I bought a floppy beach hat today. It is 22 degrees out.
My purchase is partially wishful thinking that the weather will tropicate overnight.
But even if it did—what then? I am not a floppy beach hat girl. I wish I was. I so want to be her. I imagine myself languorously drifting into the local market, embellished with the floppy beach hat.
People I don’t know would whisper about me behind my back: “She is wearing a floppy beach hat. Therefore, her life must be perfect in that casual not-trying-too-hard kind of way.”
I want people to think I am not trying too hard.
But I am actually trying really hard.
I own a black coat with a fake fur collar. For floppy beach hat girl. I also have a pair of 5-inch stilettos acquired on trip to New Zealand two decades ago.
I have worn the shoes exactly once.
Floppy beach hat girl would wear those shoes to go see the dentist.
You know she would.
Floppy beach hat girl is fearless. She wears what she wants, when she wants. She doesn’t agonize before leaving the house if she is dressed appropriately and then ultimately put on jeans and a Target t-shirt (again) just so she can look like a suburban soccer mom. No. Floppy beach hat girl will wear bracelets made of rubber bands (bestowed upon her by her 7-year-old) with an evening gown to go to her husband’s work party. She dresses for herself, not caring what others think one way or another.
I take a cue from floppy beach hat girl. I put on black corduroy pants, a pink sweater, and a crazy wood necklace shaped like arrows that I bought at a second-hand store in LA. I lace up chunky leather boots. I look in the mirror and smile.
As we are about to leave, my snarky 4th grader groans, “You’re not wearing that, are you, Mom?”
I zip back to my closet and change. Jeans and a sweatshirt. No necklace.
Floppy beach hat girl will have to wait another day.