Two Klatts in hats
I don't know who it was that recommended that hospital visitors should wear hats. Maybe it was my friend, milliner Loreta Corsetti. I don't know. But it was advice that stuck in my head, kind of a Super-sticky Post-It note on my brain. So I always meant to act on that counsel. I had the opportunity last night when I went to visited my brother Bryan at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
I wore my silk shantung cocktail hat, the same topper that recently ventured to Ireland and back and survived to tell many tales (mostly to me though, no one else). I figured it was dressy enough for entertainment, but strong enough to weather the extremely blustery summer winds we had yesterday. I actually wore my Eugenia Kim brimmed cotton hat during my journey downtown, and then switched chapeaux as I entered the hospital.
I got attention from the moment I walked into the lobby. The receptionist said, "Who's getting married?" I told her no one, but I'd willing to venture down the aisle with the right guy at a moment's notice. Why does this hat inspire wedding-related talk? I think it's the mostly white netting. Anyhow, upstairs, a physician noticed my hat straight off and asked if me if I was going to a show. I told him, "No, I'm doing this for a patient. It's an act of charity."
So off I went to find Bryan, who wouldn't you know it, was already entertaining guests? Two of his students from a spinning (not the machine for turning wool into yarn, the exercise equipment) class he teaches! These women were dressed head to toe in Black, talking seriously with my sib. I enter all bright and colorful in the posh-pink Kwik Sew surplice top that I sewed, my way-too-warm denim jeans, cowboy boots and my quirky hat of the day. They turn to me, surprised. Who is this woman? This is our teacher's sister?
They were intrigued. I think it's the hat's work. I never have to talk or say much when I've got this topper on. It does all the gabbing for me; makes me look great, intelligent, especially when I was dead-tired from battling those 70 m.p.h. 90+ degree Fahrenheit winds outside and traveling on a bus and a train. Somehow, I summoned up the energy to talk and actually converse about life and Bryan's condition (he suffered two strokes while on vacation. He's improving nicely and should be out of Northwestern tomorrow).
Toward the end of my act-of-charity visit, I asked Bryan if he'd be up for a photo. I was delighted when he said yes. I think he wants to document his recovery. So I got up, and awkwardly posed next to his bed, nearly knocking over a urinal bottle hooked on a bar. Yipes!
What I really like about this photo is the warmth it projects, and how happy we both look. He, no doubt, is thankful to be alive. I'm just thrilled to add to his joy, and relieved I'm finally going home. I hope I made his day a little better. The hat was my kooky way of reminding him that life is a joyride. You know what though? I'm going to do this again. I plan to wear other hats when I'm hanging out with people who are sick and need a little beauty to cheer them up. I suggest you try it sometime. I'm certain you'll be glad you did. And if you do, report back to me. I want to hear all about it.