Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Your Mom's Towel

Some Hand Towels Are All Wet
Others Are Priceless

“Thirty dollars for a hand towel—one hand towel?”
A friend attended a wedding shower for a much younger colleague last month. As is the custom, the couple registered on a luxury home-furnishing Web site. The choices, as also is the custom in today’s wedding culture, didn’t leave much left in the bank account. As my friend perused the items listed, she settled on hand towels, until she saw the price. “Thirty dollars!” she cried. “How can any hand towel be worth thirty dollars? It doesn’t have hand-embroidered silk trim.”
Therein lies a peek at the wedding conglomerate, because that’s what it has become. Now showers—bridal and baby alike—are an industry, and gifts are a line item added to the budget when the invitations arrive. Weddings, babies, birthdays, engagements, even telling the world your expected baby’s gender are all occasions that now fall in the column titled “Wretched excess.”
Friends and family alike will tell you that I have crossed the Wretched Excess column from my life. Some of them even get impatient with me when they dare ask me for a paper towel. My question of why they need one harks back to The Inquisition.
So I’m especially sensitive to the $30 hand towel. I do have hand towels—several of them because I use them instead of paper towels. Some might even say I have an excess of them, but not quite wretched.
As part of that excess, I have beautiful hand towels; some are hand-embroidered vintage linens. As much as I believe in the practice of using what I have, I confess that I don’t use those because they’re just to pretty to smear with leftover garden dirt stains that didn’t quite wash off.
I also have one priceless hand towel. I don’t know how much it cost because it was a gift, but I doubt it was anywhere near $30. It also is in the “don’t use” category. It is, however, placed where I see it daily. In this case, the thought and the sentiment do count. This towel says “love,” although it isn’t spelled L O V E. Love also is something none of us can put a price on. Not even $30 is enough.

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