So I was in Ashland last week.

And there was a hat store.

And the rule of Havi states that there is no such thing as passing a hat store and not going inside to try on all the hats. And then to acquire hats! Or a hat. Because HATS!

If Wile E. Coyote needed to trick me for whatever nefarious purposes, he would totally use an Acme hat shop.

With a crooked wooden sign: Ye Olde Acme Hat Shoppe. Meep, meep!

Anyway, there it was.

And there I was.

The hat was of the floppy sunhat variety. In the most outrageous, preposterous, crazed print possible. Somehow extra floppy. And fabulous. I had to have it.

But I didn’t know why.

Edit! Just realized: not last week! And now I have to pause (paws!) to have a fit, because that was two weeks ago and how did that even happen and why is time moving so quickly right now?

Until Toozday.

Two days ago I wrote this post asking for suggestions on how to turn up the visibility/volume on the Toy Shop at the Playground. How to remind people that they can buy stuff at the end of class.

And you guys gave me a ton of thoughtful suggestions, and I was feeling appreciative (yay for support!) and also increasingly unsettled about how complicated/ineffective my attempts to describe something can be.

So I was going to just take a break from thinking about it and let the perfect, simple solution emerge when Gaye (@itsapractice on Twitter) suggested a shopkeeper hat.

A hat! A shopkeeper hat.

Which is perfect because OHMYGOD LOOK I HAVE THIS HAT!

Well, I have many hats.

And I don’t mean that in a blippety-blah “I wear many hats” metaphorical sort of way. Real hats.

Between a) my inability to avoid hat stores, and b) having a Costumery full of hat goodness at the Playground, there are hats. They’re around.

But this hat. It’s so….

Hmm. BOLD was the word Rebecca used. Which I love because it’s so much more diplomatic than say, hideous. Or shocking. I think Cairene called it “dashing”.

This hat is pretty unapologetic about being a hat, if you know what I mean.

Really, its personality is so much bigger than mine that I may also be slightly afraid of it. But I appreciate the way it shouts to the world — in a very unusual accent — Hallllooooooooo! I am a Hat!

Which makes it perfect for my purposes. Shopkeeper! Hat!

So I tested it that very night.

But first I have to tell you more things about why this is so perfect.

  1. Wearing the shopkeeper’s hat means using costumes to solve problems. Which is already my favorite thing ever and something I do all the time.
  2. And once you’re wearing a costume, it’s all about playing. Playing is my thing! Did I mention that I run a Playground?
  3. In fact, play — along with groundedness, sovereignty, safety, freedom, delight and possibility — is one of the humming magical qualities at the core of Playground culture.
  4. So putting on a silly hat and making an announcement about when I’ll be wearing the silly hat is totally congruent with how I already work. Not an interruption. A flowing continuation.
  5. I already have a metaphor mouse thing about hats! Not a metaphor. It’s an acronym. But metaphor mouse gave it to me.
  6. A HAT is what I call a “sales page”. Because saying “sales page” makes me want to throw up. HAT stands for Havi’s Announcing a Thing.
  7. And then I write a HAT and decorate (instead of edit) the HAT, and that’s how I write sales pages even though I hate sales pages. Because they’re HATs!
  8. So this is just a physical version. I announce that the Toy Shop is open by putting on the silly hat. It’s like a real-life-performance version of the online thing.
  9. When I’m in costume, I can do anything. Like record a video of Flip-Its.
  10. But it’s not weird to get into costume, because we end each day at Rally (Rally!) with the evening Chicken. And a lot of us are already in costume for Chickening. So then I just tell people that I’m adding the hat.
  11. One of my superpowers is that I look good in any hat. Any. Hat. At. All. It’s probably my best superpower.
  12. I tend to thank my paternal grandmother for this one. She was born in Hungary, a good place for getting those dangerous “no, seriously watch out so you don’t slice yourself” cheekbones, which definitely help with extravagant hat-wearing.
  13. But my father also pulls off looking good in all hats, and he didn’t get the cheekbones, so who knows. It’s magic.

Also, as mentioned, I have the perfect hat for this!

So I tested the shopkeeper’s hat.

At the beginning of our Shiva Nata class on Toozday, I introduced everyone to the fabulous hat. They were really sweet and hardly laughed at all.

I asked them to remind me to put it on at the end of class, because wearing it means the Toy Shop is open for business. Wink!

Then we sang a sea shantey and did Shiva Nata to sea shanties while flailing about like madmen.

We also learned about epiphanies and discovered some absolutely fascinating patterns.

There was giggling. There were snacks. There were butt monsters. There were bubbles. It was awesome.

And at the end, I put on my Shopkeepers Hat and people took pictures (guys — send me the pictures!) and there was much rejoicing.

Also lots of people happily bought wonderful sparkly things from the Toy Shop. Like stone skipping card decks and Possibility Spray. So it totally worked. Yay.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

No matter what the question, the answer (for me) is always TRY A HAT.

And no matter how challenging it is for me to explain what I want or how I want it, if I remember to approach things with silliness, lightheartedness and play, the solution is there.

Basically, hats.

Or whatever your version of hats happens to be.

It’s always going to be better if I access the superpowers I already have instead of trying to Figure Out A System.

And the thing I need is probably already there. I’m probably tripping over it as we speak. And this is good.

Play! And comment zen for the communal comment blanket fort room.

What I would like: HATS!

Describe a hat, name a hat, wear a hat, invent a hat, pretend to give me a hat, pile hats on top of other hats. It’s a hat party!

Also, yays for Perfect Simple Solutions showing up.

What I would rather not have today: advice, analysis.

Thank you! And so much appreciation for all of your help this week. xox

The Fluent Self