Close friends of mine know that I talk about becoming a train conductor literally everyday.
When I get overwhelmed with life I storm around the house yelling, "That's it! I'm going to work on the railroad," and when I'm feeling dreamy I'll stare out the window and sigh, "I think I'd look good in one of those cute little caps." I've been obsessed with the profession--mostly the conductor hat, if I'm being honest--for as long as I can remember.
A couple months ago my mom and I took the train up to Seattle. Somewhere outside of Tacoma I cornered an Amtrak employee selling mixed nuts in the shaky dining car and begged her to tell me about her glamorous life on the rails. "Isn't it wonderful?" I asked, "getting to see the country, meeting new people everyday, shoveling coal, wearing one of those adorable conductor caps?"
"Umm...we don't shovel coal," she said, "and we don't wear conductor caps, but yeah, it's a pretty good job."
"Wait. What? You don't get to wear the hat?"
"You don't get to wear the hat until you've worked your way up to engineer," she said.
"Really?" I said, completely dejected. "So this is going to be a major time commitment."
"Have you ever thought of just buying a hat?"
Of course I'd thought of that. Well, kind of.
Top 5 Professions I Have Considered Pursuing Solely Because of the Hat
1. TRAIN CONDUCTOR
This is the best conductor hat I found, and it costs $80, which is totally out of my conductor hat price range. I'm going to work on the railroad!
I wear giant furry trapper hats so often that I might as well parlay it into a job, even though I would cry every time I had to trap something and then apologize and let it go. Yep, sounds like the perfect career choice.
3. NEWSPAPER BOY FROM THE 1930s
Don't laugh! My time machine is almost complete--soon I'll escape this awful economy and fulfill my dream of selling papers in the beautiful, thriving utopia of Chicago, 1933.
When I met my boyfriend Nick, he had one of these with his name embroidered on the front. I can't say exactly how much that affected my decision to date him, but estimates hover at around 90%.
I think a fedora is one of the most handsome hat options available to modern man, but whenever I wear one I feel like a hipster poser. Perhaps a career of assassinations and racketeering would add that necessary dose of credibility?