Towel Day in Quarantine

Kid wrapped in towel, kid wearing towel as cape, towel next to kid at the beach

If we have learned anything from Douglas Adams, it is that a towel is the most important possession we own. Never has that been more true than this year. With the world on lock down, in desperate need of hand sanitizer and toilet paper, a towel is more vital this year than in years before.

When you run out of clean clothes to wear and a Zoom meeting is beckoning, simply drape a towel over your webcam and claim to be having difficulties. This has the advantage over breaking your webcam, that you will not then need to fix it. Also, a towel is always better than tape, for obvious reasons.

When your children are sick of home school, and sick of you, just hand them towels and send them outside. They will either “Lord of the Flies it,” or pull out a sprinkler. Either way, you have time for a cup of tea, and a quiet minute to wipe down your kitchen counters, with a tea towel.

Run out of toilet paper? Use a towel.

All your face masks in the dirty laundry mountain that never ends? Cut up a towel into pieces and strips, fashion your own face masks. Please make sure towel does not come from aforementioned dirty laundry pile.*

Home School lessons running dry? The history of the towel is a joy to unravel together. From its auspicious beginnings in 17th century Turkey, through the terry cloth explosion of 1890. It’s a testament to the growth of personal sanitation, an example of the effect of the industrial revolution, and a lesson in class warfare all rolled into one. Plus, you can make it a practical lesson and have your kids tackle the laundry pile. They should be taught proper folding etiquette at a young age, lest they end up a 40-year-old spouse unable to fold the towels correctly even though we have been putting them in the same small space for over a decade and not much has changed, ahem.

Towels are an integral part of our toolkit. Towels can be capes, they can be blankets, they can be tablecloths, or cover up bird cages. They can be used to clean up spills, or to make forts. Towels can be an integral part of household projects, as furniture coverings, clean up tools, or used to dab an interesting texture onto a pitted wall. They are especially ideal as pillows, blankets, and sheets when a child is having a particularly vomity day.



Towels can be utilitarian, but they can also be luxurious. My brother has a terry cloth robe from the Waldorf Astoria and it is the softest thing I have ever touched. I personally covet the blue and white striped pool towels of the hotel I stayed in while at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. I have a towel that was gifted to me at my wedding in 2003, I have towels that were purchased from Home Goods as recently as 2019, but don’t we all have at least one towel from Home Goods? If my towels are all dirty, I am affected on a deep level. If they are all clean, the row of neatly piled plush towels fills me with a joy that is hard to explain.

So, do you know where your towel is?

*Please note this post is in jest and all face coverings should be effective and sanitary. A cut up towel is amusing, but not your best option at the moment.

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