may I borrow your handkercheif?

sprinkle bottleMy mother would be watching “As the World Turns” and I could smell her ironing.  She had a sprinkle bottle.  It was full of water and she would sprinkle the item and then iron out all the wrinkles.  Her iron, in the “olden days” had no steam feature.  She had to make her own steam.  I was a young girl and it was hard to have “quiet time” and not talk while she watched her one television show a day.

I would wait and wait some more.  I knew at the end of her ironing for the day, she would sometimes say, okay, you can iron.  Weird, how she made it so I WANTED to iron?  Pretty smart thinking.  There was a basket with 10-15 of my father’s handkerchiefs.  Some were pure white, others had his initials on the corner.  D A B  On others there would just be a single letter B.  Then there was a couple with a very thin line of blue running across one edge.  My father wore a suit and tie every single day to work.  Every single day he carried a handkerchief.   Each was to be pressed flat, then folded over, then folded again and once more.  Then stacked neatly.  She would put them away in a very tall wardrobe closet that had all of his clothing and socks etc.  handkerchiefs

Mr. Right carries a handkerchief every single day of his life.  I can’t count the number of times while marrying a young couple, the bride’s tears are spilling over and I see Mr. Right reach for his pocket.  It is bittersweet for me.  I LOVE that exact moment when I see his hand start to reach for his pocket.  Also, I am very sad that NO ONE has taught the groom to be, he needs to carry a handkerchief.  More than one bride has walked back down the aisle without a fancy, lacy, sentimental, lady like hankie, but in its place was a plain, white, cotton, man’s classic, simple, ironed handkerchief.

Yes, even while he served in the US Army.  Every day, tucked in his pocket was a handkerchief.  With his Class A uniform or Dress Blues, he carried a white one.  With his BDU’s he always carried a neatly pressed Olive drab-colored one.  I mean that, every single day.  If he has on cargo shorts and flip-flops, I can guarantee somewhere in those cargo pockets there is a neatly pressed handkerchief.

Okay, maybe it is a “daddy issue” throwback.  I love, adore, melt when a man exhibits those gentleman characteristics.  One of the reasons my heart was aflutter when I met Mr. Right was because of his polished manners.  One of the things I LOVE about him.   We spent countless hours teaching our boys, good manners.  Because IT MATTERS!

Good manners go hand in hand with being kind.  Offering help if need be.

“Etiquette – a fancy word for simple kindness.”  Elsa Maxwell

iron dayI have been offered a neatly pressed white handkerchief in church, at funerals, during  weddings.  I have been silently handed one in a hospital.  I have chewed a hang nail in a very unlady like fashion, while bored riding in a car and have been handed a handkerchief.  I have asked for his handkerchief to clean off something on my glasses.

“How to be a Gentleman” by John Bridges      This is a book we have read, taught from and given over and over and over.  Yes, as a gift,  I have included a package of, you guessed it handkerchiefs.   It is a rather slender book, and if I may….the last page reads:

“A gentleman never makes himself the center of attention.  His goal is to make life easier, not just for himself but for his friends, his acquaintances, and the world at large.  Because he is a gentleman, he does not see this as a burden.  Instead, it is a challenge he faces eagerly every day. “

Yes, I am well aware that many make fun of good polished manners. Some less educated, thinking they are “old-fashioned”.    I am guessing it is because they wish someone had taught them.  Just by observing, I see a need to polish the apple so to speak.  It is time to bring back some good “old-fashioned” manners.  We are in need of kindness in the form of good manners in the work place, the home, the movies, the grocery store.  The time has come folks.

Just ask our daughter in-laws if good manners matter.  🙂  I am guessing they would not have gone on a second date, if said gentleman wasn’t…..a gentleman.

Yesterday, while ironing & smiling (because I was done ironing for the day and because luckily I have steam built-in) I ended with a stack of handkerchiefs.  Folded & pressed over and then over again.


10 thoughts on “may I borrow your handkercheif?

  1. Kathie

    The “smell” of ironing is long rooted in my soul. I would sit on Nana’s lap at the mangle and “help” press Papa’s t-shirts, boxers, socks and yes, his handkerchiefs. I always smile with fond memories when I see a “gentleman” with a handkerchief.

  2. You take me right back to my early days, waiting and waiting for my turn to do the ironing, sprinkle bottle and all. And I loved ironing handkerchiefs.

  3. I had the same fascination with ironing as a young girl and my grandmother would let me iron small things- probably handkerchiefs!- as well.
    You are right- everyone should carry a good hanky and I love to buy them for Jim. He is good about carrying them although Mr. Right sounds like the absolute best!
    I am attracted to vintage hankies when I go flea marketing and love to tuck them into cards for birthdays, etc.
    Love this post!
    xo Joanne

  4. Marci

    So glad I have discovered your blog. The ironing scene is right out of my life. I loved to iron those hankies and was also in charge of pillow cases.

  5. I still use liquid starch and hang dry my pillow cases. I make my own pillowcases and embroidery them and add crocheted lace to them. I dampen them with a spray bottle then roll them up. Then I iron each one at a time. The starch makes them so smooth and pretty. Starch also protects them from body oil and turning yellow from use.

    1. Oh my stars, rubbing hands together smiling. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing.
      I thought I was the only girl on the planet that embroidered pillowcases anymore?!!
      Pleased to meet you!!!!!
      I iron all our pillow cases. I use starch for other items. However, NOW, I am going to use on the cases. Thanks so much for sharing.
      Please come on back any ol time!

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