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Let me tell you this: a hat is going to get you noticed.

Last weekend I went to Palm Springs to an event that required I wear a hat. Hats are delicate, you can’t just shove them in your luggage, so my friend and I had to wear ours through the airport and on the plane.
Everywhere we went someone commented on and complimented our hats. I liked it and not because of the attention. I’m kind of a shy person, under the blustery exterior, and I don’t much like to be noticed, except as an opportunity to meet and be nice to people.

Some people use drugs or alcohol to get through their day, I use making other people feel good. And not for any personal gain. Long ago I noticed that to make other people feel like shit, I have to brew the pot of shit within myself, and no matter how much shit I spew out on other people or how many people respond with niceness, my insides are still full of the shitiness.

Making other people feel good is exactly the same. I’m full of the feeling good, regardless of the external world. It doesn’t matter at all whether my niceness is reciprocated.

In college I experimented on what it would be like to get nothing back for being nice to people. I was consistently nice to the toll takers on the Richmond Bridge, even though being in any of their presences, while they’re working at least, is as pleasant as breathing poison. Let’s just say they aren’t nice (the Golden Gate Bridge toll takers are the opposite, by the way, some of the nicest people I’ve ever come in contact with. If the line is short ,I’ll hide my FasTrack so I can say hi).

Doing this made me realize that If I was shitty back to them I felt like shit but if I was nice, I felt nice, regardless of the way they treated me. As far as I see it the key to life is to realize that life is entirely what you put into it. What you get out of it is irrelevant.

So that’s how I live my life now and wearing something, like a hat, that gets people to talk to me, gives me more opportunity to have a life that feels good.

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the author

Babe Scanlon is a writer living and working in San Francisco. She's worked as an archaeologist, computer game designer, agent at Agent Provocateur and hypnotherapist. She is controlling your mind at this very moment.

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  • Roger Hall

    I need to go buy a new hat now! And be nicer to other people too….

  • Roger Hall

    I need to go buy a new hat now! And be nicer to other people too….

  • Tim Ehhalt

    No hat box? Trashy.

  • Tim Ehhalt

    No hat box? Trashy.

  • netzard

    I once had a wedding to attend in Bristol, England. As a lady, you simply cannot show up at a wedding in the UK without a proper hat. Wearing a giant meringue on a 9 hour flight was not going to work, so a crafty friend of mine offered to build me a hat box that would keep it safe and fit in the overhead compartment. The hat made it there and back safely, and I was able to represent the United States demonstrating appropriate style. Hooray for hats!

  • netzard

    I once had a wedding to attend in Bristol, England. As a lady, you simply cannot show up at a wedding in the UK without a proper hat. Wearing a giant meringue on a 9 hour flight was not going to work, so a crafty friend of mine offered to build me a hat box that would keep it safe and fit in the overhead compartment. The hat made it there and back safely, and I was able to represent the United States demonstrating appropriate style. Hooray for hats!