Saturday, November 12, 2005

You're So Vain

You're so vain.

You think that the most important part of your sailing gear is your cap. You want to make a statement. You want to look cool.

Back on Virgin Gorda years ago you listened to that kid from Dominica telling the American teenagers the right way to wear a sailing cap. First take out that little button thingy in the center. (Rust streaks down the hat are so uncool.) Then keep soaking the hat in seawater and smoothing it down over your head. Eventually you will get it to fit smooth and tight and have that weatherbeaten faded look. And don't forget to mould the brim into just the correct curve.

You listened. You learned. You imitated.

You're so vain.

For years you wore that flowery cap they gave out at a regatta in Florida. You thought it made you stand out. You thought it sent a message. "Hey I'm so sure of my masculinity I can get away with wearing a girlie hat." (What were you thinking?) You relished in the angst that you caused every hotshot kid who got beat in a race by the old geezer in the flowery hat.

You're so vain.

You only abandoned that flowery hat when the wife of an old friend picked it up one day at the yacht club and asked you why you were still wearing this floppy, sweat-stained, dirty, smelly, worn-out rag.

Then last November you watched the events in Ukraine on TV. You saw Yushchenko's supporters in the streets with their orange flags and ribbons and scarves. (Or was it apricot.) Right there and then you decided that orange would be the next cool color.

While cruising in the Grenadines last winter you came across Bequia Yacht Club and they were selling yachtie apparel to raise funds for their Easter regatta. And there was an orange hat on the table. You had to have it. What could be cooler? An orange hat from a yacht club in the Grenadines. Your hat would be the envy of the masses at every regatta.

You're so vain.

You were so proud of your orange hat that you hardly ever wore it sailing in case it blew off and you lost it. But you wore it before and after sailing. And in photos. Nobody ever commented on it. They didn't appreciate your amazing fashion sense. But all the girls dreamed they'd be your partner. Sure.

You're so vain.

Then last week you saw the rally and demonstrations in Argentina for Hugo Chavez. Some of his supporters were wearing caps with a big 'C' on. You decided that 'C' is the next orange. You just have to have a 'C' cap for sailing next year at the Laser NAs in Nova Scotia.

Even better, your middle initial is 'C'. So George Bush is 'W' and you will be 'C'.

You're so vain
I bet you think this blog is about you.
Don't you?
Don't you?


the skip said...

Florida Keys sailing school. Met an instructor there, younger than I, (early 20's). He wore a Mount Gay red cap (a la regatta). More sun bleached pink and tattered at the corners and seams of the brim. Stitches at the top barely holding on. The button on top was exposed bare metal.

I on the other hand had just secured a few very nice BMW WIlliams F-1 caps and jackets from my brother who works for a sponsor and is actively involved in the race circuit.

I offered a brand new F-1 cap to this instructor. "No I will wear this one till I die" was the response?

I still have my F-1 cap that I wear with the string and clip to hold it in heavy winds. It is faded, stained, sweaty.

Think it is time for a new one!

Carol Anne said...

I've noticed a lot of members of the Rio Grande Sailing Club have those Mt. Gay hats, in similar condition but not so salth.

Then there was the interesting discovery last year when the lake levels dropped severely -- someone found an RGSC hat that had become visible as the waters receded. The material was severely decayed, aside from the bill, the embroidered RGSC logo, and the band, upon which was still clearly visible, in indelible ink, the name of the sailor whose head it had blown off a year before. So now HE definitely can hold the title of the most severely weathered hat.

For myself, I prefer a hat that has a brim all around, since I burn easily and I'm also sensitive to chemicals in any sunscreen I can afford. I have my lucky Aussie hat, the hat that chose me, rather than I choosing it. I walked into the Methodist church thrift shop in Pagosa Springs, and there it was, right on the front counter on a wig stand, calling my name. I picked it up, and I put it on; it fit perfectly -- something few hats have ever done before.

Yes, that hat is now much more the worse for wear (it was practically new when I got it), since it has traveled with me on many journeys on a steam railroad, during which it has become coated with soot, and sailing in the desert, which caused sand and sweat to be added, and the occasional salt-water adventure, where it picked up (what else?) salt.

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