Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Handkerchiefs, Paper Tissue, and Some Quarters

Great squares of splendor!

Cotton cloths of comfort!

What in the world am I going on about this time?

Handkerchiefs, of course!

Well, ok.  maybe you wouldn't have figured this out based on my two descriptions.  Who would, right?  And seriously... who uses those things any more?

Very few people.  

There are reasons for that.  I mean, running around with a big wad of boogers in your pocket just isn't very attractive.  That, and the last thing you want when you have a cold is to save all of those germs on a cloth so that you can revisit them again later.

I totally get that.

And I agree.


They're oh, so soft.  They generally don't cause the same reddening and dryness that disposable tissues cause.  They really, truly do have a place in your life if you're willing to give them a shot.  There's just one problem:

Because they're so rarely used for anything other than a suit pocket decoration, they're pretty pricey.

I, therefore, stopped trying to get ahold of any.  That is, until I happened to find some at a downtown store.

the clothes closet

The Clothes Closet is a secondhand store.  It's not your typical throw-everything-onto-hangers-and-hang-a-price-tag type of shop.  They run it very well, placing only high quality, clean, and sturdy items on their hangers.  It's run by the Faribault Area Senior Center as a means of generating additional funds for the organization while providing high quality, low priced clothing for the community.  It's a win-win situation for everyone.

It's a great treasure trove.

And the last time I walked in I discovered...


Ok, ok.  I'm a nut.  Who goes into overwhelming joy over a simple square of cloth?  See, there's a story here, though.

I walked in to find some additional cold weather gear.  I still haven't acquired enough of that, even though I've been on this side of the country for quite a while.  What can I say?  I guess the desert rat in me still refuses to accept that I'm living in an area that actually gets cold.

Unfortunately, after perusing the shelves and hangars for a while, I realized that I forgot one rather important thing:


I had a debit card, but The Clothes Closet is a cash-or-check-only sort of place.  This makes perfect sense. A card scanner costs money, plus fees from the banks need to be factored in.  They want to keep everyone's costs down, so... no debit or credit cards allowed.  I support this idea.

I just couldn't buy anything that day because of it.

I was pretty sad.  I love secondhand clothing stores.  Not only are they green by design, due to the reuse factor, but they're also healthy.  Secondhand clothing no longer has any of the chemicals that are used during production.  They've been washed away.  Score!

But all I had was $1.25 in quarters.

Just as I was about to leave, though, I saw some white cloth out of the corner of my eye.  I turned, and - lo and behold! - there were some handkerchiefs laid out on a shelf.  I knew I wouldn't be able to buy them.  But maybe, just maybe, I'd be able to get them to hold the handkerchiefs for me until I could get back with some cash.

I checked the price tag.  Fifty cents.

Ok, one more time for dramatic effect:

Fifty Cents!!!

There were three of them attached to each other, to top it off!  Three for fifty cents???


Yeah, I swiped those babies up pretty quickly.  I was so excited!

So what in the heck are they good for, if you can't use them when you're sick, you ask?

Lots and lots of stuff!

  • Shopping.  
No, seriously... think about how many times people you know, or maybe even you personally, have crammed paper tissue into their pockets for use during shopping.  There are never any trashcans around to throw them into when you actually need them, so after they're used, you simply stuff those booger covered tissues back into your pocket.  Eew.

As if that's not enough, walking produces friction within your pocket, so that once very sturdy tissue starts to rub against your fabric.  Over time, that causes what I like to call tissue lint.  Those tiny fragments of paper wind up sinking to the bottom of your pocket where the washer can't get to them.  Over time, you have enough tissue lint to stuff a small toy.

Enter the cloth handkerchief.  You do the same thing, but you no longer frantically search for a trash can that doesn't exist.  Furthermore, there's no wad of tissue lint at the bottom of your pants pocket.  See?  Life is already better!

  • Cold weather.  
When the weather gets cold, the nose starts to drip.  There's nothing much that needs to be blown, of course... it's just this steady drip.  Kind of like a leaky faucet.  Nothing, and I really mean nothing, stops this drip... and there's hardly anything coming out at all, which just makes it more annoying.

You pull out a paper tissue, but really, that's a waste.  I mean... there's hardly anything there.  Argh!!!

Now, enter the cloth handkerchief, again.  Problem solved.  No waste.  Oh, and because it's so much larger than your standard tissue, you get to warm up your fingers in the process.

And last (because this is already getting too long!)

  • Books.
This one, of course, is for those of us that get so into our books that we start crying.  Usually, we can't explain why we're crying in a way that makes sense to someone that hasn't read our book.  The reasons are generally nonsensical.

"The apple just fell...off the table...  Why?  Oh, why???  It's not fair!"  ::cue honking nose and great, loud gulps of air.::

Yeah, total nonsense.

Enter the loyal handkerchief that stands by you, offering its comfort in these moments.  It dries your tears, covers your face from prying eyes, and even loves you enough to let you blow your boogers all over it.  It just may be your best friend ever.  Nobody else, after all, will let you do that!

So now you see just how awesome a handkerchief can be.  

Friend, savior, and generally good guy.  You just need to give it a chance to prove itself!  Don't get rid of your paper tissue, of course, because you'll need it when you're sick. No germ saving, please...  but give a comfy piece of clean cloth a try.

I'm sure you can think of tons of other ways to use a handkerchief, since this is just a tiny sampling.  I'd love to hear them!

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