Sunday, 25 November 2012

Iron maiden

Ahh, Sunday. A day of rest and tackling things left undone during the week (housework, study). But not before coffee and the Sunday papers. In today's Sunday magazine, there was a story in the grooming section called Throw down your irons, a reprint of The tyranny of the iron by Seth Stevenson. With a title like that, it naturally grabbed my attention and I found myself nodding my way through this tongue-in-cheek piece that actually makes a heck of a lot of sense.

For me, ironing falls in the 'should' category. I grew up believing I 'should' iron clothes because that's what my mother spent hours doing. Clearly it wasn't an activity she enjoyed because all it took was for the dreaded ironing board to be set up in the kitchen or corner of the lounge and suddenly a dark cloud would descend over the entire household. Everything became a chore and nothing was funny while school uniforms, shirts, sheets, hankies and other items of clothing were being subjected to subversive heat (the behaviour of some even resulted in steam!), with Mum shackled to the wall by a frayed power cord that she took care to dance gingerly around. Thankfully she never ironed underwear like I've heard some people from her generation and before did, but pretty much everything else made it into the massive ironing basket, ready for regular heat torture that we all had to endure as a result. She was glad to offload some of this endless task once we were old enough to start ironing for ourselves. It was then that I decided there had to be a way around this.

While I was at secondary school and everybody was starting to take on part-time or odd jobs for pocket money, one friend would go up the road every weekend and get paid $5 an hour to iron her way through a young family's laundry basket. In those days, $5 was 'good' money and sometimes she would be ironing for three or four hours. It sounded like purgatory to me. No thanks.

Seriously, who irons these days? I openly admit that I don't actually own an iron myself and I think the last time I ironed something was about four years ago. I can't be certain of this, but do remembering ironing my ball dress once, so that makes the timing about right. I make sure I buy clothes that don't need ironing. Those that do, I take care to hang in shape on the clothes line and hang them up as soon as I can after they are dry. Business shirts? I don't wear them. It works for me.

It could be worse. A friend reported that her pre-schooler had asked her kindy teacher what this toy in the Wendy house was - she had never seen one before and didn't know how to play with it!

Do you still iron?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post haha. There are a few items we still need to iron in order to step out in public, but really, we try to avoid it wherever possible! In fact, we don't just try to avoid it, we just don't ever get round to it!! I think it's true - our parents' generation really do love to iron (even if they go on about hating it). My mother in law used to break into our washing and start folding my underwear - she's no longer allowed around without supervision haha.