I’m a hat person. I wear them well, and I know I look good in hats. I just cannot figure out why, when it comes to hats, my hats, it’s so hard for some folks to give a compliment instead of giving an unsolicited comment. No one is obligated to like my hats, but, if all one can offer is a flat out reference to some cartoon or figure from another century, well, some things are better left unsaid.
Just recently I ran into an old friend, she looked me up and down (with admiration) and said all I needed was a sword. I had no idea of what she was referring to. I looked at her and said “Huh?” “Your hat, your boots” she replied. I didn’t say thank you, because I realized she was comparing my look to some Puss N’ Boots get up, and by the way, I wasn’t wearing pirate-style boots.
A few days later I was wearing a hat I picked up in Paris (trés chic, indeed), “You remind me of a Venetian Doge,” said an acquaintance. What was I to do with that comment? I just smiled, stewing inside.
You remind me of Johnny Depp,” said another person. He read my puzzled expression and said, “You know the pirate look?” (Note: this was the same hat that was missing the sword accessory, hmm; maybe it does look like a pirate hat.)
Venetian Doge, Johnny Depp, even The Mad hatter (a comment about a hat I had many years ago) these comments would be fine if I were at a costume ball. The missing common thread in all these comments was not one of these people said “I like your hat.” So maybe their comments are code for, “I don’t like your hat.”
If you feel like giving a compliment, give the compliment, if you can’t say anything complimentary; keep the historical and theatrical references to yourself , and leave my hats alone. Thank you.