My grandfather, as I am sure many grandfathers do, always seemed to carry a handkerchief. Typically, I would see him pull it out to wipe his nose, or actually blow it (shudder). Always seemed weird to me, and I never understood it.
And then I happened to put one in my briefcase and it came in handy — a fair amount. And my youngest daughter will tell me “this is handy, you should always keep these for me.” So for the past ten months I’ve been carrying a handkerchief with me whenever I leave the house, wondering what good it could be. And these are also very popular in the everyday carry (EDC) community, so I wanted to figure out what the draw was. Here goes…
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I don’t recall either of my grandfathers using handkerchiefs, but I am sure that they carried them. I don’t know how they used them. My Dad does, and he could maybe benefit from allergy medication.
I’ve carried a handkerchief in my front left trouser pocket for a long time. I also carry a larger bandanna in my suit coat or blazer front right pocket. The idea is that, if I need to sneeze or something more concerning is coming, whatever hand is most free can grab something useful to absorb what’s to come. If I’m not wearing a jacket or blazer, then I tuck the bandana in my bag where I can quickly access it.
The “gross” uses of the handkerchief, blowing the nose and whatnot, are part of the equation and utility. In Tokyo, we have the advantage of street barkers handing out tissue packets.
The bandanna, as second fiddle to the handkerchief, is maybe more useful. It’s a:
- Hand dryer
- Neck shade (under a ball cap)
- Glasses cleaner
- Spot to sit on
- And so on …