and we walked back to our respective cars feeling better about an otherwise sad day.

So when that woman asked me where my hat was, I felt like I was carrying on the family tradition. That being said, I need a hat, it was cold again this morning and my ears hurt.

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