Friday, November 21, 2008

Hanky Skanky

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?

17 "Sister" Lovin' Friends Said:

  • Ma'dame French

    I am convinced you are the only crazy one that thinks about this shit! (lmao) French
    But it was interesting!!!

  • Buffie

    Yes, you ARE the only one who thinks of these things! ROFL! It is a rather gross thing isn't it? My dad always had a hankerchief...I had to iron them! EEKS!


  • Mama

    hehe I try very hard not to think of such things until some guy keeps sneezing over MY drinks on the plane yuck, this was interesting though, I learnt something here, maybe not something to share with my thanksgiving dinner guests but still I am sure I can find someone to share my new found knowledge with hehe, your blog looks so festive, I love it!!!. hugs, Kathy

  • squawmama

    Good Morning Miss Queen of fun filled data... My dad was also a huge nose blowing man... always had his big white handkerchief out blowing the big old snauze... It use to gross me out terribly...But I would give a million buck to see him do it again... Thanks for the history of handkerchiefs and the memories of my dad... luv ya


  • Anonymous

    Ok, you got me gagging. Your brain works in strange ways. LOL

    Love Ya,

  • Jill

    GROSS!!!!!!! Boogers YUCK! I have been wiping them all week off of Gianna! I am now sick to my tummy! :) LOL!! Funny and interesting post!

  • Stephanie

    Dear Kleenex,

    Thank you. You have blessed our lives.


  • nikkicrumpet

    Ummmm yeah I'm pretty sure you are! But then...if you didn't...who would make us laugh?

  • Rachelle

    Very gross post! I think hankies are yucky too! Now I'll probably think about boogers the rest of the night. Gee, thanks Justine! LOL

  • Tootsie

    and you wanted to know what I was ON? lol this was so funny....I would love to be able to read minds...I would just read JUSTINES only! oh the entertainment that would give! lol
    luv ya...have a great weekend

  • Life on Bonnie Lane

    ROFLMAO! Loved this post! This must be one of my kids' favorite subjects. We have many booger stories. I'm not sure anyone wants to hear them.

    I have called my children sugar boogers before. They have not been amused.

    What freaks me out isn't so much the boogs that people blow into hankies as the ones they smear on bathroom walls...omg!!!! How can people do that?


  • Bridget

    Interesting stuff about the Kleenex. My dad did the hankies too. YUCK!

  • Picket

    WHAT!!!! cannot even comment on here any more!!!! lol lol I demand a street sign that pops up when I come here...'WARNING!..Picket..dangerous territory straight ahead...wear protective eyecovers..the following material has serious side bulging eyes...mouth flying open...severe blushing...loss of bladder control and the strong urge to spit out what ever is in your mouth!' lol

  • Shelia

    Justiney! Have you been bored, Dear!! You're always the funniest one. My Daddy had the hanky too, blew snot all over it and put it back into his pocket. He'd even hand it to me if he thought I needed it and I think I actually accpeted it a few times! Did you come by my blog and see Jill? She's a Diva now and Alexa!!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  • Tootsie

    hey stop in and pick up your award today....and then on Monday I have something for you on my blog don't forget to visit!

  • Heather

    Well, you aren't the only one now! You have all of us thinking about dried up and rehydrated boogs! Anything that comes out of the nose just doesn't gross me out at all anymore. I have three kids under 4 so I am constantly covered in snot. I've kinda gotten used to it. LOL!!
    Great info though. Never knew the history of either. My grandfather still uses hankies and my grandmother irons them!!
    I am having a giveaway- stop by and get your name in there!

  • SchmeckyGirl

    Oh how gross! My dad used a handkerchief too! And he still folds his tissue neatly and puts it back in his pocket! What the heck?!?!?! They are disposable!

    And you thought of all this... why?!?!?!

    And yes, my dream was very detailed and I remembered every word vividly. It was like a freakin movie. And it made perfect sense too right up until the bulb of garlic. lol.