Sunday, August 02, 2009

me and my big head

Have you ever measured your head? My head is 23 1/2 inches or 59.5cm in circumference (not even counting my ears). I have a big big head. What size is an average head? Wikipedia suggests 54.57cm for women (in Turkey). The hat site indicates 55cm, and reassuringly states: Probably the largest head size you will ever find, will be 64cms and the smallest 51cms. The site also states the interesting fact that the people with the biggest heads come from Germany. I find this reassuring. At least my head is not off the chart, and my partial German heritage may be the source of my jumbo cranial capacity.

Whatever the reason, my big head size dictates that I cannot buy a lady's hat in ordinary, reasonable price stores. My bargain-headedness dictates that I will not pay an arm and a leg for a specialty store hat. The solution: I buy men's hats when I can find them in extra large sizes at department stores, and in one case, at a hardware store (I'll take my hats where I can find them).

In the picture above, you will see me trying on a regular size women's hat. The hat is perched on the top of my head, like a novelty party hat. This is my hat experience. If it's pretty, it fits like the hat worn by the organ grinder's monkey. Not satisfactory.

The partial exception to this rule is the toque. Toques are stretchy, so they usually fit. However, toques are cold weather hats. When a toque is taken outside, the fibres cool in the chilly air. The saving grace here is that the majority of the body's heat is lost through the head. Because my head has greater than average surface area, it gives off more heat than the average head. So when the temperature outside is just a few degrees below freezing, my head wins and the hat stays pretty warm. However, when the temperature drops to deep freeze levels in deep winter, my head is no match for the cold air. The hat fibres cool to the extent that they are forced to contract. The toque squeezes, shifts, and pops off! On one particularly cold night, my toque popped off of my head and landed on an apartment balcony three floors up. This is serious. I am careful never to attach souvenir pins to my toque because I never know when my toque will contract, eject, and do grievous damage to an innocent bystander.

I currently own one hat. It is a fishing hat that I bought at Home Hardware in Osoyoos, BC, about 8 years ago. It is a men's size XL. It just barely fits. I also have a souvenir toque from the Individual World Poetry Slam, the year we organized it in Vancouver. The toque fits because I unintentionally stretched it. During the course of the event, I became so tired one day that I curled up in the corner of a theatre for a nap. I had no sweater or blanket so I used the toque. I huddled in fetal position, pulled the toque over my knees, and stretched it up to my neck, creating a warm toquey sleep sack. This operation stretched it enough so I can now wear it without fear of spontaneous pop-off.

I simply crave a beautiful, feminine hat that fits. I am going to Mexico in a few days, where I will really need a hat for the beach and the pool and for clambering around on ruins and adventuring in the only partially shaded jungle. I will take my fishing hat from Home Hardware. I will also take a traveler hat that my dear friend Cathy (also a big-head) has loaned me. Both are pretty good ruin-clambering hats, but not very glamourous for lounging around the resort or strolling through town in the mid-day sun. Maybe I will find a colony of big-headed Mayans who will adopt me and make me a custom-built hat in honour of our big-headed connectedness (I won't mention the German part). Maybe I will never, ever, have a pretty hat.

question: seriously, what is the circumference of your head?

mompoet - when I shake it, it does not rattle

1 comment:

Em said...

I came across this post while doing a search for women's XL hats (actually, I really need a size XXL by most estimations.)

I'm a woman and my head measures about 25 inches around when measured comfortably (with a tiny bit of "give" in tape).

I am also 5 "11 inches tall and wear a size 11 (U.S.) women's shoe, so don't know if that figures in.

I don't feel my head looks any bigger than the rest of me; in fact, it is quite proportional, IMO.

But I, like you, despair of finding flattering and attractive hats that (1) fit, and (b) meet my stringent standards for UV protection (I'm a sun protection fiend). My solution thus far hasbeen special extra-wide brimmed sun visors, which are adjustable w/ velcro.

Your blog is a lot of fun.

Let me know if you ever find hats that are styled attractively as well as big enough to stay on the head.