Sunday, April 19, 2009


I don't know what happened to all my handkerchiefs. I was down to only two and they were rather well used. So I turned to my trusty mercantile choice, Amazon of course, and found some in about 15 seconds.

Amazon just has them for sale but they come from Jos. A. Bank.

Still I had them "in hand" within a couple of days. The UPS fellow brought them in a considerably larger than needed box.

I use handkerchiefs and always have nearly as long as I can remember. I have a hard time leaving the house without a handkerchief stuck in my pocket.

I like to have a clean one but when you only have two you have to compromise on that issue. But now that I have a "baker's dozen" (that's what the package read -- I haven't counted them) I can be assured of a clean one daily.

Just to clarify there is no great need for a clean one for oneself. But if one carries handkerchiefs one finds shall we say opportunities to offer them to women and children. I have on rare occasion offered mine to another man but there is an unseemliness to it that I can't quite specify.

Over time I have noticed that I was more and more the rarity in having a handkerchief to offer. But really I had never thought much about it.

Until the other day when my son and daughter and a friend were visiting and I mentioned I had just received my new handkerchiefs. The three of them thought that was so quaint that I would buy and carry handkerchiefs. I said "what do you do when you need a handkerchief?" And I won't say what they did because I thought it was disgusting.

There is apparently a generational change in the wearing and use of handkerchiefs that had previously escaped my attention.

I noticed the other day that George Will had written a piece (Will Jeans Undermine Our Social Order) about the pervasiveness of the American blue jean. I would recommend to him a similar piece about the disuse of the lowly handkerchief but I am one of the ones who wears jeans daily and I am certain that would disqualify me in his eyes.

But I like my hankies even though they apparently make me an old fogey. And I am doing my part to preserve our social order to make up for wearing jeans.


Lori1955 said...

I love this post. Helen always had at least 2 handkerchiefs in her pocket at all times. I have a couple of embroideried ones from my grandmother but those really aren't for use. Good memories though.

nancy said...

russ always had a handkerchief with him, sometimes two. bob also uses them and occasionally he will offer it to me. i gave my boys some of russ' newer ones for keepsakes.

it carrying one makes you an old fogey, then my family is also one!

arutherford said...

Terry, I think it is very gallant of you to carry a handkerchief. My Daddy also always had one, some even monogramed.

I've given some away but I still have a few in a drawer. Reading your post I had an "ah ha" moment. I'm going to start carrying on in my purse. ;-}

¸.•*´)ღ¸.•*´Chris said...

My dad carried one and would even turn around and go back in the house if he forgot to tuck a hanky in his pocket. How I wish I had kept a few of them. Most, though were very worn. I remember Mom ironing them. She ironed everything, even his boxers.

When my husband and I got married, his grandmother gave him hers because he was getting a bit emotional. I started crying during the ceremony and he used it to dry my tears. It was a very touching moment.

dave said...

My grandkids other grandfather, who is even older than I, said they had to have handkerchiefs, so he bought them each a goodly stack.
They prefer to carry and use "tissues" so I inherited this huge pile. I am in heaven now.
Every morning put on clean underwear, socks and put a clean white handkerchief in my rear right pocket.
It is a longstanding habit, and until the experience with the other grandpa, I was sure I was the norm.
Alas I find I also am a fuddy.

~Betsy said...

Dad always carried a hankie, too. I think they are awesome!