Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Season of Towels

Our closets runneth over. With towels.

When we first returned from France, we had a few towels. They (the towels) have since then been busy in our closets, erupting at every chance into a colorful plethora of absorbent comfort. Well, most are of comfort to me. Some I wish would disintegrate into lint in the dryer. Especially my husband's favorite (very well made, incidentally, and of high quality, or I could have ditched it years ago) blue, faded, edging worn into emptiness, ugly, thick, and never to die towel. Trust me, he would notice if it disappeared.

As I think deep thoughts, I've realized that my life has a towel cycle. I've gone through several seasons (cycles) of towels.

-Living at home with my parents and sharing towels with a family of six made us happy to have a clean, dry towel, any color, size, or pattern. We were not choosy. Just happy to be dry.
-Off to college years provided me with non-color coordinated towels of four of my favorite colors. This season of towels lasted well into our first 10 years of marriage.
-Wedding gift towels (for which I am forever thankful) kept us well supplied for at least 10 years of marriage. I believe there were some we did not use until close to the decade mark. We still (25 years later) have a few stragglers in circulation. Good Depression years training from my parents and grandparents makes me unwilling to throw out any usable scrap of fabric...
-When the aforementioned towels eventually fell to shreds, I went on a purchasing binge that spanned several sales seasons and stocked the cupboards. This season of towels carried us through raising our children and their assortment of friends, relatives, pets, and projects.
-Return from Europe season, featuring a previous purging of all extra towels, clothing, furniture, personal items...the current season of our lives. Middle-aged empty (??? seriously, they still live here much of the time) nesters with weekend kids and a precious grandson keeping piles of laundry rotating through the machines. This season has provided us with a mysteriously growing cupboard(s) of towels, many of which I have never seen before. I put them out for others to check, but no one claims a single towel. There are so many now, I have to sneak them into my grown children's overnight bags in order to clean out a little space. Anything with holes has gone migrated to the garage as engine work rags. Anything ugly and stained is hauled to school for craft and messy project cleanup. The rest lay folded and stacked in several different spots. Plenty of towels for plenty of reasons.

I wonder what season of towels comes next? Will it involve color matching? Super plush or bleachable? Monogrammed or floral? His and her? Bamboo? Natural fibers? Recyclable?

The fun is in waiting to find out. Meanwhile, I'll go fold the towels from the dryer, and try to find a stack that is short enough for a few more on top.

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