I’ve never been one for wearing hats. The exception was when I was in Canada on a student exchange programme 13 years ago. Baseball caps seemed to be de rigueur across the North American continent, and I needed something to keep the leaves/snow/rain/sun out of my eyes. But once back here in the UK, well, it just looked silly to be honest: baseball caps were things worn by teenagers, and were usually worn facing backwards for that matter.
But the other day, in the shop where I bought my coat-without-an-X-in-the-size, Maggie saw some hats and I tried a couple on, just for a laugh really. However, Maggie, it turns out, actually has a bit of a thing about the right hat and thought that this was the one for me. Well, when your wife thinks you look sexier in something you’d be a fool not to buy it, so I did. I’m not saying that I think I look sexier by any means - it is her perception that counts.
For me though, apart from the feel of a hat on my head, the strange thing has been when I pass a mirror or shop window, because I keep catching glimpses of my father and my grandfather (and that’s my grandfather on my mother’s side, which is even weirder) staring back at me.
But then, as I get older it seems that more and more I’m turning into my father. I once realised that the way I’d climbed out of the chair, grunted and adjusted my trousers was pure Dad. There are times when, if it wasn’t for the fact that he is actually alive and well and living in Chesterfield, I’d swear he was haunting me. Of course there are many ways that we are different, but I sometimes find the amount of similarities quite disturbing.
When I was a teenager my father once said (never one for political correctness), that if I wanted to know what a girl would be like in 20 years, then to look at her mother. But I’m beginning to think that men turning into their fathers are probably more widespread. Almost every guy over the age of 35 that I’ve talked to about this has worried about how much he is becoming like his dad at some point.