I hate linen. It's like that boy. The one we've all known at one time or another. You may have to think back, but you'll remember him. Absolutely gorgeous. Perfect. One look, and you had to have you some of that. And so you did what you had to do, the special smile, little eyelash action maybe, depending on your era and personality, there may have been a head toss involved. But there was always that special smile. And it worked. He walked over, one thing led to another, and you got him. And lived to rue the day, because once gotten, he was a total dud. That's the way it is with linen. It looks so beautiful, so crisp and cool, and you see it, and you have to have it, and you pay more for it than you normally do for a dress or a top, or pants, or whatever it is, and you get it home and oh! the rush of having it there in your closet, you plan your outfit, all the right accessories, you know just where you are going to wear it, an occasion where you want to look so good the birds in the trees stop singing. Or maybe they start. Anyway, you are going to rock the hell out of your carefully planned ensemble starring your new linen whatever-it-is. And the great day, or the great night arrives, and you spend hours getting ready, redo your nails three times, all to be worthy of your new linen whatever-it-is. Nothing has ever looked better than you walking out that door. But twenty minutes later, nothing has ever looked worse than you, because once you sat down in your new linen whatever-it-is, once you had it on for a while, (and cut the twenty to about 3.497 minutes if you live somewhere with high humidity) your new linen whatever-it-is had become a Living Homage to Fashion Don'thood, all that crispness collapsed into crumple, all that pristine smoothness withered into a limp mass of wrinkles that put Barbara Walters' neck to shame. Just like that gorgeous boy who, when you finally got him alone, turned out to be dumb as a box of rocks and incapable of any conversation that did not involve some variation of "yeah, they got 'em a great dee-fense," your new linen whatever it is has proven to be a Terrible Mistake, a sum of money anywhere from frivolous to unthinkable down the drain, you look absolutely awful, you have that sick and sad certainty in the pit of your stomach that you will never wear this thing again, and you will even feel guilty stuffing it into your Blessing Bag, until you realize that the needy person to whom it will be made available is unlikely to pick it out, being, unlike you, smart enough to know good and damn well that unless you carry a little steam iron in your purse and run to the ladies' room every few minutes, the thing is going to look like crap, and she will smirk, and reach for the cotton one instead. Too bad you didn't do that, because you can just feel peoples' eyes on those unkempt-looking creases, and you just know that some catty little biatch is whispering to another one that it is really a shame the way you have let yourself go, maybe you are depressed because remember that absolutely gorgeous boy? Well she only went out with him once, you know, and Looks are Exchanged. And your friends try, in their various and ineffective ways, to make you feel better, the spontaneous ones asking you what in the world happened to your whatever-it-is, and the ones with more sense than you, which today is most of them, taking one look, recognizing linen, and patting you sympathetically. Your only consolation is that the most impeccably gorgeous boy in the place has been captivated by one of the biatches and is now enthralling her with gruff mumbles about dee-fense. And your bestest.friend.ever confides that linen makes the bestest.ever polishing cloth for fine crystal, in case you ever get any, which is unlikely since you spent a small fortune on your Rumplestiltslinen. So that is why I hate linen. It is a deceitful fabric, and anyone who can wear it for more than twenty minutes and not look like something that emerged from the rag barrel is Suspect, and you should stay away from her. It is quite probable that she alphabetizes her underpants, and has no pores. An interesting factoid: If you are unable to distinguish linen from a blend or synthetic by sight and touch, here is a test you can use to find out. Lick your finger, then put it on the underside of the cloth. If the spit comes up through to the other side immediately, it's linen. If it takes more than a nano-second, it's not, and you can go ahead and buy it.