40 for 40 #5: Hat’s On

I bought myself my first big fancy hat. Not only is it de rigueur for the Devon Horse Show, the event at which I first wore it, it protected me from the lobster-like sunburn which I involuntarily acquired while sitting and walking out in the sun for hours on end at last year’s show. Hat shopping wasn’t fun; after more than six months of searching I finally found something that looked fabulous in a sea of mediocrity. I felt very self-conscious while wearing the hat at the show since it is not something I have ever done before. But I did receive two unsolicited compliments, and I think it put me among the better, though not necessarily the best, dressed ladies at the event.

I almost bought a hat at last year’s show. It was very pretty, but a hairy black spider took up residence inside and I decided not to disturb her habitat. At this year’s show, the usual array of hats were available for sale, but prices tripled since last year. And that does not include the big fancy hat shop, where I didn’t even look at the prices lest I drop over dead from not shock but sheer jealousy over the fact that what is to some a casual hat purchase is to me a mortgage payment (or two).

This is just be beginning of my big fancy hat odyssey. Perhaps I will purchase one new hat every year, to mark the occasion of my birthday — or to wear to a horse show.

40 for 40 #4: Thongs

I have always thought that flip flops are ugly and uncomfortable. But there are times that they prove to be quite convenient, like during strolls along the beach and after pedicures. I once bought a pair of Minnie Mouse flip flops while staying at a Disney resort for a family literacy conference, and thus ends my adult thong allowance. This year, I indulged in a beautiful pair of gold orthopedic flip flops. They were very expensive, and I don’t often tend to splurge on things like that for myself, but I figured they would be useful on certain occasions. I now find myself wearing them at other times, when they aren’t even necessary, and thus I have joined the legions of modern women around the world who swear by the thong sandal. I even wore them on a semi-lengthy neighborhood walk and afterward my aging, arthritic feet did not ache one bit. The thrill of thong underwear shall have to wait for my 50th birthday.