Edith was given the crab hat at the office party and she thought it was funny at the time. As she wore it home she got depressed. Did people at work really think she was hard to get along with? Everyone passed the hat around at these parties and it was never really taken seriously. But alone that night Edith knew that she had a problem.
She had married young and never really got along with her husband after the first year when he wasn't interested in sex with her anymore. He seemed to have found another outlet for that in his life and she never questioned his late nights or lack of enthusiasm in her body. She was a good wife and kept the house clean, earning her own way with this job. It was her only social outlet and she really loved to go to work and get away from her boring life.
That is why the crab hat hurt her feelings. She tried to get along with everyone but she knew she put up walls that never came down around her coworkers. She cried into her pillow the night she got the crab hat. It just wasn't funny. She had turned into a crabby old lady before she was even forty years old.
The next morning was a Saturday and she dragged herself out of bed. Looking in the mirror she saw a dowdy spinster looking back. Her husband had quit coming home a couple years before and she had never even looked for him. They were still legally married but the silence had grown too thick and she didn't really blame him for moving out. She continued to clean the house and cook nice little dinners for one.
Edith had one friend. The landlady for their rented house had noticed that her husband was not there anymore and Edith had opened up to her. When the landlady came by for the rent every month she and Edith had a beer and laughed about the ridiculous nature of men. The landlady had been divorced three times and had quit pretending that it mattered. She dressed flamboyantly and dated men off the internet. Edith would never do that but she enjoyed hearing about the adventures.
When her landlady came by that Saturday she found Edith still in her bathrobe. One look told her to give her friend a big hug and they sat at the kitchen table where the landlady heard all about the crab hat award. She tried to assure Edith that she was not a crabby old woman but Edith started to cry. The landlady took action.
She and Edith decided that a new image was needed. Edith went with her reluctantly on a shopping spree and they had so much fun buying a winged suit and dark sunglasses. Edith got her hair dyed with a blue tint and went to a department store make up session. They laughed all day long and by the end of the weekend Edith had lightened up. There was hope.
She walked into her office on Monday morning looking fabulous. Fresh and funny, she stopped to talk to everyone and they all loved her new look and attitude. The crab hat was put up on the shelf in the office break room and awaited the next recipient. Edith was no longer crabby.