The view from my cup…hankies! Some of these lovelies were handmade by my mother and grandmother. I was taught to roll hem them with tedious little stiches. I also learned to iron on some of these before I graduated to dishtowels and pillowcases.
When I was young, my mother and grandmother never left the house without a handkerchief in their pocketbook. My grandmother could produce one promptly, pulled from the bottom of her purse where cellophane wrapped candy collected lint and half sticks of chewing gum sat drying to a crumble in their foil wrappers. My mother, a smoker of Raleigh non-filters, would shake off the loose tobacco that accumulated along the bottom of her handbag, clinging to the detritus there.
I was on the receiving end of a hanky thrust at me by one or both of them during any occasion when my multiple sneeze attacks hit, my nose was running unchecked, or crying was imminent. Usually during church, when any noise was frowned upon by those shooting disapproving glances my way from nearby pews.
There are hankies Valentine’s and Christmas themed, monogrammed, embroidered, appliqued, and even the Democrat donkey hanky my grandmother carried on any occasion deemed remotely political. My great aunt kept a hanky folded and pinned to the bosom of her housecoat. Easy access I suppose, and a bit decorative to boot.
My grandfather carried a handkerchief daily. A large, white one with a discreet ‘E’ monogram in the corner. That seemed more practical. A hanky in your pocket was easily at hand whenever the need arose.
I’ve been known to carry a hanky to high emotion, potential tearful moments…funerals, weddings, movies...my son’s milestone events. Hankies don’t fall apart in the presence of gale force sneezes, they don’t turn to mush in your hand after repeated use. And best, they don’t require me to pluck minuscule shreds of tissue from every item in the wash when I leave one in my pocket.