My Hat

“Where is my hat?” I ask.

To the untrained ear this may sound like a question but it is not.

It is an accusation.

I distinctly remember leaving my hat on the kitchen counter.  But now when I look for it, it is not there.

My wife does not believe that sweaty hats belong on the kitchen counter, so whenever she finds one there, she flicks it on the floor.  But I looked on the floor and it was not there either, therefore I am beginning to fear that she has resorted to a more strident means of training me.

Couples do that, they train each other.

I suppose one can view the entire enterprise of marriage as a training exercise.  One designed to wear down the little annoyances. I am not talking about people who make projects out of their partners because that never works.  Love cannot mold people, the best it can do to file off a few rough edges.

And that is what defines a happy marriage.

Contrary to popular opinion, marital bliss is not found in the big things – rather it is found in the little things or more precisely it is found in the little ways that we do not get on each others nerves because it is the little habits that are the most abrasive– like tossing a sweaty hat onto a kitchen counter or scattering mail about the house.

That is what my wife does.

She never throws junk mail away and as a result, piles of postal litter cover every conceivable surface in our house.

Whenever I set my coffee mug down, I must first move mail. Whenever I search for the TV remote, I must first sift through piles of newspapers, catalogs and grocery store fliers.

It drives me nuts.

So I do as she does. I have my own little ways of training her. Whenever mail gets in my way, I add it to the heap of junk mail that rises to an astounding height from the kitchen counter right near where I toss my hat…..


I sift through the junk mail and there it is – my hat. I had buried it under a pile of month old newspapers.

My wife sees this and smiles triumphantly.

It always annoys me when she smiles like that – but she is trainable.

Author: Almost Iowa

53 thoughts on “My Hat”

  1. Thanks Almost Iowa! I like your stories because they’re so ironic, and reading it also help me to get a better feeling of english language- I am Italian ahah! 😀 bye!

  2. Seems to me the words “marital bliss” is a cancellation in terms. Now “martial bliss”, that’s a whole different subject.

  3. I know I have done posts on this topic in the past, not as cleverly written as yours, but…

    In our house – I can always tell which cabinets my husband has had access. He can NEVER close them. They are left wide open or partially ajar. It kills me to walk into the kitchen to see 3 doors open, and one of them being the very high cabinet that I can’t reach and effectively SLAM SHUT to drive a point. And, he leaves on EVERY LIGHT.

    I’m sure his lists on me are lengthy.

    1. And I bet that every time, after leaning over a counter, he straightens up and clips his head on an open cabinet door, you get blamed. It’s how we roll around here.

  4. “…the best we can expect of each other is to file off the rough edges.” I love this. And it is so true. My husband hangs his coat on the back of a kitchen stool, and I go hang it in the closet. I keep hoping he’ll hear my sigh as I do this and understand this is irritating, and he does for a while, then reverts to his slovenly ways. I think he enjoys hearing me sigh. Such a great post, and I’m so glad I’ve found you. We humor writers need to stick together!

  5. Yup and yup. More than a decade ago there was no doubt my hat was actually a hat. It had all the right stuff. Covered my head so no one would notice I didn’t take a shower. The bill kept the sun away and provided a great surface to smash bugs against. And the American Flag sewn on the front was easily recognizable.

    Now, after thousands of sweaty miles and years of hiding my hair, not sure what to call it. My wife prefers “garbage,” “hazmat waste” and “people repeller.”

    As you can see, despite an otherwise blissful marriage, we’re still working on the language barrier.

    1. They know us by our hats.

      “Yeah, you know that guy…. Gabe.”
      “The faded hat with the American Flag sewn on the front.”
      “Oh yeah, you’re talking about Gabe. Everybody knows him.”

  6. Thank-you for adding to my ever growing number of reasons not to get married. I think I will be like my aunt who was widowed in her early twenties and is so stuck in her ways that she carries it into other people’s homes.
    “My wife sees this and smiles triumphantly.” I wanted to cheer for her, sorry. 🙂

  7. I love the line, “the best we can expect of each other is to file off the rough edges.” That is the most realistic view of marriage I have heard in a long time! Glad you found your hat….

  8. Put one of those department mannequins inside the front door, and put your hat on it. If it is tall enough, she can’t reach it. If need be, place junk mail and newspapers under mannequin to elevate.

  9. I do passive/aggressive training: “Honey, did you mean to leave your hat here?” He gets the message, and all I did was ask a sweet, innocent question. heh heh….

  10. We have filed off the painfully important rough edges, but I’m not sure we’re going to make much more progress. It’s like a road that has been widened and straightened but is now between mountainous rock walls. BUT, that said, losing a hat is one of the things my wife understands as being critical.

    1. We ground off all the rough edges too, but we keep stepping on the filings – and they are sharp.

      And I have no idea why, when I have ten hats, I can’t find one to wear.

      1. Oh, I love that – stepping on the filings. Describes those times when the junk mail has been left everywhere, and the letter he really wants isn’t where he thought he’d put it because he didn’t put it, and I really didn’t touch it – didn’t even see it – but perhaps it’s something he brought home from work or read on emails – or else it’s in the junk mail nailed down by sharp filings.

  11. I had to laugh out loud at this line, “Too many of us fall in love based on a shared love of music, taste for food or adherence to the same views – but these things rarely endure the passage of time.” Well done Greg

    1. When they were married, a couple I know, were both Democrats. Now he is a Republican.

      “Gosh, does that mean you fight about politics?” people ask.

      “Oh no,” they say, “it is easier to fight about whether you agree than how you agree.”

  12. After 25 years of marriage and a couple more of hanging out together, we’re pretty well trained. It helps that we have our own areas to mess up as we please. The fact that we were able to travel together and live in a 22 foot RV for four years and rarely get on each other’s nerves speaks to something! –Curt

    1. RV living is indeed the ultimate test. Heck, backing one into a campground parking space is enough to split up even the most easy going pair.

      “LEFT, LEFT!!”
      “Whaddya mean, my left or your left?”
      “Swing the wheel toward the LEFT!”



      1. Funny. Peggy and I were out long enough to get each others signals down pat. And fortunately, our little 22 foot RV was easy to get in and out of tight spaces. No crunches! But I watched a few. –Curt

    1. What I chose not to mention is that marital happiness depends a great deal on the unspoken conversation that goes like this:

      “I accept that you are trying to train me, though you know it is futile.”
      “And I accept the futility of training you – but enjoy the heck out of it.”

  13. Ha ha. Does she really flick it to the floor??? Too funny. Top of the fridge is my husband’s hat place. I’m short, so I don’t see it. He has other items on his training schedule. 😀

    1. Yes, she does flick my hat on the floor. She thinks it belongs on a hook in the entryway and flicks it off my head when I walk in the kitchen to save time.

  14. Too funny but too true. 🙂 I throw the junk mail away before my husband gets to read it. If he wants to look at it, he has to go through the paper recycling. I guess we’ve been married so long, we’ve trained each other. 🙂

    1. I often thought of inventing the combination mailbox/recycling container but when I tested my prototype our mail carrier was confusing the slots.

  15. Since I’m not married, I had to cast about for an analogous situation. My cat came to mind first, but then it occurred to me: wouldn’t it be great if we could train our politicians not to bury the important stuff under piles of junk bills?

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