Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ironing.

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.

7 comments:

debby said...

I feel the same way about doing laundry - I love it. How bout from now on, I wash and dry - u iron?

Mary P. said...

I love hanging it out to dry, and bringing it back in smelling like air. Lovely. Between the three of us...

(I love those things about ironing, too, and thought I was the only one! Somehow I never have the time. Probably doesn't help that the ironing board's in the dark and unfinished basement. Ick.

Anyone out there just LOVE folding it and most particularly, putting it away? Because I hate, hate, hate that part.

for what it's worth said...

So, I can pack a box and send it???
I don't mind doing it, but it's just finding the time to do 4 people's worth. The kids were taught young and both press their shirts and such each evening for school the next day.
I have found the most wonderful stuff for ironing. Fruits and Passions is a Canadian store. They have environmentally friendly products. One of the most wonderful products is their "tulip water". I never iron without it. While I still love the stiffness of starch, I loooovvvveee the smell of the tulip water. It almost makes ironing ( dare I say) nice.

Beth said...

Well, I can't say I actually like ironing - consider it a very occasional, necessary evil - like all housework!! However, like you I learned to iron at a very early age . Once a week, it would be my chore to iron all the household laundry (at that time - 3 adults and 4 children) This was back in the 'dark ages' of wringer washers, no dryers and no steam irons!! We ironed everything!! Bed linen, dishtowels, men's handerkerchiefs (hadn't kleenix been invented yet??) Everything dried outside on the clothesline - even during the winter!! Used to hate bringing it in - everything frozen solid and stiff as a board !! Great to iron though - instant steam!! Thanks for sending me on a trip down memory lane!! Now I'm off to light a candle and give thanks to the person who invented polyester and wrinkle-free fabric!!

Anonymous said...

I used to do all the ironing for the family too, for years and my dad was in the military so wore uniforms...a fresh shirt every day, so that was a lot of shirts, lol. Even years after I left home, my mother would save a basket of laundry for me to iron because she hated doing it so much. I didn't really like it either, but I liked how my father looked in a freshly ironed shirt.

When I got married, I used to iron everything, down to my daughter's undershirts, ha ha. Now I barely iron a thing...my ironing board is in the bathroom with my necklaces hanging from it...

Jessica said...

I love to iron, but can never seem to find the time or motivation to spend in our dark, spidery basement.

Chatty said...

O.M.G.

I hate ironing. I think it is because as a kid, my mom pawned off her ironing on me. Tablecloths that fit a table for twelve kinda did me in. My MIL doesn't understand why I hate it as she just looooooves it. That's why I let her in, so she can iron my stuff! LOL