Friends

09 August 2017

HANDKERCHIEFS


People don’t seem to use handkerchiefs these days but Joe and I always liked them. We weren’t dressed properly unless we had a clean hankie. I have tried paper tissues but didn’t like them. I mean, why should we have to pay to blow noses and what do you do with them when used and you’re away from home. Nah, give me linen every time.
My aunt was a stickler for ironing handkerchiefs, always making sure the folds were EXACTLY right. She was eleven years older than me and we were born in the same month so it didn’t take me long to catch up! Yes, I too have grown to be methodical, and probably fanatical, when I do some ironing. It brought me some kind of satisfaction so what the heck! I guess the aunt felt the same. At least Joe could use a linen handkerchief without worrying that it looked like a piece of rag. Anyway, his professional appearance demanded linen rather than scrappy tissues. You should have seen him in his business suits with just the corner of a handkerchief showing on the breast pocket. Ooooh is it any wonder I fell for him!!
Joe’s hankies are still in the cupboard, packed in the original basket he kept them in. Over the months since he died I have almost thrown them out but then nostalgia would overcome me and they’d be put back in the cupboard.
How daft is that? I didn’t go doolally over his suits or shoes or gloves or scarves or books, so what’s with the handkerchiefs? Is it because I laboured over them? Oops – I don’t think labour is the right word since I loved ironing and matching borders so they looked newly acquired.
Lately I seem to have acquired some sanity, realising that when I go someone else will have to dispose of them … all at once. No-one else will want them since I’m told that handkerchiefs have been replaced by tissues. Anyway, one at a time is all I can cope with and even then I feel emotional. I’ve managed two so far, only another thirty-eight to go. 

21 comments:

Denise inVA said...

I can understand your attachment to these hankies Valerie. I think you should keep a few I honestly do :)

LL Cool Joe said...

It's strange isn't it the things that have emotional attachment? My Dad always had a hanky, I have no idea what happened to them after he died, but it was my job to clear out his wardrobes which was a horrible, horrible thing to have to do.

Ron said...

Valerie, what a lovely post!

And OMG...I was raised the same, to always carry a hankie. My father was such a stickler about it and taught us the same. In fact we always got more handkerchiefs as additional presents on Christmas and even birthdays.

"My aunt was a stickler for ironing handkerchiefs...."

Ha! Funny you mentioned that because when I was a kid, I used to LOVE helping my mother with the ironing and she would always give me the handkerchiefs to iron. Also the pillow cases. Can't you believe that back then, people even ironed their pillow cases and bed sheets?!?!

Judging from the photo you shared, Joe's hankies appear in mint condition - almost like NEW. So it's no wonder you can't bear to throw them out. Plus, they are sentimental to you, and I totally understand because I would be the same way.

Don't you miss many of the traditions of yesteryear's, such as carrying a hankie?

Hope you're having a wonderful Wednesday, dear friend!

X

Valerie said...

Good afternoon, Ron. I think you're like me in the remembering stakes. I imagine it's something we do as we get older.

Handkerchiefs were the easiest things for kids to iron. Strangely, though, my mother always made me iron huge sheets. I hated that. My aunt was different, she and I were so alike.

Yes, Joe's handkerchiefs were good, mainly due to my ironing, of course... lol.

I do miss some of the old traditions but I guess that's normal.

Valerie said...

Joe, I admit it's not easy to dispose of a loved one's belongings, be it one's partner or one's parent.

Valerie said...

Hi Denise. Maybe one or two then. There are far too many for me to keep the whole lot. I think it will take a long time yet to dispose of other stuff.

Mac n' Janet said...

So hard, I'm not sure I could do it.

Sharon Qualls said...

I prefer the large men's handkerchiefs, a dainty lady size just doesn't help with my schnozz. Gradually my supply has dwindled and I have had to go to Kleenex. They are really a poor substitute.
Ever think of making something out of his hankies?

Jimmy said...

Valerie some things you just have a hard time getting rid of and that's OK in my opinion, I actually have some hankies that belonged to my Great Grandmother and I'll still have them up until I'm gone and one of the kids have to wonder why I had those, emotional attachment I suppose but that's OK too.

If you get past two just remember to hold onto one, there's nothing wrong with that.

Valerie said...

Janet, it is hard. An impractical mind thinks it would erase all the memories.

Valerie said...

Sharon, the answer is No. I didn't think of constructing something with all the handkerchiefs. I no longer seem to have the brain power to dream up anything like that.

Valerie said...

Hi Jimmy. I don't think I'll get past two! The handkerchiefs are stacked in little piles in a drawer, hurting no-one!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

There's nothing unusual about wanting to keep these handkerchiefs, Valerie. They offer you comfort and remembrance and sharing this story was I'm sure difficukt in some ways. I also kept some of my late mother's belongings, which also do not take up much space and perhaps in time I will feel comfortable in parting with, but nit now.

Valerie said...

Betrice, I will keep a few of the better ones. I live in a small bungalow and Joe's things dominate, hence my attempt at removing the stuff we don't want.The handkerchiefs got to me, though. so I will keep a few.

kden said...

I use them too now; thinking they were for older people when I was young. They are quite handy and not full of holes when you need one. Lovely post.

Geraldine Helen Hartman said...

When I was growing up, people still carried handkerchiefs at times but lots of Kleenex too. I remember some beautiful handkerchiefs with embroidery, lace, chiffon etc..those were way too pretty to use.😊

Don't be too sad for feeling attached to certain items belonging to Joe. I think it's very touching. But I know he wouldn't want you to be sad. Take care Val.🌼

Valerie said...

Hi Geraldine. I know a lot of people who still use linen handkerchiefs so I guess it's the younger element who opts to use Kleenex. I have decided to keep a few of Joe's handkerchiefs and will put them away somewhere safe. There's plenty more of his stuff to get rid of, things that will have no sentimental value.

Geraldine said...

I have memory items that I can't part with and I think that's just fine. But I do try to conjure up happy memories and not dwell on missing that loved one, too much. That can get so emotionally overwhelming.🌼

Valerie said...

Hi Geraldine. I don't dwell on missing Joe because he's where he is and out of pain. I don't get too sentimental, but the handkerchiefs kind of got to me. How daft is that.

CrystalChick said...

Fine to keep a few, and let a few go .... all in your own good time!
What a nice memory though of him in a good suit with a fresh handkerchief. I'm sure relatives of mine used them many years ago, but these days tissues are all I usually see.
Ironing isn't something I enjoy, but will do it occasionally, if really needed.

Valerie said...

Mary, that's what I've done. Kept the best, given away the rest. Yes, the good suit was necessary for the job he did, as were the handkerchiefs. Not for him a pack of tissues, unless he had a head cold.