Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Gentleman Always Carries a Handkerchief

Life has conspired against me to take a month off of the blog.  For those few faithful readers that have contacted me, I will try to get back to regular posting again.

That being said….
Recently, I was asked, “What is the most important thing that a man should always carry with him?”

I started to think of an answer and decided to stop thinking and simply look in my pockets.  Out came several items.
1.       Wallet
2.       Pocket Knife
3.       Handkerchief
4.       Car keys

That prompted several others to do the same thing.  Everyone had a wallet and car keys.  Two of the five had a pocket knife, and only one (me) had a handkerchief.

At that point, I was informed that only “old men” carry around a handkerchief.  For whatever reason, my friends never really saw fit to carry one.   One even referred to it as a “relic of days gone by.”

Then I was asked, “Why do you even carry around a handkerchief?”

My response was simple.  It’s part of the code.  The man code.  A gentleman never leaves home without his handkerchief.    

That of course generated a few jokes at my expense, but I was serious.  The handkerchief can always be used by the owner, but the best reason to carry one is to be able to give to someone else when needed.  It’s a small gesture of chivalry to give your handkerchief to another.  I can’t tell you how many times I have given my handkerchief to someone who needed to cry, someone who needed to blow a nose, someone who needed to wipe their brow, someone with a cut or mess that needed cleaned up, etc., and in each of those situations, there wasn’t a box of Kleenex or roll of Bounty paper towels available.  The handkerchief was invaluable.  Something that small and insignificant by itself became the most valuable item in my pocket.

Having a handkerchief should be an essential item in every man’s pocket.  If you don’t own one, go out and buy about 10 of them.  They are dirt cheap and won’t set you back more than a few cups of coffee.  Launder them and take a clean one with you every day.  You will be surprised how often they will come in handy.    

I never remember a time that my dad didn’t have a handkerchief or a pocketknife with him.  That’s probably why I have always carried both items with me.  The day he died, I remember removing both items out of his pockets.  I’m sure the day I die, someone is going to be doing the same with me.  Until then, if you need to cry, have a runny nose, or need to clean up a mess, I’m your man.  I’ll be glad to give you my handkerchief.

As for the pocketknife, carrying one of those is in the man code too.  I’ll touch on that subject later. 

1 comment:

  1. Greetings! I happened upon your blog page and after reading your recent post on handkerchiefs, and your position that it is part of the "man code," it reminded me of another middle-aged gentleman's blog called Perhaps you are brothers from another mother or at least kindred spirits. You seem to share the same kind of sensibilities, except that you seem to post more to your blog than Mr. Keedy (a close personal friend).

    Check him out and give him a few words of encouragement to continue posting on his site. Keep you your good work!