Things You Learn From the People You Love

Posted October 11, 2013 by jimhigley



The term “best friend” doesn’t do her justice. And putting her in the same boat as my siblings isn’t a fit. I love them in their own unique way.

Nope, she’s in a league of her own. And she always has been. She’s my cousin, Pam. And I can’t remember a time of my life when she wasn’t there. (Which is the perfect opening to call attention to the fact that she’s 17 month’s my senior. But I won’t go there).

Our fathers were brothers. And we were both the youngest in our own respective clans. As kids, we lived 1,500 miles apart. Yet somehow, we’ve always seemed to be connected.

She’s the one person I don’t recall ever being angry with. She’s the one person who always makes me laugh. And were I to ever find myself on a tiny, dirty dinghy heading to a deserted island, I’d save a seat for her.

Now that kind of love can cause a little distortion, yes? Perhaps it results in a tendency to overlook someone’s flaws. Or quirks. I know she certainly gives me a hall pass with my many oddities.

As have I with hers. But there’s one thing that’s really weighed on me for as long as I can remember:

She doesn’t have towel racks in her bathrooms.

I’ve noticed this for years.

My family frequently finds ourselves guests in her home (and a shout out to her husband and three kids who never complain when we take over their house). It was a good fifteen plus years ago – after they moved into their current home – that I first realized the mystery of the missing towel racks.

But I didn’t think twice about it back then. It was a new house with plenty of things to be finished.

And I let it slide the next few visits. They had three little kids. Busy jobs. The rest of their house looked magazine perfect. Just no towel racks. So I took our towels into the bedroom and found a place for them to dry.

But this went on for years. And it started to bother me. I’d secretly check all of the bathrooms. Finding nothing. I’d look in the kids’ bedrooms to see if there was some special towel hook on the back of the door. Nope.

So during my last trip this past summer, I decided to bring this troublesome mystery to a head. I needed an answer. Which she gave me.

She doesn’t like dirty towels. Specifically, she doesn’t like germs. And she gladly launders her family’s towels after every use.

And in confronting her, I not only brought closure to a 15-year mystery, I learned two things about my cousin. First, she really is a saint.

Second, I doubt she’ll be all that excited about sitting on that dirty dinghy with me.


This memory is brought to you through my partnership with Kimberly-Clark during the months of September and October. It’s part of their Pick Up the Values Program– providing tips and ideas for parents to stretch their budgets.

Today’s memory is compliments of Kleenex Hand Towels. single-use towels that help reduce the spread of germs. I need to send my cousin a crate of these!

Stop by the Kleenex Facebook Page to join in more conversations.  And be sure to visit the Pick up the Values website for over $40 of money-saving coupons.

And for daily tips and ideas, be sure to “like” the Pick Up the Values Facebook Page!

Rest assured, while I’ve been compensated by Kimberly-Clark for this story, the memory, and belief in their product is as real as it comes.