July 22, 2004
Letters, we get letters...

This morning I received an email from a reader of this site. I get letters regularly that are one line comments, but this one showed some real effort. I thought you all might find it funny.

This email was about my page on How to Wash a Baseball Cap. You might want to read that first before reading the email.

Ms. Laurel writes:


I'm writing in response to your feature about washing baseball caps.
I was one of the many people who stumbled upon your site after having searched in google for "washing" and "hats". I heard that its totally common to wash baseball caps in dishwashers so I needed to find out how to go about this and whether I needed to take out all the dishes first.

I am in a tennis class and I wear my friend Cynthia's visor everyday which she doesn't know. I decided it was the tax for leaving it in my car and also not returning a couple messages I left. Point is, I'm not a hat person PER SE but I find myself wanting to wash a hat. If it's someone elses hat I have to be sure and not abuse the hat. Right now it's in the washing machine like you instructed. If anything happens to it, I'm going to forward Cynthia's complaints to you at this email address.

Just kidding. What I actually wanted to say is: yes, I'm female, but you really should not be telling people it's okay not to wash their hats. Poppycock! Okay I see what you're doing and uh, I'm glad you're empowering men to be their inner slob or have some "cleanliness relativity" philosophy or something, but have you ever heard of BLACKHEADS? They are a very real thing. You should consider yourself lucky to get them instead of huge pulsing zits in their place, too.

If one doesn't wash ones hat... EVER.. one will eventually have a forehead full of proof of their . That's what I heard.

Have you seen how GRAYISH BLACK those white bands along the front visor can get? Have you SMELLED some stinky hats?

I'm sure that as a guy you're really used to never smelling another guys items of clothing, but I've had the unfortunate experience of harmlessly picking up a guy's hat and putting it on my head only to instantly feel like sweat and dirt and odour was seeping through my skin faster than acid. I could've asked first, and I learned my lesson, but still. Not only that, but you're really generalizing men negatively, I think, by discrediting the likeliness that the average man would consider doing such a thing as washing his baseball cap.

The reason I bothered searching for info on washing hats in dishwashers is because all sorts of guys participated in a very intense conversation about their personal hat-washing methods. (I didn't pay much attention; it was awhile ago.)

So you should be giving these ideas to people on the internet who might maybe think you're a role model because you have a website and feel inclined to start dressing like you. I'm shocked at the poor journalism you exhibited on this page. You actually threaten women that their man will wash our silk garments IN THE WASHING MACHINE.. WITH BLEACH! Such unveiled malice! As a woman - I feel threatened!

I haven't gotten a chance to check out the rest of your site because I'm washing clothes right now, but if this page is any indication of how the rest will play, I'm going get the email address to someone at Morality in the Media ready for me to paste into the address bar at the touch of Conrol + V. Or maybe someone at Tide™. Maybe we can get you some free samples or an feature in an ad spot. Or at the very least educate you about the benefits of Febreeze.


laundry is done. I have to give you props on one thing: the hat looks okay after an ordinary, fanci-free round in the washer... so I'll leave Tide™ out of this here conflict of interests between yourself and yours,


And now, my response:


So good to hear from you and glad to find that my brief note on hair washing was useful. I endeavor to serve the public. I also promise not to tell your friend Cynthia that you have absconded with her hat, though I do agree it serves her right for leaving it in your car.

In regards to your concerns that dirty hats cause blackheads, I am the one that calls 'Poppycock'. Two things. First, grown men don't really care much blackheads and other things that involve peering into a mirror for hours on end to find. Second, the cause of blackheads is lack of good facial cleanser and lack of proper exfoliation.

I remain steadfast in my belief that a man has the option to not wash his hat. Show what I wrote to any man and he will agree with what I wrote. Guaranteed. While it may infuriate a women to suggest that cleaniness is not always best, it is true. It's OK to be dirty sometimes.

Please let me know if you have a weblog so that I might learn more of the thinking of today's young women. I have two young daughters and need to prepare myself.

Once again, thank you for your letter!

P.S. My wife likes your letter.

Posted by michael at July 22, 2004 07:20 AM