Sunday, 26 November 2017

On the Dishcloths Problematic

There's something common to all Portuguese grandmothers. I'm not entirely sure if it's worldwide but I'm certain it's nationwide. I believe all grandmothers have this wardrobe or trunk (in case of my own grandmother it's actually both) full of a variety of dishclothes, all in different shapes and forms. And they also spend a lot of time embroading around regular dishcloths so they added something and made them personal, with a little bit of them. I say dishcloths but this is also appliable to tablecloths, kitchen handles, cooking aprons, among many other possible things that can be "improved" with crochet. Basically any kind of cloth you can think of, I'm sure Portuguese grandmothers have at least 20 of these (and I'm being generous) with personal embroidery, and I'm not even counting with the festive ones - don't let me start on those!

"So what's the problem with that?", you may ask. That's a valid point. And I wouldn't mention this otherwise but here's the dishcloth problematic: once you move out your grandmother will make you bring half of their collection to your new house (and, again, I'm being generous when I say half of it). Since they spent half of their elderlyhood doing that crochet needlework with your moving out in mind, let me tell you how bad you'll feel when you see customized "I love you, granddaughter" on dishcloths and not bring it home with you. Now this creates a new problem: you will have to get either a wardrobe or a trunk to put all your dishcloths in (because if you're unlucky your partner will also have their fair share of dishcloths made by their grandmother) since they won't fit all in the kitchen drawers designated for that effect.

I have a friend who's currently moving out as well and she is having the exact same problem which leads me to believe this is typical of all grandmothers in Portugal, despite the small sample that I have for this study. Her problem is also aggravated because it's not only her grandmother contributing to her evergrowing dishcloths collection, but also her aunts and their neighbours. I, for one, have already three kitchen drawers full of them and had to put the remaining ones in a wardrobe. And I really hope my grandmothers don't give me more on this upcoming Christmas, I'm not sure where I'll find space to put them.

Okay. So you get a lot of dishcloths in your house and you actually have space for those without buying a special piece of furniture for them. You're a lucky one! But now there's another problem: it doesn't stop here. Now your family has a reason to give you any kind of cloth they can think of so you'll eventually run out of space.

"So what's the solution?" you ask again. And now we got to the point I'd like to discuss here. What do you think the solution for this big nation (possible world) wide scourge? We need to change our grandmother's mentalities. We need to make them see we don't need drawers full of them, a couple is more than enough. I'm open to suggestions on how to do this because telling them is clearly useless - believe me, I've tried several times already and the only thing I accomplished was a "you'll find space to put them somewhere".

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