Hats Off

I used to think that I could use as my credo the ever-popular “Live and let live”. But the more I think about it, and the more I find myself among people (that kinda happens to you when you live in this city), I tend to believe that my belief is more along the lines of “Live and let die”, a la the James Bond movie and its theme song.
I mean, my tolerance can only be stretched so far. I can accept a wide variety of aberrations in clothing, hairstyle, footgear, and anything else. And although I would never do it myself, I like piercings, tattoos, and just about anything the Chelsea boys want to display. But when I see a scrappy young guy standing on a street corner, wearing a cowboy hat made of yellowish straw, way too big for his little head, and he’s trying to catch the eye of any and every person who passes by, apparently hoping that someone mentions just how fucking cool that goddamned hat is, and he keeps touching its brim in order to bring attention to it (as if the hideous thing can’t do that on its own), well, that’s just pushing it.
If you’re going to wear something crazy, if you’re going to be so bold as to wear something that’s making some sort of statement, then have the balls to wear it without self-consciousness. Don’t make desperate attempts to draw attention to something that draws attention to itself on its own. Don’t struggle to pull that 12″ micro-mini back down over your ample ass. Don’t twirl the ends of your waist-length pink-and-blond braided extensions. Don’t keep taking that straw hat off, running your hand through your hair, putting the hat back on, and keep repeating the entire cycle until I want to run the hell over to you, snatch that damned thing from your hands, and shred it with mine.
If you’re going to wear it, just wear it.
Yesterday afternoon a friend and I were down around Avenue “A”, and we saw a girl wearing the oddest sleeve-type things on her legs. They were made of some sort of flimsy, chiffony fabric, and hung from just under her knees and extended to her ankles, where they flared like the bottom of a pair of pants. I’d never seen anything like it. And it was certainly strange-looking. But it didn’t bother me, because she didn’t seem self-conscious about it. She was just … wearing it. I admired her ability to wear what she was wearing, and to do so with such insouciance.
My own sister is like that. She can get away with wearing crazy stuff, even in the unhip suburb where she lives, because she doesn’t make a big deal out of it. She just wears it. She doesn’t fidget, she doesn’t fuss. It’s just who she is, and that’s the only statement she’s making.
I like that.
I can live with that.