Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Hat

Last night we had the Media Studies Christmas party at the lavish and talented downtown SF apartment of SK, complete with hot and cold running cats Tito and BooBoo, and it was all *very* cordial, and I had wine.

I also wore a Santa hat. There were two reasons for that, one general and one specific. The general reason is that every holiday office party -- which this was, though it lacked the bathroom snogging that enlivens such parties and destroys marriages or at least puts a dent in them or for all I know *revs* 'em up again-- needs an older gentleman in a Santa hat.

When you are young, you see an older gentleman in a Santa hat and you Pity the Fool.

But when you are an older gentleman, you are reconciled that you *are* the fool (it's a philosophical position; it's not personal), and life's a joke and what's a Santa hat but a socially acceptable variant on Cap and Bells?

But -- two in a row! is that a double negative? -- really I wore the Santa hat as homage to the past. Ah, those holiday parties at the home of Aunt Hester and Uncle Dell in Roanoke, Virginia, so long ago. What I remember with such pleasure is Uncle Robert and his Santa bow tie that lit up when he tugged at the string. (Of course, one was invited to tug at the string. But one did not.)

Such a child's pleasure at being the center of attention he took from it, and Aunt Iris was so innocently proud that this one day of the year her husband had something that compensated for his absolute lack of small talk and perhaps any talk at all when Aunt Iris was around.

The holidays are just a mush of memory, all the bland and all the spicy and all the grit simmering together in the brain pan. I put the silly hat on my head and remember those people -- all odd; all dead; all mine.

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