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Milf Teeth

The Psychology of Bippity-Boppity Hats

Why does it make people want to attack me?

The queue to the David Bowie party stretches all the way down Cromwell Road. People clutch their invites, dressed in their big fur coats with skinny legs flopping out underneath. Everyone seems to have bare ankles, with perfume still wet on their necks and jewellery fashioned from diamonds or plastic or twigs. The night is cold and crisp and the lights of the Victoria and Albert museum are twinkling in my Instagram filter. And then there is me! Looking like complete shit, but with a really good hat. It’s good news that I’ve been invited at all, as not only do I have the whole looking shit and wearing a hat situation going on, but I recently went out drinking with someone who works for David Bowie and thought it would be a good idea to nick his phone while he was in the loo. So many contacts to scroll through while I tried to find Dave. Dave would definitely answer. He’d think it was about work! And hey it wouldn’t even be one in the morning in New York! Yeah that went well. Anyway, once inside I run into Eve, the deputy editor of the NME. She’s just been talking to Noel Gallagher. He knew who she was – but only because he met her dad in a bar on holiday once. “Wait, is your surname BARLOW?” he said. Turns out Noel Gallagher has a photographic memory. Who knew! There is a woman beside us who looks like Tracey Emin, only different, which is funny because then the photographers all grab her and it IS Tracey Emin, only different. And Dr Who is talking to Rosario Dawson, which is just plain wrong. Grimmy is telling a funny story about landing on top of some poor woman in the doorway. I didn’t hear the name though – maybe it was Kate Moss. Tilda Swinton is over there, looking like ice and metal and pure love. I pursue her like a sad paparazzo. After that, I stare for a long time at the male supermodel David Gandy, who is handsome and surprisingly old. His face contains many moons. I cannot be sure that the moons all have oxygen on them. Finally, I locate my friend Caitlin. There she is, cunningly stationed beside the door whence trays of canapes emerge, meaning we can lunge at the food which will inevitably run out before it has been carried ten feet across the crowded room. Canapes are not even food, they are a mere suggestive pricktease of food. They are a flirtation with food that make you hungry in a way that you were never hungry before you gulped down the canape. And they make you even more drunk because your body is tricked into thinking it has eaten. Crabmeat doughnut pinpricks or homeopathic portions of a shaving of milk and three cress seeds. Canapes are all talk and no cunt, as a charming young man from my hometown once described me. What am I saying, they were delicious, I had 12. “Heawood,” says Caitlin, “let me show you where the cloakroom is so you can take off your coat. You must be boiling in that bearksin hat.” I point out that I have been wearing the hat for months now, and the idea of taking it off distresses me. “What happens to the hat in summer?” someone else asks. It’s not the first time I’ve been asked that. It’s not even the first time I’ve been asked that this week. So I tell them. How I love my hat so much that once I did that thing where you just sort of lie down on top of your bed for a minute, not tired at all, and then oh look it’s 7AM and I’ve still got all my make-up on. And the hat. But my audience’s slightly concerned faces suggest that no, accidentally keeping some kind of escaped Russian bear on your head all night long is not one of those things that just happens. Sometimes I really wonder about other people’s lives. Anyway. I am not removing this hat. It will become like Simon Price’s deely bobber hair. I will soon be recognised, across the room at crowded parties, by the upper echelons of my head. At this intersection of my thoughts a handsome manchild approaches. “Are you Sophie Heawood?” he asks. “We haven’t met but I work in marketing at VICE. I thought it was you. I recognised the hat.” The next day I go to another party with my friend Loulou (yes, the life of a single mother is terribly hard). We immediately bump into Caitlin. She’s talking to the telly presenter Jameela Jamil, who is dressed as a big furry chicken, for a month, for Comic Relief. The party is to celebrate Spirited Women and is sponsored by Baileys, which makes me very excited as I wish it could be Christmas every day. After a few drinks (Baileys with raspberry, Baileys with orange, Baileys with more Baileys – finally they just give me a bottle), I ask Jameela if she’s got more than one chicken costume or is it getting a bit smelly in there now? Caitlin politely points out that I might not be in a strong position to ask about smelling, what with only having the one hat. I decide it might be time to take off the hat. It’s a risk. My hair is a bit of a mess underneath. “No, don’t do it,” says Cait, when she sees my hands reaching for it. “It’s your thing now, Heawood. You have to stick with the hat.” Phew. But. I can’t decide if I have become psychologically dependent on the hat because my hair is a bit shit, or if my hair is a bit shit because of the hat. Or if the whole thing is, just possibly, a subconscious attempt to make sure everyone only looks at the top of me as the rest has been a bit wishy-washy of late. I’m not fat after having a baby, but I am floppy. The sinews feel slack. The pores feel lazy. It's so long since I went for a really long walk, or thought about swimming. These lungs could really do with starting to squeeze and grasp again. Get out of breath. My bones now just have a quiet ache of nothingness. On the way home from the party I walk down Regent Street, where my lungs suddenly do get out of breath, because something terrifying happens. A kid jumps out at me and shines a torch in my face. He’s about 18 and he’s with a big group of backpackers, shouting at me, the accent sounds Spanish. They all start cheering him on. It really frightens me so I scream at him to fuck off. “What the fuck are you doing with this,” he barks, “this is ANIMAL it has LIFE,” and I run off and get in a passing taxi. The whole thing is madly confusing. Until I realise he’s an anti-fur activist who mistook my fake hat for something that once growled. This is an instantly cheering thought, as it means it must look really expensive. Afterwards I tell Caitlin all about my dramatic and unexpected interlude with the wild, demented shouting guy. She sounds equally as bewildered as I was. “I mean, why would he do that?” she says, her voice really quite puzzled, “when it’s so OBVIOUSLY made of polyester?”


Follow Sophie on Twitter: @heawood

Previously – How I Divided the Royal Family and Brought Down New Labour