Thank you to the smiling man who called out encouragingly, “Looking good! Have a happy holiday season,” as he pulled in next to me in the parking lot. Yup. I started wearing The Hat today (actually, last night, but that’s another story). Only for a little while. But long enough for that nice man’s kindness, and for passersby to smile, accepting my invitation to connect. And for one store clerk to share, “I LOVE your hat,” and for the other one to say he loves seeing it every year. Admittedly, there was the purist who volunteered that I was rushing the season by sporting The Hat before Thanksgiving. I know. I was originally ambivalent. But, as I told him, my lovely dad always wore a Santa hat at Christmastime, and sadly he passed away this morning. So, I decided to wear it for him, too. Yes, it’s possible to have so many moments of connection without wearing a symbol that shouts out that I am open, even yearning, for this sense of community. But the simple costume does ease the way. For now.
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