In an ongoing effort to better myself, I have made a lot of changes in the past year. I've started cooking more. I joined the local co-op and buy more organic, local foods. I've learned to love onions. I've started using cloth napkins instead of disposable ones. I've started doing push-ups, sit-ups, and leg exercises on a regular basis.
None of these changes were very difficult. I added them to my daily routines without much complication.
But my latest improvement, the transition from disposal tissues to cloth handkerchiefs, has not been seamless. It turns out there's a learning curve to carrying around a snot rag.
You see, I blow my nose A LOT. Maybe it's because I'm so fastidious, but I like to clean that thing out as much as possible. And I never realized how often I did it until I started keeping all my sinus detritus in a pretty little patterned cloth hankie.
I'll spare you the details, but it's pretty dis-gus-ting.
With my disposable tissues, I had them strategically placed throughout my house. There is a box on my nightstand, in the bathroom, on the kitchen table, on the coffee table, on my computer desk, in my car, and on my desk at work. I never like to be more than an arm's length away from a noseblowing apparatus.
But how do I do that with a cloth handkerchief? Do I put one of those in each of these locations? Keep collections of my boogers all over the house?
The other challenge was having yet another thing that I have to carry around with me everywhere. It used to be that all I needed when I left the house were my wallet and my keys. A few years ago I added a cell phone to that. Now I've added a handkerchief. My pockets are starting to bulge with all this stuff. I wonder what the next item will be that I do fine without today but will be indispensable in the future.
I was also worried about washing my handkerchiefs. Would I have to soak them first before I put them in the laundry? Is this going to cause me more work?
Well, I'm glad to report that I have successfully integrated my handkerchiefs into my daily routine. The transition is complete.
The trick to dealing with carrying around a collection of your own snot is in the folding. I have perfected the art of folding my handkerchief in such a manner that I can hide the grossness in the folds, thereby allowing multiple uses out of one hankie. I use it, fold it over, and a new pristine section of the handkerchief is ready for more punishment.
And now that I've started carrying my hankie around with me, I've gotten used to it. And realized there are many advantages to having it around. It fits well in the front of my pants pocket, and it's kinda nice to have that little bit of inconspicuous padding there.
It turns out that my sinus genetic material breaks down with laundry detergent, so I've never had to do anything more than throw my used hankies in with my regular laundry, and they come out clean and fresh.
Before, when I went out in public, I always had to worry about whether there would be tissues there. At people's homes, I would usually seek out the bathroom to see if they had tissues in there. Many didn't, and I'd have to use toilet paper. But what about just out on the street? In restaurants? At the movie theater? At funerals? These were all places where I often found myself needing to empty my nose but having no recourse.
My portable ubiquitous handkerchief has solved all of those dilemmas. Also, there are times when I need some sort of cloth rag, like to wipe my glasses after coming in from the rain, or to rub a stain off of something. Sudden crying fit at a boring meeting? Thanks, hankie! Now I have something handy. It also can double as a napkin when I'm eating away from home. It's like a miracle square of cloth!
The cloth handkerchiefs are now an integral part of my life. It's good to know I can weather such a difficult transition and embrace change, even at my advanced age.
Tim-Alone No More
8 years ago