Just, don’t lend Derek any more hats

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Just, don’t let yourself get bent out of shape over trivial arguments or inconsequential misunderstandings. Even if you are clearly in the right. Even if you totally lent Derek your hat last week. He doesn’t remember it, but you remember it. You should try to not remember it also. Because whatever, it’s gone. It’s not like he’s going to start wearing it. That would be too obvious. Someone might see him with it, you might see him.

No, just forget about it. He was drunk. You were drunk. You gave it to him to wear home because it was cold out. Maybe he woke up the next morning and looked at the hat and was like, “Huh. This isn’t my hat,” and maybe he just tossed it away, kind of grossed out, like, whose is this? Is it dirty?

But then you called him the next day and you were like, “Derek, what’s up? Anyway, yeah I was wondering if I could just stop by later and pick up that hat,” and that’s when it all came flooding back to him, the way that events sometimes later reconnect themselves, especially the day after a night of heavy drinking.

And Derek looked over to the trashcan and saw your hat, it wasn’t the last thing to be thrown out. He had a couple of bowls of cereal for breakfast, and the last bowl, he didn’t finish it, but he didn’t clean it up right away either. So the cereal sat there on the table, absorbed the rest of the milk and became this slush.

He threw that cereal slush right on top of the hat. And also the coffee grinds. And some tissues. You’d be on the phone, “Where’s my hat?” he’d be looking at it. Even if he were to rummage through all of that trash to pick it up – which was never going to happen – it wouldn’t really ever be the same, he’d have to wash it, you’d have to wash it again, in a machine, hats like that should never go through a machine.

And, whatever, he probably just didn’t know what to say, still kind of spinning from the hangover, still piecing together point A and point D. And he’s like, “Hat? No. No hat here,” even though you weren’t nearly as drunk as Derek was. Because, you know what it’s like to have that debilitating hangover and you know that, based on the amount he consumed, Derek went well past that point where the hangover had to be inevitable. You gave him that hat because you were worried about him. He was passed out on the couch, he drank like all of your beer, asked for a glass of your bourbon. You thought he was out for the night. So when he jolted awake at three, while you were playing video games, and he just made a beeline to the door, his jacket not even zipped up, and it was freezing out, the hat, it was a nice gesture, something maybe that he’d look at the next day and think to himself, “I can’t believe he let me go home last night. I could have been killed.” But then he’d look at the hat and think, “Oh, but I was pretty out of it. No way I’d be able to stop me if I were in his shoes. And look. His hat. I better get him back this hat and say thanks.”

But, let it go, you don’t know where that hat went. The garbage. But maybe not. Maybe Derek’s only going to wear it around the house. Too embarrassed to return it after having claimed to never remember wearing it, but feeling too bad to ever throw it out, it’ll be like his personal house hat. And that might be the worst possible hat-outcome of all, because what, now you can never go over Derek’s? And if he has a party, what, he’s not going to invite you? Because you might find the hat?

Just don’t sweat it man, buy a new hat, an identical hat. Go meet up with Derek for drinks, wear the hat and tell him, “Hey Derek! Sorry about all of that hat stuff. I actually found it. Look. I’m wearing it right now,” and Derek will be like, “Oh, cool man. That’s good news,” faking a smile, all the while thinking, wait a second, if that’s his hat, then whose is … and he’ll trail off in thought, disgusted that he’d been wearing a complete stranger’s hat around his house, always at home, he’d grown really attached to wearing it by himself. And he might rub his hands through his hair like, ew, is my hair clean? And if he does that, then, well, nothing’s confirmed yet, but he probably has the hat at home. And so next time you go over his place, because, he’ll invite you now, he won’t feel bad anymore, just look for that hat. Find it. Don’t take it – remember, don’t sweat the small stuff. But make a note to yourself. Don’t give any more hats out. Especially this hat. And especially not to Derek.

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