Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Hero, my Friend, my Handkerchief

I seldom go out without a handkerchief. When I started going to school my mom introduced this tiny piece of cloth into my life, and I have been carrying them ever since. In fact my right pants pocket is strictly for hankies. Loose coins go to the left. Candies go to the left. Small toys go to the left. Chewing gum for reuse of course goes to the left.

Everything except hankies goes straight to the left.

When I was young, hankies were the recipients of my occasional spills. Milk, orange juice, chocolate drinks, yakults you name it. They were always there when I need to wipe the sweat off my face, when I need something to sneeze on and not to mention my occasional “Pfffffftttt” when I have a runny nose.

They are one of the most useful inventions man has ever made, right next to the moon buggy of course.

During my high school days, it was my favorite gift for my girlfriends. I used a plural word because I had 2 or 3 back in HS but not at the same time of course (whew...) Reason is because it is easy to find, very useful, colorful with fun designs and of course the most important thing is; it is not very expensive. It was one of the nice things my allowance could afford at that time.

I know, I know. You heard about the elders saying; it is not good to give out hankies because you only gonna make the receiver cry. I don’t believe any of that stuff. For me I believe more in my pockets than my elders.

Before Facebook, Friendster and other social network sites came up; Filipinos have their own way of expanding their so called social network. They use hankies. Yes Hankies. You get an invite when you see a girl drops a hankie. Intentionally, unintentionally it’s very hard to distinguish. And you accept the invite by picking it up and running after her. I believe this is still being practiced up to this very minute.

Yes, hankies have been around since time memorial. It was even speculated that on the original version of Noli Me Tangere Maria Clara used the hanky drop trick to get Crisostomo Ibarra’s attention. Of course that is just pure speculation everything depended on Jose Rizal’s imagination. Even Andres Bonifacio has a red handkerchief over his shoulders when he tore down his cedula in Balintawak along with thousands of Katipuneros who bravely fought the Spaniards after that.

Somebody should put up a monument to commemorate those hankies that fought alongside our Katipuneros.

Here in Singapore, they don’t fancy handkerchiefs like Filipinos do. Here they use tissue. Tissues here are sold everywhere. Everybody carries a packet in their pockets because you don’t get a free tissue even if you buy a meal. You have to buy them separately. Here, tissues are recipients of their occasional Laksa, Hokkien Mee and Hor Fun spills.

Following the saying; “When you’re in Rome, do what the Romans do”, I did what they were doing. I try to carry around a packet of tissue whenever I can. But my right pants pocket is still reserved for my handkerchief.

So when I came here I had a dilemma. I’m not sure which pocket the tissue will go in. So I decided it will be on my left breast pocket. If I’m wearing a breast pocket less shirt then I don’t carry a tissue at all. I just rely on my old friend.

Today I found the tissue useful. Maybe they are not as efficient as my trusted friend down on my right pants pocket but it’s alright. They can address to most of my occasional spills and wiping my face perspiration but one thing I learned about tissues is they cannot hold off my most nasty nose “Pfffftttttt”.

They shatter into pieces. Unlike my battle weary friend.


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