I’m not even sure if everyone knows what a hankie is these days… let alone uses them. Of course, what I’m talking about is the humble handkerchief. You know that thing a handsome man presents when a woman becomes upset – a clean, ironed, folded handkerchief – even allowing her to take it home with her. It’s in the movies, so it must have happened in real life. I’m sure it was a ploy back in the days to get a piece of a beau’s belongings. Or to make an excuse to see someone again. And it would have worked great for me, since I’m a bit of a crier.
Still, hankies have gone out of favour – they’re old fashioned and they’re disgusting – tissues are far easier to contend with. Still, in a time of banning the straw and plastic bag, I think there’s a good case for bringing back the good ol’ hankie.
I’m a lover of the hankie. I generally carry one on me. Though I’ll be honest, I also carry a packet of tissues, and I would never offer my hankie to anyone to keep, because frankly, good hankies are hard to come by these days. It seems that the key to a great, soft, hankie is to have had it for years, washed it a million times, and come cold season, is a delightfully soothing tonic for your red nose. I had a friend who bought a packet of hankies recently that were so stiff they made her nose bleed! They just don’t make them like they used to. Luckily when I left Australia I brought a bundle with me – some I recognise from my childhood days, others are newer, bought by unknowing relatives, who didn’t realise they were giving me a gift I actually wanted instead of just a token hankie.
At the start of Corona, when wearing a cloth mask was still the norm, I used the 7 day pack of men’s hankies that my parents gave my husband as a gift one time (he is not a hankie lover) and turned them into instant face masks. I just wash them and use them again. To be fair, they look a bit stupid, but you know what, no one is looking really sexy with a face mask, and if I’m not contributing to the world’s rubbish problems that have come from this pandemic, then that’s Deb 1, Corona 0.
I get that some people can’t stand hankies because they’re a bit gross. I get that your snot stays in your purse or pocket until you take it home to be washed. But once it’s washed, and ironed (yes, it’s one of the few things I iron, both for practicality and because it’s more hygienic), it’s like a tissue that keeps on giving.
So bring them back I say. Are you in?