Towels—you know, those things you dry yourself with after a bath—are for me a source of ever-increasing annoyance, guilt and humor.
Why annoyance? Well, over the years I have collected a large selection of absorbent rags . . . old dishtowels and frayed towels, diapers, T-shirts and discarded underwear. So when I spill anything, I reach for them or (and I know I shouldn’t) lashings of paper towels. My husband, on the other hand, wipes up everything with the newest and fluffiest towels he can get his hands on. He takes them into his workroom, he mops up spilt coffee or oil, he wipes up the kitchen floor and on those occasions when the basement has flooded . . . well, you get the picture. I have asked him so nicely, and to no avail, not to do it. When we had the downstairs bathroom re-modeled last fall, I bought some real fancy hand towels, the kind you only get out when guests are coming, and so far they have eluded him. So far.
Why guilt? Just look at these brightly colored towels, which I fished (no pun intended) out of a closet when I was re-arranging my sewing supplies. Ten years or so ago I made a number of robes for my grandchildren to wear after swimming, just as forty years ago I had made them for my children. I went to a great deal of trouble to locate these towels to make more brightly colored, absorbent, hooded robes. It didn’t happen, and I am resigned. It never will.
As for humor, how many of you have worked your way through Wedding Registries, in which the dewy-eyed future bride and groom have requested “Two sets of towels, one white and one pale lavender?” Hullo, there are lots of guests out there looking for some moderately priced gifts that fall between the Waterford chandelier and the Teflon spatula. Ask for towels, armfuls of them, preferably brown. When you have kids, believe me, you will thank me. Especially if they leave them at the swimming pool. Which they will.
Sidebar: I had this post written yesterday, and I was amazed to find in today’s Wall Street Journal an article which included words like “rebellion,” “outraged,” “upset,” and “anxiety and distrust.” Politics? No. TARP repayments? No way. Towels at the YMCA!