Sunday, December 07, 2008

Steamed and pressed.

I hate to iron. Lord, how I hate it!

Wouldn't it be nice if men's shirts came with a tag that said, "WARNING: Although this shirt looks perfectly wonderful hanging on this hangar, it has been constructed in such a way that the minute it is exposed to a washer and dryer, it will immediately curl into a tight, wrinkled ball of Rubik's Cube-ian impossibility. At that point, it will vanish into the depths of your closet, never to emerge until your semi-yearly clean-out at which point it will proceed directly to the nearest charity thrift shop. So don't waste your money!"

Because you can't tell. You just can't tell! We've bought 100% cotton, we've bought cotton/synthetic blends, we've bought cheap shirts, we've bought expensive shirts, and there is absolutely no way to determine which ones will be wonderfully wrinkle-free and which ones will, well, not.

My home economics training was sadly lacking on all counts, but never more than in the ironing department. I had a toy ironing board and a little iron, but somehow that early indoctrination failed to translate into real-world expertise.

I know my mom ironed, and I can remember ironing a few skirts and dresses in high school and college when I absolutely had to (in college, on the floor on a folded towel, as I recall), but I never learned how to iron a man's shirt. I guess that's because my dad's good shirts all originated in the Era of Polyester, also known as the 70's. They were made of the same indestructible substance as his sport jackets and dress pants, which not only never needed ironing, they could simply be hosed off when a stain occurred, as the plastic fibers were impermeable to liquids of all kinds.

Now I have a husband who works a white-collar job that sadly does not require white collars, which could just be sent out to the dry cleaners. His casual-dress job calls for Dockers and casual long-sleeve dress shirts in plaids and dark solids, hardly worth a dry cleaner trip and fee.

So after two weeks of dawdling, I finally ironed the shirts that have been draped across the chest at the end of our bed. And they honestly don't look any better. I try re-tumbling them in the dryer, sometimes with a damp washcloth, but as our dryer is responsible for much of the wrinkling because it's a small stackable, that doesn't really do any good. And it doesn't help those awful buttonhole strips on the front at all. Why do they always, always wrinkle up like the ruffles on a pirate shirt? Some of Todd's shirts don't wrinkle one little bit, except for the buttonhole part. Why???

I always burn myself at least once, too, which doesn't endear me to the job at all.
And I can't figure out how to iron sleeves, or that flat part across the upper back.

We've managed to get our wardrobes to the point where they need virtually no ironing, but every now and then a wrinkly shirt sneaks through. I'm always hearing about people who iron sheets and underwear and I cannot fathom the depths of boredom a person would have to sink to to consider that a worthy pastime.

So now Todd's ironed shirts hang neatly in his closet. He's not allowed to wear them ever again.