Towel Origami

1 am, Sunday morning
Paris-Rome Skype Rally

Paulina and I were chatting about bad timing, short fuses and short-term memories regarding our recent relationships. For a brief description of The Professor, “absent minded” is a just term, which does not always make sense to me since my main job from 2001 through 2003 was remembering (and organizing) everything for an A-list actor—from names, birthdays, appointments, and to driving instructions for a tiptronic Aston Martin. The Professor apologetically admits his forgetfulness, and I try hard to suppress my very short fuse for amnesia when it comes to anything concerning moi. To combat or perhaps squelch any bad vibes (aka grudge holding) that could possibly endanger the lovey-doveyness of our relationship, Paulina listed a myriad of solutions such as pharmaceutical help, Pavlovian stimulation (i.e. Invisible Fence) or simply positive reinforcement (i.e.2 “Hey, baby, that is so kind of you to remember that you were going to pick me up for lunch,”), when my arm was scratched.

“$#*!!! My arm was just sliced by grey towel!” I shouted into my mic-camera and showed Paulina the towel.

It has a blue cast. Did you buy it grey? Or did you wash it with something blue? Can you get Oxi in Rome?” She asked.

Yeah, they have something similar, but the towel was bought in a nice grey shade. Ummmm..... do you hang your towels to dry?”

You won’t believe it but this apartment doesn’t have a washer/dryer. Lucky for me, the lack of windows seals makes them dry fast. Another reason to move.”

Ah, yes, behind this seemingly superficial and Los Angelena conversation there is a profound discourse often known as the Italian Issue, or briefly “Why are there no dryers in Italy?” I used to praise Paris for its mini-apartments complete with kozy kitchen korner and all-in-one washer/dryer, and have to admit, I am secretly happy that Paulina makes towel origami just like I do.

No matter how much fabric softener I pour into my washing machine and no matter how many shakes and rubs I give to my towels, they dry like cardboard—they fold straighter than any origami folding paper, and make much better animals. When I jump out of a hot bath, instead of cuddling me with caresses, I have a nice 15 minute free body exfoliation session. My sister once asked me how come my skin is so soft—I played coy.

I write not to critique the lack of asciugatrici Rome, but merely to ponder their lack of existence. Why do most Paris apartments have all-in-one washer-dryers and why are there so few in Rome? Do Parisians do “soft” better than Romans? Do Romans feel that a machine-dried clothing and towels isn’t good for one’s health? A taxi driver told me that it is a matter of economics and tradition. Electricity is expensive and nothing quite beats Mom and line-drying. Except when you live by yourself, in a studio, with no terrazzo, in the wet winter months and every time anyone walks into your house they all make the same joke “Uffa, che muffa…