Wearing my hat indoors, let alone at the table, was socialized out of me at an early age by my maternal grandmother with whom my family lived while I was growing up. When one walked into "Grammy's Kitchen" with his cap on, he was warmly greeted with, "Hello, how are you? Is your head cold?" Hence the title above. That habit, and, I dare say, the good manners of removing my hat before entering a building was further reinforced when I joined the Army where you are only permitted to wear your "cover" inside if you are "under arms" (which is "Army-ese" for carrying a weapon). Indeed, in the military establishment of those days, Officer and NCO club bars throughout the world had two features common to them all and which were prominently displayed. These were a brass bell and a sign reading: "He who enters covered here, will buy the bar a round of cheer". If one did walk into the bar covered (that is to say with one's hat or helmet on), the bartender, or any patron close at hand, would eagerly ring the bell and the offending officer or NCO had to buy a drink for everyone in the place. Even at the modest cost of a beer in those days, with 50 to 75 officers present at the end of the duty day or in the evening, that could come to a fair chunk of change and we Second Lieutenants were only making $220.11 a month. Needless to say, we were extremely careful to mind our manners.
After much thought about how we can break men of the obnoxious habit of wearing their hats indoors in general, but especially at the dinner table, I have concluded that the only way to cure this societal ill is to get women to refuse to have anything to do with men who do so. The problem, then, is how to get the women to comply with my scheme since many of them will have been so used to seeing this behavior that they think it is both normal and acceptable.
My answer to this problem comes in the person of Oprah Winfrey, the TV personality, entrepreneur, and cultural icon----who my PhD son claims is the Anti-Christ. No matter that, I think she is key to my plan. However, the plan may be a little more difficult to execute now than I once thought it would be. This is because Ms. Winfrey gave up her daily show in favor of starting her own network, whose call letters are, ironically, "OWN" and stand for (what else?) the "Oprah Winfrey Network". This is not unanticipated for a person who seems to be on something of an ego trip. I mean, after all, she started a magazine called "O" didn't she? I assure you the "O" does NOT stand for "Onion". And just in case you are unsure as to the meaning of the big "O" on the cover and who is in charge, the sub-title is: "The Oprah Magazine". But, back to the point. Since the OWN enterprise seems not to have achieved the success enjoyed by her former daytime "Oprah" show, I would love for Ms. Winfrey to come back to the daytime TV circuit as the great molder of opinion that she once was or, alternatively to leverage her recent interview with Lance Armstrong to rejuvenate the OWN network to the point that she can assume that role once more. In either case, I want her to become an advocate for women refusing to sit down at a table to eat with a man who is wearing his hat, whether it is backwards or not.
That she could pull off this feat, I have no doubt. Remember that when Oprah appeared on daytime TV everyday, all she had to do was MENTION a book she liked and it became an instant best seller. Moreover, millions of women and hundreds of companies waited anxiously for the yearly show when Oprah announced her "favorite things". The women, so they could rush out and buy whatever products were mentioned, and the companies so that they could bask in the knowledge that they had "arrived" as one of Oprah's chosen few and, then, prepare to fill the onslaught of orders which were sure to follow her indorsement. Now, that's power!!!
If Oprah could be convinced to bring her considerable weight (no pun intended) of cultural clout to bear on the "wearing hats at the table" problem, men would be universally bearheaded in restaurants within a week!!!