I bought this incredible hat.
I think I’m a hat person, though I haven’t worn hats since I got a pixie cut because the whole look was too shocking. Sure, I could rock having a virtually no hair on the back of my head, but wearing a hat without hair seemed too overwhelming.
But now my hair has grown, and hats are coming back into my life. So I bought a one. It’s a Pepperdine hat. I don’t have many Pepperdine clothes. Half my wardrobe is made up of Indiana University plastered t-shirts, but I hardly have anything for poor Pepperdine. That’s weird because it feels like I actively invested in my Pepperdine life more than my IU one without anything to show for it. Well, until my hat.
I bought my hat at a garage sale for a $1. I did not buy the double-decker bus that would be perfect for a future baby’s nursery because it was $5, and that was out of my price range. (Especially since Jill got a coaster collection for 75 cents.) (It’s my opinion that coasters and dusty toy buses should be close in price.) (This is all very important information.)
That morning Jill and I went rollerblading. I dressed in my running spandex, strapped on my helmet, and flailed my arms. Jill wore her sundress and brought the agility of Apolo Ohno. The two of us went rollerblading until I fell enough that Jill said we should stop.
So then we went to a garage sale. Naturally. I wish they had had kneepads there, but instead they had the love of my life: my Pepperdine hat.
I bought the hat as a half joke. To be honest, I’m not on board with the flat bill look. I’m pretty sure I made fun of my brother for wearing his flat hat last month. Rhett, I am sorry.
But I bought the hat. And I wore the hat. And I love the hat. But today I realized something about the hat.
This morning I put on just enough clothing to leave the house. I don’t mean it wasn’t much in fabric, but it wasn’t much in quality. That’s how I’ve been dressing lately. I pick out a shirt that smells decent, bottoms in varying length depending on how recently I’ve shaved my legs, and the same sandals. I repeatedly paint my big toenails before I go out the door. (It feels like they’re all painted if those ones are). So I walked through the June gloom to my car feeling awesome in my hat and my baggy shirt and wet two toenails.
And then I saw my reflection in the car door. I recognized that person, but it wasn’t me. Goofy smile. Big hat. Straw hair poking out everywhere. Crazy shirt that’s too big. Who do I look like?
And then it hit me. And here’s what this blog post is really about.
I look like Dusty from Twister.
Maybe on a different day, I would have been upset about this. After all, Dusty looks like a slob and is a man. But on this day, I shrugged and completely accepted that I do look like Dusty from Twister. There was no denying it. I turned up Led Zeppelin and hit my steering wheel with the beat.
Then, I realized I not only look like Dusty, I freaking am Dusty.
Where do I go from here? Do I need to wear hoodies over my hat? Am I supposed to be a storm chaser? Do I need an RV? I think I need an RV. Dusty would like that.
My first move has obviously been to repeat this line:
Am I insane? Not for thinking that I’m like Dusty, of course, because that’s just the truth. But Dusty seems a little off. Does this mean I’m a little off? I guess I am if I’m Dusty.
And here’s the thing. Being Dusty means just going for it. 100% being yourself even when that’s weird and even when it’s not. I love that. To think of the time I’ve wasted trying to be a Bill Paxton–reenacting his emotional “Me, Joe” speech–or fearing I was an Aunt Meg. All this time, I’ve been a Dusty: a sloppy oddball with the most fantastic, loved, cheap hat.