It costs nothing to tell the truth, it costs everything when you don't.
You may have seen me tweet the above this past weekend. Some of you even re-tweeted it. It's vague and can easily apply to any situation, including Hat Gate of 2016.
We started Saturday with a lovely brunch at Luna's Living Kitchen with two Living Burritos and gold fish for the kid. Charlotte was dressed to impress in a light purple handkerchief tunic and white cotton shorts. She topped off her outfit with a straw hat adorned with a black ribbon. She was a sight to be seen!
After lunch, we walked over to Atherton Mills Market for lattes from Not Just Coffee and farmer's market finds. We decided to walk around the market instead of waiting at the counter for the coffee. My mom has been in the market for fresh cow tongue and was excited to see that the vendor that sells it was there on this day. We chatted with the vendor for a little bit, mom continued to trek through the market while I stepped away to pick up my latte. I rejoined my mom and Charlotte and realized that she was no longer wearing her hat.
We quickly retraced our steps and couldn't find it. We asked the cow tongue vendor if she's seen it, she walked over to the stand next to hers and whispered something in a young man's ear, who then pointed to his mother and said, "Mom, the hat?!"
The woman looked like a deer in headlights and then took a step back and told me that she put it up front. I asked for her to show me where and she lead me to an unfinished stand near the front of the market. "I left it right here. It was a long time ago, may be somebody took it?" Her body language and tone of voice had my senses telling me something was not right.
My mom wasn't giving up, I'm guessing because she felt guilty that the hat disappeared on her watch. She asked a few other people around the market and they kept pointing to the same lady that told me she put it up front.
I was not going to let a 'lost' hat ruin our day. If someone stole the hat, then they needed it more than us. We walked out of the market a bit deflated, making plans to go to Old Navy to get another hat for Charlotte. As we were walking back to our car, we overheard a dad tell his little boy that the hat was too girly for him. We approached and asked them if they found the hat inside. Their answer? The lady gave it to them. They happily gave the hat back to us and were as baffled by the whole thing as we were.
I'm sure that this lady was trying to do what's best but ended up making it worse by lying. She could have easily told us the truth. Instead, she left a bitter taste in our mouth and made herself look really bad in front of her family colleagues.
It may be difficult to tell the truth, however, the loss of trust will cost you more than you could ever imagine.