The hat. Now memories are very subjective and mine are very much my own about this. But when I was a lass, hats in church were more or less compulsory. There were always a few brave souls who were willing to tell you about how they had been freed from this tyranny but I was only 14 and no-one was listening to me.
I hated it though. I really did. Firstly because my suspicion was that for some women it was not so much covering their glory as showing what a big hat they had.
Secondly, and if I am honest, more importantly for me, they interfered in the Farrah Flick that I was cultivating – big time. It was a pain spending hours with a dryer and curling tongs and then giving yourself lung disease with hair lacquer only for it to go all flat under a hat – and it made my head itch. So I asked my Mum to knit me a hat. A head covering if you will. So she took up her knitting needles and after much deliberation produced a hat. It was a small woolly skull cap. It fitted on the back of my head, allowing the Farrah Flick to flick unencumbered and yet, I was still wearing a hat. People will say with some justification that this went against the spirit of the hat wearing rules. But it was still a hat. Definitely a hat. It was soooo small though. In fact, I was reminded about this when I saw this photo. It was about this small, I think.
So when I see my daughter going to church, sometimes voluntarily putting on a nice beret. It can cross my mind to lecture her about the change in women’s place in the church. Then I think about the hat I wore and think that i should keep my mouth shut.