I want a new hat. I used to have four hats. Now I have two. I want a new one.
On the weekends, I enjoy forsaking my khaki pants and button down shirts in favor of cargo shorts, t-shirts and baseball cap. There is something liberating about replacing my middle-management-IT-guy uniform for my tattoo-clad, hipster-wanna-be-Dad uniform. The hat is one of the key components of that weekend transition.
Recently, my two most favorite hats—my Butler University hat and my Astana Cycling Team hat–became too nasty and gross to wear in public, so after wearing them for more than five years, I threw them into the trash and bid them a fond farewell. Well done, hats. Nicely played, hats. Enjoy hat Valhalla, hats.
That leaves me with a Budweiser hat, a momento from a trip to St. Louis with my late mother, and a Guinness Stout hat that I picked up on the clearance rack at Walmart a few years ago because I was on a trip and needed a hat to complete my hipster-wanna-be-Dad-uniform. Ironically, I never drink beer, but have found myself in a situation in which I only own beer hats.
The economics of the situation go like this: A suitable hat would probably cost $7-8. A really nice hat might cost $15-20. The reality is that other expenses take priority. With a new house, a new marriage, a teenager, a toddler, a baby-on-the-way, high gas prices and my recent addiction to drinking Coke Zero from the gas station on my way to and from work, I have made other expenses a priority. Some are noble (milk for the baby) and some are not (caffeinated beverages while driving), but in either case, I can’t bring myself to shell out the money for a new hat.
So, when you see me out and about, please don’t comment on how much you like beer too. Please just tell me that I really do look like a hipster, and how noble it is of me to set aside my need for fashion in order to provide for my family. Oh, and if you want to buy me a Coke Zero, so that I can stick an extra 97-cents in my hat fund, that would be cool too.
What little things do you give up for the good of the family finances?