New towels make me happy.

A week or two ago, I was in the bathroom hanging up a couple fresh towels. I do this probably once a week, change the towels and linens, but I usually don’t pay much attention to what I’m doing. But for some reason I was paying more attention than usual, and I stopped to look at the towels. And what I saw shocked me a little. Like a rash creeping up in the night. Because seemingly without warning my towels had gone from totally acceptable to seriously beaten down. I thought to myself, How long have they looked this bad? Where AM I when I’m doing these chores?? The color was still good (dark green) and that’s probably why I hadn’t noticed before. But the edges were totally tattered, with little bits of string hanging off at odd and various angles, and a few seriously long clumps that looked like they’d rip the thing in half if you tugged hard enough.

Later I mentioned the shabby towels to my husband. And since I’d been thinking about those towels in the interim (of course), I added for emphasis – Do you realize how old those towels are? He just stared at me blankly. DO YOU KNOW HOW OLD THOSE TOWELS ARE?? I said, all hepped up. I DO. And do you want to know why?? Because I clearly remember buying them, to take away with me – TO COLLEGE – MY FRESHMAN YEAR. IN NINETEEN-NINETY. Those towels are 18 years old.

THAT got him to put down the paper. I stood there nodding whilst we pondered 1) the fact that our towels are that old, and 2) the fact that we are also that old. Then I had another burst of insight. What a towel! What a tribute to a towel. In this throw-away society, do you think many people have towels that old? I am thinking not. But maybe it’s just me. I often buy things at thrift shops. On occasion I have bought other people’s discarded towels and brought them home. Yeah, keep your ewwwwing to yourself. They looked new. And a towel’s a towel. My body didn’t seem to mind – and I might add, I haven’t gotten a whole lot of complaints about THAT.

So my husband and I made the executive decision to splurge and buy ourselves some new towels. YAY! But since we were expecting these new guys to last another 18 years, we wanted to be selective.

I checked Target of course, knowing my predilection to liking all-things-Target. I was surprised to find I didn’t like Target’s towels though. They felt cheap. Not enough nap. And way too small. My husband wanted KING size towels. Genuine bath sheets, if you will.

So Target was out. We looked at Linens `n Things, a store located conveniently next to another favorite, IKEA (hearts & stars!!!), but one I’d never been in until recently. Why? I have no idea, most likely b/c I am the type of person to have 18 year old towels. And what a FABULOUS PLACE!! I think I could spend a whole day there, looking around at all the nifty home stuff, sheets and towels and bedspreads and don’t even get me started on the cooking supplies. ANYWAY, we found a huge selection of towels, but alas, most of them did not meet my husband’s stringent high standards. Or mine. But fortunately we did find a few. They were called HOTEL BATH SHEETS. I highly recommend them for all you rich folks because they cost a whopping 20 bucks a piece, and I am not joking. But I figured hell, if we only have to buy them once every 18 years, why not. And we got them in the most awesome color – a deeply gorgeous burnt orange. As I have noted above, dark colors are especially good for towels because they don’t show stains – even after nearly 2 decades worth of use – and even by college students, and you know how they are.

ANYWAY, we got a few great towels there. Then we went to the SUPER MARSHALLS at Franklin Mills Mall. I know snobs won’t set foot in Franklin Mills, but screw them. Let them pay department store prices. Super Marshalls rocks above all other Marshalls and I always find great stuff there. And of course this trip was no exception. We got 6 more towels – absolutely HUGE, way big enough to cover my statuesque form and my husband’s opulence – and in beautiful dark colors of olive green and purplish gray. A woman in line actually stopped to admire and touch my new towels. THAT’S how great they are. And I might add, they were significantly cheaper than the above mentioned awesome but more expensive L `n T. Like $8 less per towel. No small chunk of change.

So why am I writing this long-winded post about my new towels? Well because I actually used one for the first time this week. And the experience…. ahhhhhhhh… it was el splendito, everything I had imagined it would be. Soft and warm; simply Heaven in a towel. So I wanted to take the opportunity to remind all of you to CHECK THOSE TOWELS! Have 18 years crept by without you noticing? Well then, time to re-supply. No questions asked.

ATLANTA, or why I love Target Brand Box Riesling.

When my sister moved to Atlanta for graduate school, I was happy for her. The separation was sad, but she was making a success of her life, and it wasn’t forever. I understood.

But when my parents decided to join her down south in Atlanta, well…..
that was just a bit too much. I felt slightly.. abandoned. Hey I know I’m way out of diapers, but I STILL WANT MY MOMMY. Atlanta is far. Far enough to make a one-day drive with 2 kids nearly intolerable, and other than freshman year of college I’d never lived more than an hour away from my folks my whole life. So when they made the move – to ATLANTA of all places, I was more than peeved. I was hurt. And angry. And not a little bit PISSED OFF, especially AT ATLANTA. What was so freaking great about Atlanta?

Man, I really hated that town. They did it right, burning it down like that. What did Atlanta think it was, luring my family away from me?

And so, for many months, I resented Atlanta like no other place in the world. It didn’t help that my family were constantly singing the praises of their new and glamorous city like fevered zealots. “ATLANTA this, and ATLANTA that.” “Wait till you see blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”

SCREW COKE WORLD, I thought. At least here we have drinking water and can flush our toilets. I am NEVER going to set foot in effing Atlanta. NEVER!
That’ll show ’em!

But like sands through the hour glass….after a few months of not seeing my parents, and speaking to them less and less frequently, I caved like a sinkhole. Time apart from my loved ones had made me think differently. If Atlanta had taken them, I would just have to see why.

And so, this summer, we visited twice. And Hey Mikey! I liked it. Sure it wasn’t dirty dangerous Philly, but it had appeal. It wasn’t interesting in that old historic way, but it was BLING!BLING! like a newly-minted penny. My parents have a gorgeous home. They are happy there, except for missing us. So.. it’s different than we’re used to, but things down there are nice. AND CLEAN. And the People are pleasant. They let you in in traffic. They don’t try to run you over when you’re crossing the street. You can walk the hell out in front of their cars in a parking lot, and they STOP AND SMILE and wave you on. WOW. I DO still hate the fact that you have to drive absolutely everywhere in Atlanta, and it is hot as b*lls in the summer, but summers here in Philly are humid and disgusting too. And my parents have central air and A POOL.

So, yes, I have officially come around. And being the way I am, when I “come around” I REALLY come around. The place I once hated, now I can’t wait to visit again. And not just for my family. But for the STUFF. Atlanta has stuff we don’t have here. STUFF THAT I LIKE. On our visit during the holidays, I came to appreciate even more the charm of the place – or maybe just the charm of the shopping. It’s everywhere. Miles and miles of stores. Sure, they’re mostly the same stores we have here, but they’re like our stores on STEROIDS. The brand new Target here is like their SUPER TARGET’S shrimpy homely cousin. Their Trader Joe’s is awesome and it SELLS WINE AND BEER!!! No wonder people there are so nice. CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT SORT OF CHEAP CONVENIENCE?!

I must have gone to the Super Target by my parents house 3 times in 4 days. I just never wanted to leave. I wanted to LIVE THERE. And I am not joking. I felt like some poor deprived third-worlder having stumbled upon paradise. AND I AM NOT THAT INTO SHOPPING, PEOPLE! It’s just THAT GOOD. During one of the Target shopping trips, I came upon something which stopped me in my tracks. You know how great Target is? How every single thing they make is just so irresistably cute/cool/hip and unbelievably inexpensive, that you think surely this corporation has sold its soul to the devil? Well, you will then understand what I have to say. You see, I like wine. I love wine. If I didn’t have kids, I would probably be a full-fledged wino. Well. ATLANTA TARGETS SELL THEIR OWN BRAND OF BOX WINE – but they are CUTE!! AND COLORFUL!! AND FILLED WITH WINE!! AND WHY AM I STILL LIVING HERE IN PHILLY???!! I don’t even like box wine, but now I do because it’s like everything else at Target. IRRESISTIBLE.

I bought the above box of Riesling as a souvenir to bring home, and I don’t even like Riesling. Not even a little. But I thought I WILL LIKE TARGET BRAND BOX RIESLING, I just know it! So we stuck it in the fridge when we got home, and didn’t open it all last week b/c I was so sick, but night before last we each poured a glass and I thought YES! TARGET BRAND BOX RIESLING! DELICIOUSNESS ITSELF!! But then I drank it and thought NO! DEAR LORD, NO!!!

You see, Target branding cannot make up for the fact that I hate the cloying sweetness of Riesling wine. HOWEVER, just because I hate the taste of this wine, DOES NOT MEAN I HATE TARGET BRAND BOX RIESLING> oh Contraire! SIMPLY BECAUSE I hate its taste, it means I will drink less of it. And that’s a good thing, right? After the first glass, the second goes down easy. And who can bear wasting wine, after all?