The towel she sent was lovely. It had little bottle-green dragonflies all over it with a pure white background. “Too good to use,” you thought to yourself after you’d unwrapped it. You put it in that drawer in the kitchen where you keep things you can’t find a home for.
Then, your friend was due for a visit. You put the dishtowel on the oven door handle. Standing back to appreciate it, you had to admit you felt as good as when you’ve just re-painted a room and got the color right. But, remembering what happened to the cute dog-faces towel you brought back from vacation (that red wine never quite came out) you moved it to the guest room bathroom. “Perfect,” you thought. “People will just dry off their hands with it, so it won’t get dirty. “
And so it became the guest bathroom towel for a long time. Months, even. But one day, even though you run a pretty tight ship, it got sorted to the kitchen towels. It ended up in the drawer with the 12 other dish towels you keep in rotation. One evening you grabbed it and wiped up the counter so some spilled liquid wouldn't splash to the floor. You found out the extent of the damage to the towel the next time you sorted the laundry.
You Googled how to revive towels. You soaked it overnight in baking soda, dishwashing detergent, and white vinegar. It helped, but didn’t bring it back to white. You soaked it in lemon juice and hung it in the bright sunlight. It helped too. But that dragonfly towel did not go back into use in the guest bathroom. It stayed in the kitchen. You allowed it to reach its full potential as a dish towel.
Two years later, as you were putting away the freshly laundered dish towels, you noticed that the towel drawer was too full. You had to get rid of some. You kept the prettiest and the newest, and even though the oldest didn’t look that great, they still had life in them. You cut them in half (so they can’t be confused with kitchen towels anymore) and took them to the garage to be used as cleaning rags. The dragonfly towel was among the casualties.