A Love Letter to Mama Retha’s Inauguration Hat
Because Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration hat was everything.
Aretha: Mmhmm! You can’t tell me SH*T. I know you see me! Don’t hate. Appreciate.
Dearest Ms. Franklin’s Hat,
You came, you sang (on top of Re-Re’s head), and you conquered (the hearts of a whole nation. Hell, a world). You somehow came to overshadow the swearing in of the Beloved One. Why? because you are so fierce. You were FIERCER than Prince at a MAC counter, RuPaul after a new wig, and Ne-Yo after his application of Juicy Tubes.
You have become a legend in your own right. When I first see’d you, on that TV screen, I KNEWed there was a fashion GAWD (who grew up in a southern baptist church)! I almost fell out raht where I was at in sheer glee. I stared in all your Crystalized and BOWed glory, for what I was seeing was larger than life itself.
It was a church hat that was open casket AND church bazaar shaaaaap. When Sister O’Dell and the rest of the head ushers were hating on you, I told them to SHUT THEY MOUFS WIDE OPEN because no ILL must be said of you. They were just mad because their white gloves were turning murky, to the color of hot dog water. Hating Heffas. But I digress…
Then, I went on Facebook today, and saw that someone created a fan page for you called “Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Hat”. I just about dahd and rolled on the floor as I lamented the fact that I had not created this page for you. Then I demanded to be made the President of your fan club. *Sigh* Alls I know is that whoever made that page for you is my new favorite person in the world AND my archnemesis at the same time, for beating me to it.
As Mama Re-Re sang her song, and moved, bob and weaved, you stayed perched on top of her dome, not wavering in your support OR your fierceness. I was impressed. Hattie (I hope you like that name. I give all my loved ones pseudonyms), my spirit is moved. My life has changed. My destiny took the path less taken. You deserve ALL the R-E-S-P-E-C-T we can offer. Did you ever know that you my hero?
As the fan page description said:
“A glimmering vision of hope outshining the sun on a certain cold wintry day in January, tears of joy and the swell of optimism bursting from two million citizens’ hearts as they focus their expectant gaze in one direction… you know what we are talking about and that is why you are here. To celebrate this vision of change, this paradigm shift, this sparkling, glittering vision, yes… Aretha Franklin’s inauguration hat.”
I couldn’t have said it better.
Hattie, if you were a car, you’d be a long stretch limousine with room for all of humanity inside (shoutouts to India.Arie’s “Complicated Melody”). Word.life.
So sincerely & with highest regards,
Edit: If you would also like to craft your own letter for Hattie, please do so in the comments. It would appreciate it much.