Requiem for a cap

Almost every sports team I’ve ever followed is red.

Chicago Bulls. Cincinnati Reds (Atlanta Braves for a brief period). Louisville Cardinals.

I wear a lot of caps. I always have. I have very fine hair that never does what I want, and a fairly small head. I rarely leave the house without a ball cap on my head or in my bag. It’s my thing. I wear caps.

Over the years, many to most of them have been red. None of them have ever read “Make America Great Again”, and they never will. But that doesn’t matter.

Now, when I walk into a room, there is at least one person who stiffens, strains to see the inscription, calculating whether or not they may be in an unsafe place all of a sudden. Often these are friends. They know me. They know my political leanings. Yet there is still a guarded, shifty glance. Usually, among friends, it’s followed by a forced, un-funny joke.

Today, it doesn’t matter that I have an “I’m With Her” button on my bag, a Clinton/Kaine bumper sticker, a loud vocal opposition to the prez-elect and all that his movement represents, safety pins covering my body—my red cap screams over the yell, and people are scared. My cap now lies about me to people I care about.

So, I’ve put away my red caps. I’m glad to do it. But the reason for ridding myself of all red-caps is unsettling, for any number of reasons—not the least of which that clothing-named political movements, as a genre, aren’t very nice.