Recently I was involved in a brief dispute between a juvenile and another adult.
I am going to write about it.
The adult came up to me and told me that I needed to make sure that the juvenile pulled his hood down off of his head. If he did not, I was to report back to the other grownup and the kid would be in big trouble, the other grownup said.
I went up to the juvenile in question and asked him to lower his hood. He complied and it was business as usual.
If I were in the mood to write a fiction story, I would name that kid Puck or Finn (short for Finnigan) and he would not have done as I asked, but instead he would have pushed me aside, yelled “Get out of my face!” and proceeded to run out of the building, leading several adults and, ultimately, the police on a high-speed chase. The story would end in tragedy, and the theme might be something along the lines of: When a grown-up tells you to do something, it’s a lot easier to just do it.
Probably, though, I’d want a more sweeping and meaningful message to my story. Finn or Puck might be sort of a tragic hero. You know the type: smart, rugged good looks, dysfunctional family with an alcoholic father. The theme of this story would be more along the lines of: Society has a lot of rules, and sometimes it isn’t worth losing your mind or risking your life to break them.
Or to enforce them.
But I am not in the mood to write fiction. Instead, I would like to write a listicle speculating on the reasons why people might wear hats and hoods indoors even though it is generally considered a breach of etiquette. According to The Emily Post Institute, men have traditionally removed their hats and hoods indoors as a gesture of respect. Women, on the other hand, have been exempt from hat rules and may wear their hats indoors. Cancer patients are always exempt from hat rules.
I can tell you that girls are not exempt from certain school dress code rules regarding hats and headgear. I have seen people cry over such rules, but so far I have not been one of them.
At any rate, here are some reasons why I think people might want to wear their hats and hoods inside:
They are having a bad hair day. I really think this is the No. 1 reason people want to keep their hoods on. For me, pretty much every day is a bad hair day, but I usually solve the problem as best I can with a ponytail. On the rare occasion that I wear a hat to keep warm, my hair never really recovers. Maybe we should amend the no-hat rules on days when the temperature is below freezing? You have to understand that the most important thing to many of us is being cool. We don’t want to admit it, but it’s true. How are we supposed to feel cool when our hair looks terrible? You say we should have gotten up earlier to fix our hair, but the truth is, we did get up early and we had to work pretty hard to look this bad. We do not want to be ridiculed and so we wish to cover ourselves. It is a sad thing to feel this way, but many of us do.
They just forgot. Have you ever had a lot on your mind? Personally, I am always thinking about what I should do next. As a result, sometimes I forget about what I should be doing RIGHT NOW. Because I don’t wear hats or hoods often, I rarely forget to remove mine indoors. And I have a feeling no one would feel threatened if I forgot to remove my favorite black fur-lined hat inside a building. Very few people feel truly fearful when they see me coming, even when I wear my hat. But anyway, when I am lost in thought, I sometimes forget to put my keys in the right pocket or turn the ringer on my phone on. Sometimes I forget where I parked or I forget someone’s name. I would imagine something similar happens to a lot of people who wear hats when they walk inside a building.
They want to be cool. By wearing a hat indoors, some people, especially juveniles, might feel they are subtly showing their disregard for authority. They are above authority. They do what they want! Anyone who challenges them will rue the day. And besides, they do not care about the impression they are making on others. That is why they want an additional barrier in the form of a hood between them and their fellow man. They don’t need anyone’s approval or some deep social connection. Come to think of it, compromised peripheral vision is a good thing. Less stimulation equals better focus. I can actually imagine a juvenile explaining this to me. It’s along the same lines as the argument that having earbuds in with country music or gangsta rap blasting into the old eardrums helps a person focus.
Their parents wear hats indoors. And said parents have possibly told them that anyone who questions their practice of wearing a hat indoors is probably a supreme dork who has to kiss up to the man just to keep earning his meager paycheck. Not only could such a cog be easily destroyed by a brief physical confrontation, but a phone call to the cog’s boss might just get the cog fired.
They are thinking of robbing a bank. Or writing a story about robbing a bank. Or maybe they have just seen a lot of movies about bank robbers and some of those bank robbers were tragic heroes, played by really good-looking guys, who broke some rules sometimes. Personally, I think you’d probably need a bit more than a hat or hood to really pull off an epic heist. But as I have said, I don’t know much about all of this. I am just a little old lady, and I rarely wear hats or hoods.