Me And My Big Head

Winter is coming! Literally—there’s a bitch of a snowstorm on the way. And despite my deep displeasure with folksy, colloquial abbreviations, I’m surrendering to the Nor’easter and fixin’ to get myself prepared for what’s shaping up to be long, cold winter.

I’ve already started adding on my winter weight and have transitioned into shaving never instead of after every time someone mistakes me for a vagrant. I’ve begun my seasonal tradition of pregaming like I’m about to board a party bus on prom night whenever I need to leave my apartment (including getting the mail). I’ve also started taking stock of my winter wardrobe.

Heavy coat? Check. Boots? Check. Gloves? Check. Hat? Not so fast, kiddo.

You see, hats have always been something of a problem for me for one reason and one reason only: I have a gigantic fucking head.

How big is my head, you ask? So big that as a child, and during my brief stint as an adolescent raver, I couldn’t fit a candy necklace over it. So big that I could never go into batting cages because there were never helmets big enough for me to wear. So big that I had to get special adult-sized goggles when I went snorkeling at age 11, the lenses of which were too big for my face, letting in sea water and leaving me blind and helpless. It’s a wonder I wasn’t eaten alive, mistaken for an albino sea lion by a hungry tiger shark.

To put it simply, in fitted caps, I’m a size 8 ¼. Like Shrek.

In winter this is especially problematic since, as physiologist Jerry Seinfeld explains, 75% of one’s body heat is lost through one’s head. Most knit hats are too small for me, and slowly rise to a peak on top of my head until they resemble nothing if not a reservoir tip, which brings up uncomfortable allusions as to what that then makes my face. Alternately, my melon-sized dome stretches hats out to the extreme, making me look like Dumb Donald in a subversive, color-blind retelling of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.

I will admit that once, in an act of desperation when I was caught hatless in heavy winds, I wrapped a scarf around my head. Neighborhood children helped me cross the street. I fed stray cats and muttered vaguely racist epithets at passersby. I paid for my groceries with a personal check and wheeled them home in a rolling cart. It was a dark time.

Luckily, in an act of Benjamin Button-like resilience, I bounced back from that instance and have yet to repeat what is now referred to as "The Babushka Incident." But who knows what this winter will bring as the temperatures drop and my face begins to feel like my cold, emotionless heart.

If you have any cold weather accessories you don’t need that are fit for normal sized people, consider donating them to your local Salvation Army as winter approaches.  And if you have any tailor made for The Predator, Michael Shannon or Hey Arnold, by all means, send them my way.

Steve Dool is a writer based in New York City. Follow him on Twitter.