You’re awful purdy in plant form.
Your seeds make tasty bread topping, or, when crushed, useful (and excitingly self-combustible) oil for the handles of my garden tools and as a vehicle for the pigments of my oil paints.
Along with quinine-laced tonic and an astonishing sense of entitlement, you helped Europeans look cool and stay cool while they colonised hot and sticky places.
Your fibres have wrapped mummies, supported great works of art, and dried tears from countless faces. Rich people sleep on sheets made from you. Printed with novelty patterns, you’ve dried many a dish (and flicked many a bare-leg-of-annoying-sibling. YEOUCH!!) You’re famous for being durable and long-lasting.
AND YET, I narrow my eyes at you, Linen, because in garment form, you’ve been nothing but a disappointment to me.
The wrinkling I can live with because my persona is naturally a bit crumpled. But you have proved far less resilient than promised and garments made from you have torn in embarassing places, in embarassing moments. To wit: the loose black linen pants that made me super happy for about a week as I swanned about feeling quite the breezy thing, until two gaping tears appeared in the area most familiar with my bicycle seat.
Then there was this dress.
Lint-free? My arse. Every time I wear this dress I am covered in tiny bits of linen stubble. It embeds in my layer of sunscreen and makes me look grubby and unwashed. Long-lived? PAH! I’ve sewn up and patched the skirt vent three times and this morning it tore again. And inexplicable pea-sized holes appeared in the side of the skirt too. And laundering has turned it from lightweight to uncomfortably sheer.
Did I do something wrong, Linen? I recall this black dress took a few washes not to reek of cheap dye – could it be that the dye weakened your fibres? Or were these not your finest fibres to start with?
Maybe I should just leave you to those who understand you, like Steph C, Or do some book-learnin’ to catch up. But right now, I’m not sure I can trust you again.