My friend who is a fabulous and gracious hostess says she only invites dinner guests whom she loves enough that she is willing to iron a linen napkin for them. My screen is slightly different: I only want to entertain friends who don’t care if I iron their napkin.
This doesn’t sit well with everyone. My mother, for example, thinks it’s mildly appalling that my napkins are always rumpled and that none of them match.
So I’ve at least committed to getting the wet napkins out of the laundry and hanging them in a closet so they dry relatively wrinkle-free. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s a compromise that almost satisfies my mom and isn’t so demanding as to turn me off cloth napkins–or entertaining–altogether.
As it turns out, Mother knows best. Not only do the napkins look tidier, the hanging strategy works well for pillowcases too. So for a while now, I’ve been wishing I had more hanging space.
This weekend, fueled by a trimester of construction school and a smug wellspring of new handiness, I embarked on a long-deferred DIY project to increase my napkin-and-pillowcase drying operation.
I found some abandoned closet rods, a few pieces of scrap wood, and some drywall anchors, and bam! Now I have two rods in a closet upon which to hang napkins and pillowcases.
So, next time you come for dinner, you will have a crisp, albeit unironed, cloth napkin. But it still will not match anyone else’s at the table.