‘Should I take a towel from the drawer’, my son asks.
‘What are they like?’
‘There’s the aubergine one, or this’. He holds one up.
I can see sunlight through it. I wrinkle my nose. ‘Take my good one. It’s on the stairs.’
‘But that’s yours’
‘I don’t want your friends to think we have crappy towels.’
‘Only our close friends,’ he says confidently.
‘No. Not even them’.
Towels have haunted me all my adult life. When I moved unexpectedly to London to be with a man he took one look at my towels and dragged me into Marks & Spencer. Ah, he’s buying me lingerie I thought. But no. Even better than that. He bought me two big fluffy bath towels. Heaven. That’s not the only reason we have stayed together but it looms large.
These days I suffer from towel-envy. Not sure if there is a support group for this affliction. I sit on the beach eyeing gorgeous striped towels that have fluffy depth from the other side of dark sun glasses. Bright colours decorating the sand like a towel mosaic. One of my closest friends has French style towels. Beautiful, floppy pieces of elegant material. A cross between a posh picnic rug and a soft throw. Sophisticated.
My towels are frayed towels, holey towels, even hand-me-down towels from family. Towels I’m embarrassed to own. I only hang them on the line because we live on acreage. No one can see.
If my mum read this blog I know what she would say, after falling on the floor laughing. ‘I knew that would come back to bite you on the bum’, or some such wise words. She would be referring to my teenage years when I refused to use any towel twice. Once wrapped around my ample bosom and it went straight in the wash basket. I washed my waist length hair thrice a week. That makes 10 towels a week, 40 a month, nearly 500 a year . No wonder Mum spoke to me through gritted teeth until I left home. Don’t tell son no.1. He’s turning out to be quite like me .
But is that it? Or is the humble towel a metaphor for some other yearning in me. A strong desire to lay down my towel on a faraway beach or lounger crowded round a pool. Is it symbolic of my wish to travel?
Does measuring my threadbare towels against other people’s well-kept towels reflect possible self-esteem issues?
There was a phase a few years ago when middle-class people rolled their towels into a sausage shape. Displayed them on open-plan shelving. Mine are shoved unceremoniously into a drawer which often gets stuck.
Years ago a colleague was disgusted when her boss bought her a towel for Christmas. Perhaps she had hoped for jewels or a silk scarf. The towel was deep blue with gold edges. A sumptuous towel. I had visions of lying on a damask covered sofa wrapped in that towel, like exquisite gift wrapping. Or shaking it out on the sands of St Tropez.
I have one good towel. It’s white with red stripes – the colours of our local rugby team. Bought by son no.2 for my birthday. If we ever win lotto, I’m going to fly to the best department store in the country to buy up all their towels.
NB Despite my towel-needs I have never stolen one from a hotel room. I may be a bit strange but I’m not a fool.

2 thoughts on “SOFT AND FLUFFY

  1. This is so great! I remember I had the same issue but only because I could not afford the good ones. Then my Boss in Trade Marks bought me one from M&S for one of many Bdays – big, heavy, heaven!!! I still have it somewhere! But I also watched this programme by someone called Fiona (can’t remember her last name, she had this affair with this married politician, made it big over there) she was on TV in the mornings – Can’t even remember the name of the show..anyway, she went on to have a day show and when I was at home convalescing, I learned how to fold my towels and sheets ‘properly’…but then I married this man who seems to ‘geographically’ place everything in the right place LOL…. – GREAT ARTICLE…Keep on blogging! 🙂

  2. The blue and gold towel present was in my Unilever days. See if you can guess the recipient :D. I can’t afford the good ones. I especially like luxurious beach towels as I can show them off. Thanks for reading and liking my nonsense. XXX

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