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Saturday, March 6, 2021



THE GOOD TOWELS - a cranky re-run


Last run in 2013 figured time for a favorite!

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. Yep ... I am sure many people have similar examples of the things you speak of. Items cherished and not used in case the Queen, the President, or the Pope happens to pop in for a cup of tea.

    As for making the bed? We've solved that. We just hang upside down from a hammock. Can be pretty painful when we fall.

    God bless.

  2. I admit we have China and silverware we don’t use, mostly because it can’t be put in the dishwasher!

  3. I am always flummoxed when in a bathroom in someone's home and there are only good towels available. Do I not wash, air dry or dry my hands on my jeans for I'm not about to use the good towels:)

  4. I had "good" things once, kept for god-knows-what-reason, but now they are in rotation and get used the same as everything else. I never saw the point of 'guest soaps', those pretty little coloured and shaped soaps that never got used. I was given a pack of them for Christmas one year and I just used them up one at a time.

  5. My Mom and Grandmother had things that were "for good"...meaning when there's a special occasion, birthday (although not the kids, haha), etc. "Oh, I'm saving those for good". I thought that was stupid, so I never bought into the decorative soaps, fancy monogrammed towels, and that sort of thing. I think it stems from the depression era when everything was used up until it was worn out and had holes. But when people were coming over for certain occasions, they would get out the "good" stuff to show they were not having hard times even though they were. We are so very lucky!

  6. We only have The Bad Towels here. Growing up, my mom's house had the family room, where we did our living, and the living room, which was mainly used when the Jehovah's Witness ladies came by with The Watchtower, and Mom invited them in to talk. Their visits became less and less frequent... through no fault of the living room, I'm sure.

  7. Heeheehee!

    If i didn't have a Brother-in-Law who breaks and destroys everything, i would use the good towels and the good china.

    A lady i knew inherited her mother-in-law's entire dining room, china, hutches, table, chairs, everything. Inside the buffet that housed the linens were notes saying, "Do not use! Save for good!" Nothing in that dining room had ever been used. The lady who inherited it all started using it all as her everyday stuff for her and her husband. She said it was for good, all right, their good, and they were going to get some good out of it.

  8. I'm with Erma Bombeck. "Use the good china."

  9. haha

    so true about waiting for president to come dear Joe
    i think houses that own really cool and sensitive moms have such charming but forbidden stuff
    i wonder what and how many kind of psyche works behind this ,i learnt one kind when i got married though Love and Care ,mom kept her precious crockery and things untouched so she can gift her daughters on wedding day :)