March 15, 2001
Got a case of the sniffles? Nose and eyes running from the bitter lash of the bitingly cold winter wind? Watching Beaches for the 14th time? Don't reach for the disposable tree pulp!
Stop using Kleenex! No, I don't mean start using your sleeve; I mean handkerchiefs. Hankies. Snotrags. Whatever you want to call them, as long as you use them. These wonderful little pieces of cloth are the original thing, from back before people had disposable tissues. If they sound kind of gross, just remember you probably did use your sleeve as a kid. At least you don't have to wear a handkerchief, it has a designated purpose.
Another thing to take away the ick factor: they wash clean in a regular load of laundry. Honest. They really aren't "unhygenic" in this regard.
Now, I personally don't like using them when I have a massive cold. Too much volume for one little scrap of cloth. Plus, this is the time when concerns about complete sterility surface.
One of the major advantages of handkerchiefs (besides being a reusable non-tree, sturdy, non-bleached product) is the extreme individuality that can be expressed: these babies come in all sorts of patterns, sizes and colours. You can easily find them in second-hand shops like Value Village, or you can make your own. I'm not sure where to find them bran' spankin' new, but if you find out please let me know.
NEWSFLASH! I've been told that you can find new handkerchiefs in men's stores, or men's departments. Apparently women don't have snot. Sorry ladies, you'll have to start petitioning some places if you want something more traditionally "feminine".