As spring looms, I will have a pair of decisions to make: When should I put my old tweed hat up on the shelf? and Will I really want it, looking like this, when the weather turns cold again?
I don't know when I'll put it up on the shelf, but I know I'll take it down again.
The older my hat gets -- and it's about half as old as the century -- the less I like the derisive expression "old hat." Things that are "old hat" are out of fashion, misshapen, worn out or just plain ugly.
My old hat, on the other hand, is comfortable, durable, and classic. It's still usable, like few of my other clothes of its age. I've worn out at least one coat since I got this hat, and the hat gets soaked through only about once every year and a half -- a feat here in Chicago.
So let's not be so hasty! If an old hat has been around awhile, it's durable, lasting, special and well-used. Maybe it's even comforting and protective of its owner.
So might we describe the views, or even the person, of those we're tempted to call "old hat."
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