What happens when I go to Rod's? I buy things. Too many things. Today I bought a show blanket I've been eyeing in catalogs for a while. Smith Brothers had it for half the price but they sold out of the color I wanted and I can't seem to find them for that price anywhere else so I just bit the bullet. Once I saw how perfectly my shirt fabric matched the blanket I couldn't NOT get it, even if I had to pay more. I started looking at buckskin colored hats because I'd like to brighten up my face, especially in the showmanship, but I'm a little afraid the light hat with black chaps will look like I forgot my hat and had to borrow someone else's. And I'm certainly not going to buy new chaps. I love how it looks with Jr.! TJ is modeling it for you. Isn't his mane nice! It seems a shame that I'll have to thin and shorten it soon. :( His tail is so much thicker and longer, too!
Anyway, so I bought a hat, but I'm going to take it back. I hate waffling about it, but here's the story:
I was comparing my fabric swatches to hats and a cute cowboy (just happens to be the cute cowboy on page 17 of Rod's Showbook 2010) brought me over one of their Specialist hats on sale from $179 to $99 while I was looking at the $90 hats. The hat he brought was a much nicer hat and a better color match (a little off from their standard which was why it was on sale), but looked a little, well, dirty. I said "If you can clean it up and get it to look like new I'll take it." Ten more dollars for a much better hat is just fine.... but it didn't come clean and still looked like an old, dirty hat. Rod's has a great return policy so I took it to get some opinions. Any judge would prefer a basic 4X that's clean over any dirty 6X any day, and if not, they can kiss my buckle because they're judging the wrong things. I looked at it in natural light and showed it to a few people and they thought it looked old and dirty, too. So I'm taking it back and I'm not sure if I'll get another one or if I'll just stick with my black one this year.
Should I have tipped the cute cowboy who shaped the hat? This is the 3rd time I've had a hat shaped in my life and I've never tipped. Am I an asshole? I've never gone when there was a line so I've never seen if anyone else tips. How much to tip? A buck? A five spot? A Benjamin? What?
Here's what I think we'll look like with the new shirt and blanket: