As society begins to open up once again in search of summertime fun, you can find me hidden away on the balcony of my manor, weeping behind a parasol. If it were any other June, I too would be playing squash and basking in the sun’s rays, but this year is different and I’m not going to pretend as if everything is normal. While we were trapped inside, an entire spring came and went, and with it, my hopes and dreams. I apologize in advance for ruining your day, but it breaks my heart to announce that I will have to wait until next year to show the world my new collection of springtime hats.

Okay, deep breaths, we’re going to get through this together. I know it feels like the world is crumbling around you, and I think you deserve an explanation.

Carefully selected over the last year with the help of my staff, this cornucopia of fanciful headwear was destined to make its official debut right as the flowers started to bloom and the birds began to sing. The perfect combination of frills, bows, and flourishes, these hats were sure to dazzle onlookers at the garden parties I attended. As I transcribe this to my typist, I can almost hear it now. The chorus of ooh’s and ah’s and whispered remarks asking, “Who is she?”

Oh, my darlings, stay strong. Please. For my sake.

When I first learned of the quarantine, reading my local gazette over a breakfast of candied walnuts, I wasn’t even worried. I am the wealthy heiress of my family’s fortune mining conflict diamonds (or as we say “problem crystals”) which allows me to work from home. I told myself that this will only last a few weeks, that it would only increase the general public’s hunger for my extravagant creations. But as the self-isolation extended into late March, April, and then May, it slowly sank in that these hats may never leave the confines of their ornate glass case.

At this point, I know you’re weeping. You knew a global pandemic would lead to misfortune, but you never could have imagined a tragedy of this scale. If anything, I am heartbroken on your behalf. Sure, I missed out on being the belle of the ball, but these hats would have rocked your world. The moment you lay your eyes on the 50+ pounds of fabric atop my head, you will be in awe of my grace, and instantly understand why I’m rich and you deserve to be poor.

I know you’re dying to see these hats and believe me, I’m dying to show them to you. But I can’t. These are springtime hats and it is now summer. I would rather die before I commit a fashion faux pas. If I were to appear at a seaside retreat, a semi-professional yacht race on an unnamed Greek island, or any other summertime event wearing a springtime hat, I would promptly be excommunicated from my circle of socialites. I couldn’t possibly sully my good reputation even if it means bringing a single person joy.

Furthermore, it wouldn’t be fair to these hats to introduce them to a world that they simply weren’t prepared to enter. They worked too hard for their moment in the spotlight and anything less would be the equivalent of spitting in their faces and telling them they are garbage.

This is too much for you, isn’t it? Perhaps, I could describe them to you. This one is a sun hat with a big floppy brim. This one is also a sun hat with an equally floppy brim. And this one is… it’s white, with a… with a pink bow. Oh, who am I kidding? This isn’t what you came here for. You asked for genius and I’m delivering you a half-hearted consolation.

I know this is all so painful. I imagine this is what it must feel like to not live in a gated community. But before you lose all hope, remember that on the horizon lies another springtime. Once I’m finished burning all of these hats and assembling a new collection for 2021, there might be a day where I emerge from my manor and change fashion forever. Until then, enjoy your summer. I’ll be solemnly brushing my hair in front of a gigantic, hundred-year-old mirror, thinking about what could have been.