There is a special place in hell for people like me…

“Devil: This is the lake of lava that you’ll be spending eternity in.

Me: Actually we’re underground so it would be magma.

Devil: You realize this is why you’re here.” 

Yup that’s me, a different subject perhaps, but me. 

Of my many jobs I think my most favorite was working in a hat store. I was the assistant manager, the store was privately owned, not a chain. I was known around Burlington as “The Hat Store Lady”.  

I acquired extensive, if esoteric, knowledge of hats. When generally accepted but incorrect information gets put in my way, I get grumpy. 

When people refer to any old straw hat as a ‘panama hat” or a Western style hat as a Stetson I start to twitch. When people try to sound all hoity-toity, like they know what they are talking about, I tend to the pedantic. 

Panama hat does NOT refer to a style of hat. It describes the TYPE of straw used to make the hat and that straw is called toquilla straw and it is produced in only one place – Ecuador. If your straw hat is made from any other kind of straw then it is NOT a Panama hat. The processing of the straw is complex and labor intensive which is why genuine Panama straw hats are damn expensive. That $20 “Panama Straw hat” on Amazon? Not on your life, boobalah. False advertising. 

Stetson – NOT a style, it’s the name of the manufacturer.  They make fabulous hats – in every style you can possibly imagine (including baseball caps). But if I ask you what style hat you’re wearing please don’t tell me Stetson. 

Yes, sometimes I get sloppy and ask what kind of hat but even then – I’m talking about style and you might be forgiven if you answer with the name of the manufacturer. (BTW – here is the link to the Stetson web site. ) 

My personal preference in Western style hats is the ‘gambler’. I just bought a straw ‘gambler’ (and no, it’s not a Panama – I can’t afford one.) I would love a wool ‘gambler’ but even on sale I can’t bring myself to spend that much on a hat (the straw was on sale – Score!)

You realize I can rattle on with many more examples, don’t you? But breathe easy I’ll stop here. 

I just needed to get this off my chest – it’s Summer time and people are prattling on about their ‘Panama’ hats which aren’t and it irks me and I want to correct  educate them but I know it wouldn’t be welcome and would certainly get me that special place in hell.