Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 21 - Washcloths

I remember the day vividly.  One of my mom's friends was visiting and needed to take a shower.  I was to get the towel and the washcloth and show him where the soap was located.  Upon handing him his bathing laundry, he handed the washcloth back to me.  I said, "You don't need it?"  He said, "No."  I said wide-eyed, "Well how do you put the soap all over your body then?"  He said, "I just keep the soap in my hand and rub the soap on my skin."  So being the open-minded twelve year old that I was, the next shower I took, I tried the ole-soap-in-the-hand-method.  Well I'll be, damned if it didn't work just the same. I didn't have to dirty a washcloth.  Thus began the life without a washcloth for the next thirty-four years.

My boys don't use them either.  I guess because they didn't need them.  We had washcloths in the house but nobody ever used them.  Some made their way to the rag pile via grabbing one to polish the  furniture, wash the car, or clean the counters.  My Mom came to visit this Thanksgiving and she inquired, "Why don't the kids use washcloths anymore?"  I told her because they don't really need them.

I asked my sons, "Grandma wants to know why you don't use washcloths?" to which they both just laughed. "Washcloths?" I hate that tone because that usually means, Mom...really?...I'm not that old-fashioned.  Although I don't use them either, it's just the insinuation of your old and we're not.  I was once in their spot.  I remember my Grandmother who was from Pittsburgh who always said, "Go get your warshcloth."  That just made me have a laughing fit right there on the floor.  I would say to her, "You mean WASHcloth?"  She would say, "Yes a WARSHcloth."  Whenever I hear someone say something about Warshington I know immediately they are from Southern Pennsylvania or Maryland.

So what is it about habits we're taught in our infancy that we lose as we get older?  Sometimes we see a better or more efficient way to do something and incorporate it into our lives.  We do the right thing by adopting something into our lives that can only make our lives better. Sometimes its technology.  Sometimes its a process like putting all the coffee items in one place on the counter to make it a more efficient process. Some people never lose any of their habits and chose never to change.  Habits like bigotry and racism come to mind.  There's a saying in the diversity field referring to people who love to hate and even if they are provided with education they don't change their ways...we say they are taught well. The learned thought process is so ingrained in their brain, they can't get rid of it.  They are taught well.

My Grandmother and Grandfather were two of those people.  They were taught well by their parents. Although their oldest granddaughter (me) was the first female to go to college, an honor roll student in high school and college, a basketball player, a cheerleader, Co-captain of the majorettes, 2nd chair flutest in the band, President of the Future Business Leaders of America, a writer for the Grapevine (high school newspaper), on the yearbook staff, member of the Pep Club, member of the yearbook staff and self-sufficient at the age of nineteen, they chose to disown her because she married someone they just knew they didn't like based on the color of his skin.  Although they held their first great-grandson and bounced them on their knee before meeting his father, when they found out that he wasn't "pure" in totality, they bounced me and my sons out the door and out of their life forever.  A type written letter officially disowning me was my last contact with them twenty years ago. Grandma and Grandpa missed out on some great relationships with two beautiful great grandsons and one hell of a granddaughter. Upon Grandma's death, nobody in the family even had the decency to notify me. My Aunts and Godmother became part of the legacy of being taught well by this hurtful act.  I read about her death in the obituaries online.  I just pray when Grandma arrived at the pearly gates of Heaven that God handed her a "warshcloth" to wash her mind, God doesn't like ugly.

‘The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think.’ 

~ Aristotle

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