Thursday, August 14, 2008

The joy of ironing

My daughter went off to college recently, and I couldn’t help but laugh when my mom reminded her to pack an iron.

Surprisingly, she replied, “I already did!”

It must skip a generation.

Ironing is one of those chores where there is no middle ground—you either love it or you hate it. As for me, I love to hate it. I will go to great lengths to avoid ironing. For example, I’ll walk up the stairs, put the shirt in the dryer, then go back down the stairs, then go back up, get it out of the dryer, see that it is still wrinkled, put it back in the dryer and repeat cycle. I could have ironed ten shirts by this point.

Shortly after I got married, my husband proudly set up our new ironing board.

“I don’t mind ironing,” I had told him. (Note: We were newlyweds, and I never said I LIKED it.).

Grinning from ear to ear, he brings in an armload of severely wrinkled dress pants and dumps them in front of me. Apparently, he didn’t like ironing too much either.

“And what do you want me to do with these?” I asked.

He demonstrated how I should make sure the iron is hot enough, add a little water for steam, spray some starch and fold his pants just so to make a crease, etcetera and etcetera.

“Uh huh,” I said.

That was 12 years ago, and the stack of pants is still back there.

Recently, there was a television commercial for a wrinkle-free spray. Simply spray it on your clothing item, shake or smooth with your hands, and, voila, no need to ever iron again.

“That’s what you need, Mom!” said my daughter.

Somehow, she had picked up on my disdain for ironing. Maybe it’s because I tell her, “Your shirt’s wrinkled; go change.” I guess I should have been offended, but, instead, I rushed out to buy a bottle that day.

For some people, like my mother, ironing seems to be a pleasure. Mom ironed every morning. Sometimes we would get her to iron our clothes just to make them warm for us before we put them on. I have very fond memories of her ironing—I just don’t want to do it. However, I’m very glad she passed the gift on to my daughter. It may give her the competitive edge she needs in college.

In case you are wondering about the magic wrinkle-reducer, after spraying, shaking, smoothing, and spraying, shaking, smoothing some more, I was just about to throw it in the trash when I read the fine print. It said, “Works best when used with hot iron.”


jo(e) said...

I never ever iron. It's just too much work. My husband does the laundry, and he's careful just to take stuff out fast and hang it up right away.

The funny thing is that I love the smell of freshly ironed clothes. But apparently not enough ....

Meredith Leigh Knight said...

I've banned my husband from laundry after too many shrunken shirts, but perhaps I should give him one more chance...

jo(e) said...

Yeah, the first year my husband did laundry (24 years ago -- the first year we were married), he'd do stuff like throw a WOOL SWEATER in the dryer. And then there was the time that all the whites came home pink. He was like, "Gee, I don't remember all your underwear being pink."

But after a year of mistakes, he learned and when we divide up chores, that's one of the ones he always take. Which is great for me because I hate doing laundry.