This blog is now sugar FREE, fat FREE, gluten FREE, all ORGANIC and all NATURAL!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

THE GOOD TOWELS - a cranky re-run


This re-run is from August 2012

The guest bathroom in the house where Mrs. Cranky grew up was always adorned with lovely linen towels.  It was apparently well known that these towels were not to be used.  When my wife’s mom was several days from leaving this world, the result of a losing battle with Pancreatic Cancer, my brother-in-law asked with a straight face, “Does this mean we can use the GOOD TOWELS?”

I was not yet a member of the family, but this comment, cold and callous as it sounds, made everyone laugh.  It was funny because of the silliness of having the GOOD TOWELS that their mom so carefully protected.  It made everyone think fondly of this woman who had only a little more time on Earth.  Somehow a person’s passion even for silly things makes them more endearing.

I only recently heard this story.  It made me think of all the nice things that people have and cherish and yet never use. 

Some people even sew THE GOOD TOWELS so they stay on the rack nice and even.  Many people have bowls of decorator soap in the bathroom.  You don’t have to tell guests not to use decorator soap; everyone knows not to touch it.  My sister-in-law says she got rid of her decorator soap…it was just one more thing to dust.

People used to cover their living room furniture in plastic so it would stay clean.  Covering a $2000 couch with plastic so it won’t get dirty is like sleeping on the floor so you won’t have to make the bed.  I don’t think people cover their furniture with plastic anymore; instead they put furniture in a “Living Room” that no one is allowed to use.

Dining rooms today are a lot like THE GOOD TOWELS.  Many houses today have eat-in kitchens.  The dining room is used for Thanksgiving Dinner and the rest of the year it is purely for show.

Most people have their version of THE GOOD TOWELS. 

Very wealthy people have the really good bottle of wine.  Eighty years old and stored in just the right conditions, but never to be opened.  Many families have the good china, stored in a special cabinet just waiting for the President to come to dinner.  We have Mrs. Cranky’s Waterford glasses.  They are pretty to look at, but no one wants to use them.  “I’m afraid I’d break it!”

Oh, and I found out that Mrs. Cranky inherited THE GOOD TOWELS after her mom passed away. 

They are stored away in a plastic bin.

They have never been used. 

I am told they are beautiful.  


  1. We inherited "the glass". Cut crystal of every description. No one wanted it. We had it appraised and then donated it to Stan Hywet, the Sieberling mansion, now a public building. They were grateful; the Sieberlings took everything when they left; we got a lovely tax write off.

  2. We have a silver tea service that we inherited from Mrs. Chatterbox's parents. We've never used it. But we're ready for tea with Queen Elizabeth should she come calling.

  3. Somehow I "inherited" my mother's good china.
    I have the sterling, too.
    We've made it a point to use it at least once a year.
    The real irony of the whole thing is GS's mother's silver pattern is identical to my mother's.

  4. My Mother was that way ... the good dishes/china .... tablecloth, etc.

    We could not go into the living room ~ off limits ~ only for company. Dad was a minister.

    She even had throw rugs over the carpet to protect it... she had bed linens, towels, serving dishes ... you name it ONLY for company.

    In her day... they had parlors ~ only for company and that was just the way it was.

    I think that's why I never wanted anything that wasn't going to be used. stuff. stuff to impress. bah

    Even as an adult ... I'm talking being 60ish adult... I wasn't allowed in the living room ...

    Mother, really. I promise you I won't spill anything... it was so pristine in there and restful but you couldn't GO IN THERE. still makes me wanna scream.

    60 some odd years old and reduced to being back to 12 each and every time I was around my Mother.

    After she died? I sat in the living room and had coffee. wasn't quite the same though. felt guilty.

    our Mothers.

  5. sad, really. my mother saved the good towels for when i'd visit but would use rags for herself. *sigh*

    i have waterford crystal wine and champagne glasses, but only because my workplace gave them as corporate gifts every christmas for years. i'll drag them out and use them now and then - even put 'em in the dishwasher. take that!

  6. I have occasionally served my children & my grandchildren dinner with our "good" china, crystal & sterling starting when they were about 5 years old. They never broke anything, but so what if they did? They're just "things". BTW, they used better manners at the "fancy table" !!

  7. Love this post. It is so true, and so absurd when you stop to think about the 'things' that we, as peculiar human beings attach meaning to in this life. I came from a family of 'those are the good towels', albeit dishes, or soap, or whatever, and I like to think that I have broken that generational 'hangup' because I am of the believe that life was meant to be lived. And towels were meant to be used. Even the beautiful ones.

  8. Just before you mentioned the plastic on the sofa and other living room chairs, I thought about the plastic left on the lamp shades. I think my parents took ours off, but we did have our run with the plastic on the living room stuff. Funny.

    And yes, we have a dining room that gets used on holidays or when company comes; except on rare sentimental day. But...couldn't build the house without a dining room; it would effect the value of the house...right?