I should count them all up. I really should. Bartholomew Cubbins did once, and his number was 500. “You think that’s a lot,” I wanted to say the other day when I thought of him again. “Try being me.”
If I sat down and listed all the hats I wear, I’d get carpal tunnel, and that’s a fact. Then I’d need surgery. I’d be laid up, out of commission, off my feed and in a brace, and I just don’t have time for all that. You can see why it’s best not to count.
Of all the hats I’ve got, there are some I love and some I don’t. And I learned real quick that they couldn’t all be party hats with streamers and glitter. Those don’t work for scrubbing toilets or laundering unmentionables. That kind of stuff takes a helmet; maybe even a hood with an oxygen hose. When you’re raising four boys and one husband, it does. Which I am and I do, so I know what I’m talking about.
You learn, too, how to change ‘em out fast. It’s simply survival, knowing which to wear when. Being able to go from the maid cap to that nurse one and on to detective, all at the drop of a — you know, is important. If you’re slow, they’ll munch your lunch (ask me how I know) and hand you the brown paper bag.
All of this takes energy. That and caffeine, which is one hat I wear with great relish.
We have an in-house barista. That would be me. With my grinder, I can brew a cup of coffee to perfection, filling the house with the invigorating aroma of Jamaican Me Crazy. This skill, I now understand, makes me an aromatherapy practitioner. The reason I know this is because a professional one (i.e., a Starbucks employee) told me so.
There I was, waiting in line for a mocha. There it came, the scent of the coffee. And there I went, leaning in over the counter, sniffing shamelessly, nostrils flared.
“It’s aromatherapy,” chirped the cheerful barista, knowing.
If I were counting, I’d add it to my list. The fact that my little operation, unlike hers, is nonprofit is irrelevant. And just because she wears a real visor in company green doesn’t mean a thing. I’m wearing one in my heart, and that’s what, well, counts.