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I don’t know exactly how my dad came into the habit of using handkerchiefs all of his life. I know it is popular in Japanese culture to use handkerchiefs & small hand towels, but I don’t think my dad particularly picked up on that part of the culture he grew up around. I have a sneaking suspicion he learned this habit from his own father, who owned a bespoke tailor shop, or perhaps from all of the upper crust military men who came to my grandfather for custom western suits. Whatever which way my dad learned the habit of using handkerchiefs, I am so grateful he passed down this habit to me.

Using a handkerchief is a dying custom. I know that it has become fashionable again for men to accessorize their suits with pocket squares, tie clips, & lapel pins, but that’s only for show. Those pocket squares are purely for decoration, & rarely used for their original purpose. How very sad. I believe in fully utilizing the pocket square, or more specifically, the handkerchief. I mean, why have it if you’re not going to use it? Don’t be ridiculous or wasteful.

When I think of handkerchiefs, I think back to all of those movies from the 1950s & 60s that I’ve watched with my family, & I imagine how those refined ladies & gentlemen would use their handkerchiefs. Ladies would use their handkerchiefs for modesty & being discreet, also to wipe the messy faces of their children. The gentlemen would use them to wipe their hands, blow their noses, & to chivalrously give to a woman who’s been tear-stained & puffy-eyed. I would imagine the ladies carrying a pretty, embroidered or laced handkerchief in their purses, while the men would tuck crisp, white cotton handkerchief in their pants or suit pocket. How sophisticated (& practical)!

There are many practical uses for a handkerchief, I can’t see why they couldn’t be used more in our modern day & age. I’m sure today’s modern feminist woman would say I’ll find it sweet &/or chivalrous if a gentleman were to offer her his handkerchief in a time of necessity, such as: if she had no napkin to wipe her hands, or no tissue to wipe her nose, or if she needed to dry her eyes, or perhaps to tie around a small wound as a makeshift bandage. Men these days could also benefit from using them. I mean, it’s so gross & unbecoming when guys sneeze loudly all over the place, especially in public. Using the crook of an arm, even though it’s more sanitary than sneezing into one’s cupped hand(s), isn’t very discreet or pleasant looking. However, using a handkerchief to muffle the sneeze & to minimize wiping one’s wet hands onto his pants is much more gentlemanly & proper etiquette/manners. Also, it’s cooler to see a guy use a nice handkerchief rathe than the back of his hand or a fast food napkin. On top of all that, handkerchiefs are reusable! Yes, you can throw them in the washing machine & use them over & ove  again unlike Kleenex, which you throw away after one use, & not to mention they get wet & easily spread germs if left crumpled up all over the place.

As you can see, I love using handkerchiefs. I get severe allergies all the time, such is the story of my life since early childhood. My dad used to always lend me his handkerchief to wipe my nose because he disliked seeing me rub the palm of my hand up & down my nose &/or wipe my nose on my shirtsleeve in public. He thought that was not proper behavior, especially for a lady. Since I’ve picked up the habit of using handkerchiefs, I’ve been more inclined to starting my own collection rather than stealing my dad’s. As my life story goes, I am picky in this category as well. This means that I am selective in the styles I choose. I mostly prefer 100% cotton fabric,. I don’t particularly like linen or silk fabrics. I also don’t like outrageous colors & patterns. I quite like, & often gravitate towards stark white handkerchiefs. This is what I’ve collected so far…

1. This is the original handkerchief that started it all. It looks a bit ratty & torn, but I can attest that this handkerchief has been well loved & well taken care of. I have named this handkerchief Tom Hanks-erchief. I call him Mr. Hanks for short. I had originally named him Mr. Hanky, but that quickly became a joking reference to the Christmas poop character from the cartoon South Park, so I immediately changed the name. The new name is a nod to the awesome actor Tom Hanks. I really enjoy Tom Hanks’ acting, & I just think he’s cool.

2. This was my second handkerchief. Because of this, I named this one Colin Hanks-erchief. Obviously, I named him Colin after Tom Hanks’ real-life son & fellow actor Colin Hanks. Therefore, I had to also nickname this one Mr. Hanks Jr.. As you can see, I have a thing for white cotton handkerchiefs. These I was given not stolen from my dad.

3. I got this purple plaid handkerchief while I was in Japan. This was at the time when the brand UNIQLO had not become known worldwide, & was only popular/available in Japan. At that time, I had just learned about the casual affordable clothing brand & was completely obsessed with the brand. I didn’t bother to check the size, & was surprised when I found it was larger than the handkerchiefs I normally used at home. I don’t particularly go for purple colored things, but this pattern happened to be the most tame of all the ones on the store shelves, so I ended up choosing this one (but also because it’s 100% cotton).

4. There was one point in my life where I was completely immersed in Japanese street wear & Japanese urban pop culture. I was addicted to this particular Japanese lifestyle brand called A Bathing Ape (a.k.a. BAPE). I still am in love with this brand. I’ve got tons of items from this brand from things like: decorative pillows, kitchenware like mugs & glass cups, bath towels, blankets, bags, clothes, toys, accessories, & even vinyl toys/collectibles. I saw this handkerchief & was absolutely smitten. This is one of my favorite patterns from this Japanese brand that is mostly known for its outrageously multi-colored camouflage patterns. They call this a red plaid pattern. I have a matching raincoat, hand towel & umbrella in this same pattern. This handkerchief is a cotton-blend fabric, & it’s so soft. I only take it out for special occasions because this brand is pricey, & this pattern is no longer available within this brand. Ever since this brand got bought out by a major Chinese company, they have taken this brand in a different direction that I don’t I really agree with. haven’t felt the same love for this brand as I have in the past.

5. I recently got this (& the other two below) while I was in China. These handkerchiefs are from a Japanese brand called Hankachi (which I suspect is a shortened Japanese loanword for the full word handkerchief…a.k.a. han-ka-chiifu). Sorry for my lack of quality in these photos. I am not a professional photographer by any means, & I don’t really mind if the photos are not in super hyper HD quality…as long as you can see the photos relatively clearly & get my gist, then I’m fine with that too. Ok, so the first pattern I chose is this super cute bird pattern with stripes of bird footprints. I absolutely love this soft pastel color scheme. I am a complete sucker for soft blues, baby pinks, creamy yellows, & gray tones. Also, this handkerchief is pretty soft considering it’s got a mesh weave. The mesh weave gives the handkerchiefbreathability, which is good for when you want to wipe your brow on hot, sticky summer days.

6. Everybody around me knows I love pastries. I love cakes, & I love sweet pastel colors. So it’s a no-brainier that I would choose this pattern. I was originally going to give this as a gift to a friend who is obsessed with the Lolita lifestyle, but I ended up choosing a different pattern for her instead. I kept this one for myself. How could I not? This handkerchief is so delicate-looking, feminine, & lovely. I would be happy to carry this around in my purse. Just looking at it makes me hungry for sweets. LOL!


7. This last pattern I chose is a nod to Japanese summer festivals. Festivals & outdoor carnival-style events are popular in the summer in Japan. People of all ages love to walk around in their summer kimonos (a.k.a. ukata), eat street foods, & play carnival games. One popular prize to win at these festivals are little pet goldfish, hence the goldfishes on this handkerchief. I just love the bright color scheme of this handkerchief as well. This definitely reminds me of Summer’s spent in Japan, & since I am going back to Japan this July, I could definitely use this handkerchief! Hooray!

Well, that just about sums up my little blog post. I feel so winded after all of this writing. I’m kidding. Anyways, I’m going to go out & enjoy what little bit of warm weather Mother Nature has brought out for the day, & then I’m going to ℅ inure editing my photos from my Asia trip. (I’ve been procrastinating on those photos.) Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:


I’ve been working through some personal things lately, most recently being the discovery of adult acne. I’ve always taken good care of my skin, since I was a young child. My grandmother & mom were both very strict on skin care & cleanliness. So, I adopted & followed their astringent & regimented skincare habits. I had never before gone through any pimple or acne stages during my teenage &/or pubescent years. I thought that as long as I took good care of my skin, I would be in the clear (no pun intended). I was wrong, & now I’m dealing with a mild case (knock-on-wood) of adult acne on my chin/jaw-line. This has been giving me some feelings of anxiety, as well as with other things/issues going on in my life. In the back of my mind, I am constantly feeling a sense of mild anxiety.

This feeling of anxiety now brings me to the main topic of this blog post. Recently, I had a dream, one that’s been prominently on my mind for the past few days. I don’t understand what my dream means, or if it has any connection whatsoever with my skin problem, but I feel like there may be something connecting the two topics together. I will describe my dream later on in this post.

The night before I had this specific dream I had a fairly large, bright red pimple forming on my left jaw. I was really freaking out about it before I went to bed, & was practically slathering the entire tube of my prescription acne medication all over my face to try to get it to go away. I was obsessing over this one pimple, constantly examining it in the mirror & lamenting to myself about the hideous size & color of it. I finally gave up on analyzing my acne after fussing over it & went to sleep. The next morning, after experiencing this specific dream, I felt as though a small weight had been lifted from my conscience, & I felt as though my anxiety had lessened by a few degrees. The pimple I had freaked out over the night before had shrunk & gone down in redness. Most of my acne spots had shrunk, & I felt a positive wave wash over me. My first reaction was that it must have been because of the wonderful, yet strangely bizarre dream I had experienced.

And here comes the dream. I don’t always put much thought into the meanings of my dreams, but this one involved my deceased father. The dream starts off with me kneeling on my bed, looking out of my open bedroom window (which is located directly above my bed). I feel a pole gently fall down & hit my shoulder, & I recognize it as being a Spanish matador’s spear used in bull fighting. I pick up the spear & look out my window to see a group of people partially running past my bedroom. I ask one gentleman what is going on, & he informs me that they are participating in a running of the bulls event. I hand him the spear, & he takes it & walks back to his group. At this point in my dream I get the feeling that these people heading past my bedroom window are spirits &/or ghosts, but it doesn’t scare me at all. In fact, I was utterly calm throughout my entire interaction with the mystery man.

Immediately, a telephone rings in the background, & I am not eager to answer it. I am thinking that this may be a sales call from a telemarketer, but something strongly  pushes me to answer the telephone. I pick up the phone & say “hello”. The person on the other end sounds like an automated female machine voice. The voice says my mom’s name in a monotone voice, & I run to call my mother over to answer the phone. She then comes over to talk on the phone, & I am asked by an unidentifiable person who my mom is talking to. I don’t even know who’s on the other end of the line, but I can clearly see that my mom is laughing & having a very friendly & lively conversation. I reply without knowing who my mom is talking to, “It’s my dad. It must be my dad.” I turn around to look back at my mother who is still on the phone. I then turn back to the other person, widely grin & say, “Yeah, she’s talking to my dad.” After that I wake up from my dream, & I immediately feel a small sense of calmness.

I don’t know what to make of my dream, especially the part about the running of the bulls & bull fighting, but I’ve been more focused on pinpointing the meaning of the second half of my dream, the part about my dad. I’m very much on the fence about the topic of spirits/ghosts & whether I believe in them or not, so I don’t really know what to say about my dream at this point in time. I have been debating whether or not I’m should tell my mom about this dream. I know she would love to hear anything positive about my dad, even in dream form, but I have a very difficult time talking to others about my dad (even with other family members). I even find it difficult sometimes to think back on my dad when I’m alone because it makes me feel incredibly lonely rather than reminiscing about happy memories.

This dream I had made me very happy. It still does even after a couple of days have passed. Thinking about this dream will always put a smile on my face, but I don’t think I will tell my mom about it just yet. Until then, cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

 

Whatever happened to the handkerchief? It has been pushed aside, only to be thought of as a mere suit/tuxedo accessory. I don’t see why we can’t bring back the proper use of a handkerchief! I use one everyday.

Handkerchiefs are very handy & quite practical, not to mention stylish as well. There are many practical uses for them, some of them being:
1. Wiping one’s mouth, in the event no napkin is readily available.
2. Blowing/wiping one’s nose in a more discreet manner.
3. Courteously dabbing the perspiration off one’s brow, on hot, muggy days, or in tense situations.
4. Politely offering one’s kerchief to a damsel in need of a little discretion & male chivalry.
5. To cover one’s nose in the event of an awful stench wafting in the air.
6. To blindfold or gently cuff the wrists in the throes of erotic foreplay with one’s lover.

Now can you see what I’m talking about? Can’t you see the many uses of a handkerchief? I, in fact, have several in my possession…& I’m happy to admit it. I always keep one on hand in my purse & one in my bed at home. In spite of sounding cheesy, I have also named my kerchief; just the one in my bed though. I have named it Mr. Tom Hanks (‘Hanks’ being the play on the word handkerchief). On some rare occasions I call it Mr. Hanky, but that gives me an awful reminder of the South Park show’s Christmas poo, so I rarely use that name.

Oh, I’ve been using a handkerchief for many years, since I was a small child. I learned at an early age the many practicalities of the kerchief from my dad. He always kept two in his pocket: one disheveled & ragged for rudely wiping his nose in private, & another more well-kept which he would use infront of others. My dad always advised me to have one on-hand at all times. I had severe allergies as a small child, & he really disliked it when I would wipe my ever-dripping nose with the back of my hand or shirtsleeve. I took his words wholeheartedly & have applied them daily.

Since the untimely passing of my father, which I usually never mention until now, the handkerchief has become my symbolic version of my dad. Still keeping the handkerchief my dad had given me, it will always remind me of him.

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