Friday, August 8, 2008

Too Many Hats

Stress. If you’re human, you have some. But how do we know when we’ve got too much of it? By way of personal example, here’s a clue. Once after leaving a home that I was working on, I was driving down the road with my mind a crowded muddle when I suddenly had this panicky feeling that I had misplaced an important item. I called my painter back at the house in progress and asked him, probably a bit shrilly....

”Did I leave my car keys anywhere around there??”.
He responded, all too calmly I thought, with a rather amused, “Pamela, where are you?”
“Well, I’m about a mile down the road, although I don’t see why that matters”.
Again, oozing serenity, which was really irritating me no end.....”Are you driving?’
“Well, I’m not on my broom, if that’s what you mean, of course, I'm driving...uh, I'm, oh, gee...never mind."

Sigh. Too much stress. When one is worried that one has left one’s car keys behind, and one is driving down the road at the time, one can safely bet one is under just a wee bit of stress.

My painter proceeded to tell me that, in his opinion, I was wearing too many hats at the moment and that perhaps I should remove one or two for the evening. How right he was, and is. In my closet, figuratively speaking, there’s the business woman hat - most likely some sort of chic hunter green fedora, perhaps with a feather in the brim. There’s the artist hat - a chartreuse beret, no doubt. The wife and doggie-mother hat - which is, oh, something akin to a wizard’s hat, soft and bejeweled, with embroidered stars, a pom-pom and the magical ability to light up unexpectedly. The running of the household hat - more like a helmet really, bright silver, only slightly tarnished. The appealingly horned Brunhilde hat, straight out of Wagner, just the thing for facing down recalcitrant clients and wearisome workmen. Then there’s the sun hat for gardening, the chef’s hat for cooking, the visor for running,... you get the idea. I know full well, when I attempt to wear all these at once, I’ve got to look a sight. It’s a balancing act that’s hard to maintain. That’s why, after these recent days when so many ideas have been banging round through my mind like bumper cars, and because like all good boys, Edward has had his prayers for cooler weather answered, I am taking off some of these blasted hats for the entire weekend.

Nothing but that wizard hat till Monday. It’s my favorite one anyway.