Sunday, October 4, 2015

Too Many Hats

A rare hat photo
Clarification: this is not a post about millinery. I have owned a mere handful of hats in my lifetime, most worn before the age of 10 (my Nana was all about the Easter bonnets for little girls). After that, whenever I attended Mass, I affixed a Kleenex to my hair with a bobby pin. No joke, that’s what we all did, “to show respect in God’s house.” Never mind that we looked like a bunch of lunatics with tissue issues. When I wed Steve I wore, not a veil, but roses in my hair. Now, even on the most miserable wintry days, I would rather freeze than don a knitted cap and afterwards deal with the dreaded “hat head.”

So no, those are not the hats of which I speak. Instead, I’m talking about the phrase “wearing many hats” to describe someone who does several different things, either for a living or avocationally: the chef/painter, the doctor/cellist. It is assumed that the multiple hat-wearer does so with ease and skill.

I confess that I do enjoy hearing people introduce me at my speaking gigs (“she’s an author! She’s an actress! She’s a church worker! She’s a mom! ”) That is my cue to shrug humbly and smile. But you, dear blog readers, deserve to know the truth: I am no better at wearing many hats than I am at skydiving. My hats slide off at the drop of a…well, you know. I put them on in the wrong order. My hats are the wrong color, the wrong size. Many of them do not suit me at all.

Case in point: this past week.  I was called upon to be, among other things, a Spiritual Formation director, writer and grandma. The entire week I put off what I knew needed to be done, including final prep for the Confirmation retreat, a writing assignment for the Coldwell Banker Real Estate website, and reading  to, and cuddling with, Aiden.

Turned out to be WAY too many hats. I lost track of the weather forecast and was thrown for a loop when
Confirmation parents emailed with concerns about looming Hurricane Joachim.  I wrote my Coldwell Banker assignment, “Top 3 recipes this fall with Philly flavors!” about things like super-rich creamed mushrooms and was about to hit “send” when I finally read the mandatory keywords: Top 3 HEALTHY recipes. My recipe, featuring two cups of heavy cream and a stick of butter, might as well have been called The Widow Maker, so it was back to square one, just hours before the deadline to submit. And with all this, poor baby Aiden waited in vain for me to read him his favorite board books.

Please read to me!
So this week it’s no multiple hats for me. I will work at a pace I can deal with. I will aim to do one thing well instead of ten things poorly. And if my only achievement is reading Goodnight Moon to my little guy…it will be a very good week.


  1. Elise, I can hear your voice as I read this, and we really should talk about the actual hats one wears to ward off the cold...I have issues with them, too. Loved this piece, and your hats-off style.