Monday, December 04, 2006

The Iron Age

As I mentioned a previous blog, I was recently faced with the prospect of having to iron some of Hubby’s shirts myself. It was that or volunteer to fork over an obscene amount of money and admit to my own ineptitude. After much discussion betwixt Hubby and myself regarding my innate laziness, the cost of dry cleaning in Nai-Robbery, and the glory of dress shirts that don’t require feats of domesticity, I relented and went in search of the iron.

Now that may not seem like a big deal to some of you who have ironed more than 2 shirts in your lifetime, but to me this was a BIG step. Even Hubby at this juncture in our lives together had ironed more shirts than I. (Proof of his accomplishments can be found in the acknowledgement section of his Master’s Thesis, which gives a shout-out, and high-five to our friend the King of Kraft for instructing Hubby in this most complicated of chores.) My story; however, is slightly sadder (although I too received a shout out in the same acknowledgements, thank you), or, as Hubby would point (and he often does) slightly more pathetic.

Our tale begins not with my eager child-self ironing my dad’s hankies (which I did with a rather impressive display of skill, if memory serves) but later at my wedding shower. On that fine afternoon at Care Bear’s house I received not one but two irons. (Ahem! It is simply not that difficult to update a registry. Sheesh!) Everyone giggled at joked about all the ironing I would be doing for my once and future husband. And here I thought that the guests all knew me. But I digress… I won’t say here that I returned one of the irons for fear that the lovely gift-giver might find out, but… Well, I hardly needed two of them, after all.

Several months passed and I included the still boxed Black and Decker iron into my UHaul shipment for its long ride from Canuckville to Yankee Town. There it sat (out of its box) on a shelf in the laundry room for quite some time. The ironing board, you see, was being used as a hall table and couldn’t be spared for anything as trivial as wrinkle-free clothing.

One day about two years or so after our move, my friend Hershey came to work in a bit of a tizzy. It turned out that her iron had puffed its final breath of steam that morning and had gone to that big Ironing Board in the Sky. Hershey was rather beside herself as she didn’t want to come to work each morning in creased clothes.

“I have one you can use while you look for a new one,” I piped up cheerfully.

“Won’t you need it?” she called over the cubicle wall.

I walked around to her desk and let her peruse my somewhat crumpled outfit. “Oh.”

“Exactly. I’ll bring it in for you tomorrow. Keep it as long as you need.”

A year or so passed and I received my orders to move from DC to the Midwest. As a going away gift, Hershey presented me with an iron I could now tell my mother (without lying) had been well used.

Three years in the Midwest did not boast much action for our shelf-confined friend. At this point we had abandoned all pretense and had not even bothered with buying an ironing board. The good news (unless you were the sweet and wonderful person who kindly and thoughtfully bought me this gift which I truly and sincerely appreciated) was that I sold it for $10 before we moved to India.

It was that wonderful country that Hubby and I reveled in the joys of cheap door-to-door service dry-cleaning. But all good things, I’ve heard it told, must come to an end and we left that dry cleaning heaven for Nairobi. Which brings us, my friends, to that fateful moment when I had to figure out how to fill, turn on and use our new Black and Decker iron.

Savant that I am, those hurdles were overcome with only a minimal amount of cursing. Approximately an hour and a half later I presented my empty apartment with the fruits of my labor: five (more or less) perfectly ironed dress shirts!!

This story does have a happy ending for both our lonely iron and, more importantly, me. I am happy to report that pressing our laundry will be one of the jobs that the new maid will takeover in December. THANK GOD!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

New maid? I thought I told you I wasn't coming until later on--certanly not before the happy season of Christmas. Hankies--well...maybe but I don't remember much more in the ironing dept. Cooking that goes on the resume!
merthyr Mum--and safe travelling.