Hey Guys, take your hat off in a restaurant
Mad Men is my favorite show of all time. And my favorite scene of all time in that show is when Don is on the elevator and a couple of junior execs get on still wearing their hats. He tells them to remove their hats. They scoff at him like an old man. Beat. Door opens. Don take one of the exec's hat off for him and shoves it in his chest. End scene.
Does this scene deserve to be in the Pantheon of Mad Men scenes like Peggy finally leaving Don for another agency… Jesus when he kisses her hand my heart breaks… or when Don pitches walking out into the ocean... no, no it does not. It is a simple scene but one that is deeply personal to me. I grew up playing baseball. Baseball players wear hats. Baseball players go out to eat with their families. Social etiquette says that men do not wear hats indoors. My father, to his credit, never let me for one instance wear my hat at the table even though the coaches still wore theirs. Walk into the nearest Chili’s or Applebees or Buffalo Wild Wings and look at the men wearing hats. It is a minute detail, but it is one that extends beyond headwear. Wearing a hat at the table hits on manners, chivalry, and most of all discipline- and men have lost them all. Ever see someone in the armed forces wear a hat indoors, I don’t think so. Unheard of. Maybe we as a country should return to some of the military's uniform discipline.
This is the "Freakonomics" to the American masculinity issue. What I mean by that is, focus on one small detail in the equation and see how changing that can affect the issue on a larger scale. Taking off the hat at a table is reverent, to the guests around you, the women, and the establishment. Because of those facts, there is a self-awareness that proclaims manners to be over appearance. I’m all for progressive change but men right now are complaining that they are losing respect when in fact they are not respecting themselves.