(hopefully a harmless distraction from the more serious stuff – so if you are always serious don’t read any further)
I had a student who wore a baseball cap to all my classes. At first I had an emotional response – who does this guy think he is wearing a baseball cap in my class. Then I got used to it and realized – it does not matter if he wears a cap or not. As long as he does the work and acts civilly in class - who cares?
Next thing you know I was a convert. So much so that I wore a hat and got tossed out of a dinner party. My experience is that most people ignore you when you do not remove your hat at a hockey game when the national anthem is being played. But, a few get downright venomous.
Is there some evolutionary advantage of requiring a hat to be removed at certain times or in some venues?
After visiting Hair Club for Men a few years ago and realizing it was way too expensive to buy a new wig every few months and getting locked into an expensive styling plan even more frequently, I decided to go with the immensely cheaper option of wearing stylish hats for my bald spot.
Nobody expects someone to remove their wig when the national anthem is being played – so why should they have to remove their hat which is being used for the same purpose. Removal of a hat for the anthem can be done by the most morally depraved person who has no respect at all for his countries laws. What is wrong with me substituting hat removal with my hand over my heart instead?
What is wrong with me wearing my hat at dinner?
I suspect the majority of people get enraged with people not removing their hat. I am curious as to what a group of freethinkers will say.
To me, taking your hat off when indoors or during the national anthem is one of those silly customs like saying "bless you" or "gesundheit" when someone sneezes. And like saying "bless you" when someone sneezes, I'm sure taking your hat off as a sign of respect is somehow tied to religion. I know that up until the late 1800s/early 1900s, women were generally supposed to keep their heads covered when out in public and especially in church. Men, on the other hand, were supposed to take their hats off in church.
Here's a clip of George Carlin talking about hats and religion:
The part about hats starts at 4:55, but the whole video is worth watching.
No problem...when I sneeze, my hat usually goes flying...and someone invariably says, "Hah, I knew it, you're a nigger". And I always come back with, "nah, I'm a rock star".
As long as it is not an 'asshat' I am ok with leaving it on............
Men used to wear tall hats to keep the hyenas away...we've killed all the hyenas so...no need.
It was my first day back at work after a year sabbatical. I wore my hat at all the meetings and expected to hear a few disparaging remarks or get a few odd looks since I was the only one in a hundred people at a departmental meeting to be sporting headgear.
Not sure how the chairs, deans or college president viewed it but one admin lady said she liked my hat. Maybe I will go a whole semester with my cheaper version of a wig.
Finally got my fascination with peoples disgust at my hat wearing behavior in a national paper. I linked it with a Muslim woman's requirement to wear a hijab.
Enraged? No. I save enragement for people harming animals or small children, pouring crap down the storm-drain...you get the idea.
Do I come to certain assumptions about the person? Certainly. I assume all sorts of uncomplimentary things about them, their parents or guardians and how they were raised. I will also assume they've never been in the military or any paramilitary organization such as many police and fire departments or even a bagpipe band. Would I ever voice that to the person? No, certainly not. Will I mention it to my spouse when we leave wherever we spotted that person with much sarcastic commentary and accompanying hand-gestures, possibly to be followed by interpretive dance when we get home? Yes, I certainly will. Will I also assume that that person is bald and discomfited by it? Yes, yes, I will.
If you're looking for logic in the application of manners, you're barking up the wrong tree. Would you like to sit next to me at a dinner party where I plant my face in my plate (using a fork is slow and dirties up a utensil unnecessarily), chew with my mouth open (Hey! It's natural!), wipe my runny nose on my sleeve, and spit out any unchewable detritus onto the floor? No? Why not? It's just manners, after all.
Or, to put it another way, if you came to my home and sat at my table with your hat on, I would never be rude to a guest. You'd also never be invited back. Problem solved for both of us.
I wrote the Sunday letter (up a couple of remarks) as a subtle way to express my outrage at how a society could force a woman to wear a hijab. I saw a video of Iranian Revolutionary Guards screaming at a woman and then hitting her for not wearing a hijab. Their righteous indignation and the anger people get over here regarding hat wearing behavior is a mystery to me.
If I donate to veteran causes and support them with my time and choose to honor them by bowing my head instead of removing my hat - how ridiculous is it to get uptight over that.
It is fascinating that ShroudedAtheist equates the wearing of a hat with spitting unchewable detritus on the floor. I guess he would bristle at the thought of George Carlin as a houseguest.
Here Mr. Carlin rails against the inanity of people getting caught up with rules about hats. (Not included here is his rant about removing a hat for honoring the military. )
When I see a guy over 30 wearing a hat in a setting where most men would remove them, I just assume he is both vain, and bald. I like bald men and how they look. I don't like vain men, they always hog the mirror! ;-)