I hate to iron. It is a mindless, numbing activity. And a whole friggin’ to-do. You lug the ironing board out, fill the thing up with water, straighten out the shirt, detect the wrinkles, make sure there are no creases, iron and repeat. Multiple times. I could be spending that time washing dishes. It’s dangerous too! This heavy appliance is inches away from linens and skin with only one purpose… get really, really hot.
Why do we do it? Why can’t I walk around in wrinkled pants? Who says a pressed shirt is stylish or put-together? I’ll tell you who: Big Iron. This entire pro-pressed sentiment is all a racket put forth by the marketeers of Big Iron to sell more irons. I think it stinks, and I don’t like it.
I will make one point. There is a certain purification I get from ironing out those wrinkles. Watching them melt away somehow makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something, however menial. At least as much as I can accomplish while standing in the middle of my apartment in my underwear, listening to REO Speedwagon. (You don’t spin “Keep On Loving You” when YOU’RE ironing?) So I suppose ironing has an oddly cathartic component. Add in the danger and you have something to talk about. I just don’t think the ends justify the means.
Nearly four years ago, on the very first day of work, I was ironing. It was a new me. I was going to press my clothes. In a moment of distraction however, my forearm decided it wanted to get to really know that iron. What my forearm didn’t know is that irons are extremely racist toward skin. Actually, the tip of an iron looks like a Klansman’s hood. A painful, bright purple welt immediately showed up. As an added bonus, because of the confusion from burning myself, I forgot to zip up my fly. So I had a smoldering forearm and an unzipped fly on my first day of work. Awesome! What a disaster. Maybe not- I’m still here. And all my clothes are wrinkled.