I love ironing. I always have. The smell of fresh cotton, warm and damp, does something to my soul. I like the swish swish of the iron over the cloth. The wrinkles disappearing under my hand and the fabric smoothing out behind, it's very soothing. Ironing is a quick fix for me when I need to feel accomplishment, but don't have the time or motivation to do anything. A shirt can be transformed in a minute, and as I do up the top button and hang it up, I get a definite "well done" feeling.
In college I was the Iron Queen in the dorm. Very few of the other girls knew how to iron, or even owned such a thing. Any Friday night would find a gaggle of ladies in slips, hanging around my room waiting for their clothes to be pressed for Vespers. We would chatter away about men, our teachers, more men, and life in general. Therapy costs money, but Room 121 on a Friday night was free. I ironed while one friend told me about her abortion. I was ironing (franticly, with my back turned) when my roomate broke up with her boyfriend over the phone. I carefully pressed and folded all of my friend's things to pack when she had to fly home for her boyfriend's funeral. I listened, and shared, and made the entire hall smell like freshly ironed laundry.
I was amazed to discover that not all girls learn to iron. Some had never even plugged the damn thing in before. I started ironing when I was 12, and by 15 I did the laundry for the family, with the exception of my mother's things. I ironed pillow cases, sheets, table cloths, and my father's dress shirts and pants. Back then I learned to love ironing. It was a guaranteed hour away from the rest of the family, left to work quietly and alone.
Life gets busy, clothes come in material that is "wrinkle free" and "stain resistant". Every once in a while it's good to get out a piece of linen, mist it gently, and let the steam wash over you.