When I was growing up, my father always had a handkerchief in his pocket. I connected this square of fabric with him and with men, just as I had once made with other “sensible” possessions like leather wallets and watches. I’ve also asked myself privately if it’s a little gross to blow your nose in a tiny blanket and then put it back in your pocket.
However, as the years go by, I have increasingly adopted my parents’ practicality as well as their concern about the effects of waste on the environment. When the pandemic hit New York in March, instead of buying 50 boxes of Kleenex, I decided to offer handkerchiefs Adieu instead of a reusable option. I̵
You are serious so useful – and not just for tears (of which there are many, given the news cycle we are going through). Handkerchiefs are my little “renaissance” element: Not only ideal for runny noses, they also serve as napkins, clean spilled material, soak up mask sweat and dry my face during training. And there are so many guys out there! Of course, cotton patterns are standard, but there are many printed, customizable designs that also make great gifts for newlyweds and loved ones, hair accessories, placemats, and face masks. I even colored some as a quarantine vehicle.
I keep my handkerchiefs folded in a small basket by the front door and I never leave home without throwing one in my pocket, bag, or running belt. Once used, I throw them in the washing machine in an underwear bag – and that’s just what I mean once Used because it’s unsanitary to put a germ-covered cloth in your pocket where you’re likely to touch it again (not to mention the danger with COVID-19). If you do get sick, it is safer to choose paper tissues because you can throw them away right away. But I keep a lot of handkerchiefs ready for everyday use to avoid repeated use.
I think handkerchiefs are a win-win situation for all of us. They save me money in the long term and are a zero-waste alternative to a box for a box of tissues. Here is a selection of tissues in a variety of sizes and styles that you can use to open your own collection (which I sincerely hope you do).