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The only towels I will ever need start at $3

This is a love story about a girl and her towels

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This is a love story about a girl and her Martex towels. But it begins as love stories do: with a longstanding grudge.

And I’m not generally one to truly hold grudges, despite being half Italian, a product of a New Jersey upbringing, and a fan of Shakespearean tragedies. But my grudge is against all the people who failed to explain towels to me.

When I went off to college, I brought towels from home. I snatched a few from my family’s stash of varying sizes, mostly of the loudly patterned beach variety, with a couple of hand towels mixed in. I scarcely looked at the labels. Why would I need nice or new towels when I was going to be living in a tiny dorm room with no decent place to neatly fold and store them?

But when I moved into my first apartment I went to a department store and gazed adoringly at the enormous, perfectly curated wall of towels. They were arranged by slowly darkening solid hues, and then by pattern.

I chose some plush forest-green towels and called it a day.

A few days later I was on a date and had excused myself to use the restroom. As I pulled up my sleeves to wash my hands, I noticed what seemed to be a layer of dark lint on my arms. I wiped at it thinking it was from my black shirt, but it simply moved around on my skin instead of coming off.

As I looked closer, I noticed it was dark green fuzz. I rolled up my jeans to find the same layer on my legs. I wet a paper towel and wiped and wiped to no avail. The lint stubbornly clung to my body and I panicked. How could I continue this date when underneath my clothes I was a forest-green version of Teen Wolf?!

Martex towels would become my savior. When I called my mother the next day to yell about my embarrassing towel debacle, she laughed and laughed while explaining that some new towels need several washings before they stop shedding, then instructed me to purchase ones made by Martex.

Martex has populated my bathrooms and my kitchens over the years; I use its towels for everything from wiping my counters to enveloping myself after a shower—without any unwelcome residue. Reassuringly, I can find them at big-box stores like Bed Bath & Beyond and on, and in a multitude of colors and styles. They’re reliable and lint-free everywhere, except in the dryer trap where the fuzz belongs.

I recently saw some cute towels appliquéd with black-satin bands in a flirty store display, but I’m not polyamorous with my towel affections. My heart beats only for one brand.