That thing served me well, and I hate to see it go. Todd, Vince, and I have been on the Pan Panamerican Road Trip for the past two weeks or so. We've been spending a lot of time in the Panamanian Highlands, where it's unbelievably windy. After chasing the hat down the road a couple times, I stopped wearing it so diligently.
And that's how I didn't notice when I left it in a hostel. I called a couple days later, realizing the hat's probable fate, and was told that he had seen it the day before, but that it was gone now.
I left my number, but it's been a few days. The hat is gone.
I forget exactly when I got the hat, but I think it was late 2005. That means I've worn it almost every day for over three years. It held up remarkably well, despite being coming around the world with me and going through just about every climate you can imagine.
By the end a lot of sequins had faded, many of them were so dirty that my attempts to clean the thing were in vain, and a bunch of them had fallen off. The hat was a bit of a disaster, but I was clinging on until the bitter end.
I started off wearing it because it was a cool pickup gimmick, kept wearing it because I really liked it, and then couldn't stop wearing it because it made me very easy to recognize.
Being easy to recognize was great. First, it meant that anyone who read my blog could spot me. My blog isn't super popular, but on the occasions it happened it was fun to talk to a reader.
More importantly, people in businesses would recognize me, and I would become a "regular" much faster. For example, as soon as I walked into Karaoke this year in Panama City, one of the employees remembered seeing me at Carnaval last year.
So anyway, I'm sad to see it go.
I haven't decided what to replace it with yet. Here are my options, maybe you can weigh in with your opinion:
- A different sequin hat. I have a few others, but none of them fit very well. One is black with silver stars, which is cool but not as good as the multicolored one.
- I can try to find a replacement. I have looked pretty hard to find a similar one with no luck. The places that sell them online have really strange fitting hats. Still, I can't imagine buying 10 of them or so isn't going to yield SOMETHING.
- I can just stop wearing a hat. Maybe it's about time to associate my brand (to sound fancy) with my face. I don't like this because my super utilitarian clothes make me look like a boring person.
- Get a rollable Panama hat. There's a chance I'll look like an idiot wearing one of these things, but they've always appealed to me. They're very functional, can roll up small, and I could even get a band made with rhinstones with my logo on it.
- Maybe someone can make me a new one? I have this fantasy that someone who reads this is great at sewing sequins or knows how to durably attach rhinestones to fabric or something. If that's you, I am willing to do basically anything for a custom made hat, including paying a fair price for it.
That's that. The hat got a lot of criticism (which seems pointless to me), so maybe some people are secretly glad it's gone. My mom would be in that category, minus the secret part.