A MAGA-Walk to Town

Posted on Wednesday 4 March 2020

Yesterday I ran my first attempt at “If I wear a red MAGA hat, will I be transformed into some other person in the eyes of others?”  And directly related:  “Will I be treated differently?”  Since I’m not a Trumpster (at all), this took some planning (where to find a hat?) and a fair amount of reflection.

It was a spectacular day — in the 60s!!!  — so I walked the mile and a half down to the center of the village to meet a friend at the store.  (We have only the one store, so no confusion.)   The road down the hill (literally down) is very narrow and windy, lined w/ stone walls.  Visibility around those bends and turns is negligible, and there is no shoulder most of the way — so seeing the oncoming traffic was paramount.  Since going down meant walking into the sun, I had to pull the brim of the hat pretty low.  There was absolutely no way for an oncoming driver to avoid seeing what my hat said (assuming they saw me at all, which was my fervent hope).

I only encountered a few cars (4 maybe?) on the way there, and only caught a hand gesture from one of them.  It looked like she flipped me off.  But it’s fair to say that all the other drivers coming up that hill were hard to see because of the glare, and also…  well, I was nervous.  I truly was expecting some kind of unpleasant interaction;  we hear about it so very often.

At the store, a woman (sotto voce) said, “I really like your hat” and gave me a small smile.  My friend was uncomfortable with my cap and told me she planned to pretend it wasn’t there.  We spent about an hour chatting, I was neither accosted nor praised.  I also had my back to the store so I could gaze out the picture window, so there is that. 🤣

On the way back UP the hill, I encountered way more traffic — probably at least 10 vehicles.  With only 2 or 3 exceptions, I was the recipient of a smile and a friendly wave.  The exceptions were simply no reaction.

The only anomaly I experienced was self-generated.  I encountered two People of Color, and while the first woman nodded and waved (she was jogging), I was sorry I was wearing the hat.  The second person was in the store, and I kept my hat turned away and avoided him.  Definitely something of mine to be unpacked there; I’m leaving it for another day. 😟😞☹️

And that, my friends, was that.  Pretty darned uneventful.  I’m both relieved and disappointed.  Either my town is just not worried about these things (maybe?), it’s a major Trump hub (not), or the hysteria from the left is overrated. Other than noting that my little town seemed abnormally friendly today, I don’t have NEARLY enough data to draw any conclusions.   

But it was a very fine day for a walk.

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