Steaming Over the CreasesPosted: October 11, 2012
Bad news……I have done something I swore I never would.
I have bought an iron.
Does this mean that at the age of 37 I have finally admitted that I’m a grown up, boring adult? I hate laundry and I have always believed that the best way to avoid prolonging the agonising cycle of picking it up off the floor, washing, hanging, folding and putting away was not to own an iron. That way I would never be tempted to add another arduous step into the cycle.
Do not have iron – will not iron.
My mother is from the ‘life’s too short’ school of housework. I once heard a quote that went something like,
“Housework won’t kill you but why take the chance”.
This sums her up pretty well and when I left home at 18 I knew how to cook a decent curry, but I entered the adult world without the foggiest clue how to clean the toilet or iron a hemline.
I’m not a lot like my mum, in fact I have been accused by P many many times of being obsessively active when it comes to housework. I suspect this has more to do with an avoidance tactic on his part than because it is actually true. He doesn’t want to be confronted with the reality of it because housework makes him grumpy. Well, newsflash to you, pal ….it makes us all grumpy, and that is why I’m such a pain in the arse to live with. To me doing the laundry is a pretty basic domestic requirement so that we don’t live like cave dwellers, we can find things in our cupboards in the morning and we don’t have to send our kids to school in their pyjamas. But god forbid I should dare to do such a domestic chore on a Saturday evening! What a bore I am! Last time I emptied a bulging basket of clean clothes out onto the sofa on a Saturday we consequently had such a blazing row about my ‘obsession’ that I practically stuffed his shorts up his rear end.
“I’m sick of your bloody effing boxers!” I shouted
We then didn’t speak for the rest of the weekend, so that was fun.
So here I am, a bigger bore than ever. I’m ironing.
I have a new job and I thought it would be a good idea to try to look relatively decent, at least for the first week. I haven’t had a job in years, well not a paid one anyway. I will now no longer have to fend off the condesending sneers and stand up for myself as a full-time mum, who “bloody well does a grand and important job, thank you very much”. I still believe that steadfastly by the way, and in some ways I will miss my rantings, but now I won’t even have to justify myself. I will be contributing to the economy, paying taxes, which as we all know is far more valuable to society than nurturing the growing minds and bodies of our own children.
I unwrap the iron from its packaging. It’s a ‘best budget’ brand of iron. I am not enthusiastic enough about this new hobby of mine to spend money on it and I consider an ironing board to be a superfluous unnecessary addition to the project that will only end up cluttering the hallway. So I fold up a towel and smooth it down on the dining table.
I see that the iron has a little compartment which I open and pour in water, as instructed to do in the diagram. I lay out my skirt for the first day of work. I level it out as flat as I can and I begin. Here I go….I’m ironing.
Ah……now I understand why people have ironing boards.
Every time I flatten one side the underside gets squashed and crumpled. The idea must be to slide the garment over the end of the ironing board so that you only iron on one side at a time. I don’t appear to have much of a talent for this.
“I hate ironing!”
I press the knob and watch as stream clouds emerge from the little holes. This looks a bit more promising so I carry on. In the end my skirt is flatter than it was to start off with and that is good enough for me.
I won’t be repeating my ironing experiment again in a hurry; I think I’ll just embrace the crumpled. And later when my children are learning the skills needed to look after themselves I think I’ll skip this lesson. I’d rather pass down a few basic cooking skills any day, never a pot-noodle will need pass their lips.
It seems I should have listened to my mother all along; life is for living, not for ironing.