When we are in the shop, we spot the hat. It is a fine hat. We try it out on my head. “Nah,” I say when you ask if I am going to buy it. No, even though it suits me perfectly.
We leave and look in other shops, consider other things, things that are not hats. But damn, I think. I want that hat.
I have my reasons for not taking it. It costs more money than I intend to spend, especially with the ownership of hats feeling like such a fragile thing – it is so easy for them to blow away, or for someone to quickly swipe it from your head and run away laughing. They get lost so easily around the house, there being no logical drawer or cupboard in which to store a hat – and when out and about it is easy to set a hat down somewhere and then forget to pick it up when leaving.
We look at things that we have planned to buy, but I am not paying full attention to these things, thinking constantly as I am of the hat, which I could always go back and get, only it would now feel a like a defeat. A small one, but still a defeat. If I was going to buy the hat, the time to do it was when I first tried it on, a glorious moment of spontaneity, consequences-be-damned, lets-just-buy-a-hat.
Now, I would have had to make a special trip back across town, creep in to the shop under the watchful gaze of the shopkeeper, and a thin smile would creep across her lips… there would be no need for me to try on the hat, to go through all that usual tomfoolery of putting different hats on my head, which is the whole fun of the hat-buying process.
I give only short, disgruntled answers as we discuss purchasing the things we have actually come to buy, and my lack of input in these discussions leave us having made decisions with which I am not fully happy.
As we make our way home, the hat and any idea of hat ownership now long gone, I try to rationalise the situation.