The great American towel poll

Posted: Apr 30, 2007 12:00 AM
The great American towel poll

My wife insists I’m weird. This isn’t a recent development, but she is more convinced than ever all because I told her I preferred standard-size bath towels. For no other reason than that she happens to like over-sized towels, she regards me as a certifiable oddball.

The more I thought about this difference of opinion, the more certain I became that it must be a gender thing. It struck me as completely logical that men would prefer smaller towels because they wanted to get in and out of the shower, in and out of the bathroom, and didn’t want to be slowed down by unwieldy towels that are going to trip them up and make them fall and bust their noggins on something made of porcelain. Most accidents, as we all know, take place in the home, and most of them occur in the bathroom. It’s only reasonable to assume that in the majority of those cases, the towel is the culprit.

On the other hand, I figured that women, who tend to be bigger risk takers than men anyway, might be willing to take their chances with big towels because they were far more likely than men to use them as wrap-rounds while they did their hair and make-up.

In my eternal quest for the truth, my next step was to send out scores of e-mails to friends and relatives. In no way did I editorialize or indicate my bias in the matter. I merely asked them if they and, where applicable, their husbands and wives preferred large or regular-sized towels.

The first big surprise, I must admit, is what a huge and prompt response I got. In no time at all, I heard from a slew of people I had previously assumed actually worked for a living. But here it was the middle of the day and they were getting back to me within minutes. It was as if I had somehow stumbled across the question Americans had just been dying to be asked.

The second shock was that I had been mistaken, but not the way one would imagine. Although there was a real divide on this all-important issue, it didn’t break down along gender lines. It was quite the opposite. As of a few hours ago, I had heard from 101 people, of whom 55 were male, 46 were female. The men favored smaller towels by a margin of 30-25, while women went for smaller towels by an even slimmer margin, 24-22.

I think the strangest thing about the poll is that of 101 respondents, only four people asked me why I was asking them this peculiar question. But what about the other 97? Did they all think I was getting a jump on the new year, putting together next December’s Christmas/Chanukah shopping list?

Inasmuch as many of the 54 who sided with me and voted for smaller towels include my wife’s friends and relatives, I think she’ll be a tad less likely to cast aspersions on those of us who don’t happen to agree with her when it comes to linens.

Besides, she has her nerve calling me weird. As you may have noticed, I’m not the one who married me.