I don't know why, but recently I started thinking about handkerchiefs. I have lots of memories of my dad and his hankies... he had a whole drawer full of white ones, neatly folded. I remember clearly him doing his honk honk honk blow into them, and then putting the damn thing back in his pocket. I mean, Ewwwwwwwwwwww, right?
So I did a tiny bit of quick Google-style research and found out a bit about the history of the handkerchief. There was actually quite a bit of info, but to spare you major boredom, I'm only sharing this quick bit of info.
The pocket-handkerchief is in fact only 400 years old. It was the ingenious idea of an aristocratic Venetian lady to cut a square out of pure flax and then to decorate it with lace. She showed it in the course of a promenade in a public garden, where the delicate handkerchief excited the general curiosity of the onlookers.
So, that's how it all started years ago. Over time the handkerchief was thought to be a sign of wealth, and ladies would actually keep them in their hand so people would know she was of the upper class. Of course, flax went to linen, and from there to silk. At one time, white was not the chosen color for the ladies, but instead dark colors, so when they wiped the snuff off their nose, their hanky still looked clean.
As I was saying earlier, I have poignant memories of both grandpa and dad honking their boogers into their hankies, and the mere thought of it just gives me the willies. I mean, what could be more disgusting than capturing your snot on cloth and then putting back into your pocket for the rest of the day?
And let's go back to the earlier parts of the 20th century, when washing clothes was a huge, hands-on chore. Would you want the chore of scrubbing out the caked-on goobers with one of these? The indignity!
And even in later years, when the washer was automated, how could these women stand the thought of dried up boogs being rehydrated and swirled around with their unmentionables? Just the thought makes me cringe.
Now there is one good quality of the hanky. It can make a suit look super sharp if done correctly. In my opinion, once the tissue was born, this is the only thing a hanky should have been used for!
Now would you believe that the first tissue was created by Kleenex in 1924, but not for blowing thy nose. Nope, it was created to remove makeup! It was only in 1926, when consumers starting writing the Kleenex company saying that they were using their tissues in place of a handkerchief, that the company began changing their advertisements to reflect this new trend. Lo and behold, sales doubled!
So my question is this. Why oh why did it take hanky users over 5 decades to get with the program?
Am I the only one out there in blogland that thinks about this stuff?