iron woman

When I was in 4H, a million years ago, we had Demonstration Day once a year, when you would have to demonstrate something, talk about it (a hobby, a task, etc) knowledgeably, and show how it was done. I remember watching a girl demonstrate how to iron. “Pressing, pressing, pressing,” she said. “It’s so depressing…”

That’s all I remember from that particular demonstration (the phrase sticks with me to this day), but later in my early 20s I had an exacting boyfriend who showed me how to iron the right way, and then I always did his shirts. He was a big fat loser, from what I recall, but I can honestly say that I know how to iron well, and thanks to him, I guess.

Fast forward to today. Budget is blown on food and bills and Mr Husband has no clean dress shirts (the kind to wear with a tie) for work this week. He likes to take them to the cleaners, even though I say I will do them. He says it’s too much work and he’d rather pay someone else. I say, bad for the environment — plastic bags, hangers, chemicals, driving around, the expense — even though we go to a “green” cleaner who takes our hangers back and recycles. Still…

So he finally agreed, for lack of anything else to wear, threw two loads of shirts in the wash, and I spent the afternoon ironing. Something was in one of the pockets, of course, and two of his shirts and one of mine were ruined by something that looked like ink. I ran them through again but it was no use. Rags! I was cringing because it seemed like “proof” that washing them at home is not as good as the dry cleaners. But he took it in stride.

And as for me, I strapped on my iPod and boogied through three baskets of shirts, slacks, dresses and cloth napkins. Then I sat at the sewing machine and did a bunch of mending, then finished ironing.

The moral of this story is — once again — I feel really good about doing something for the planet when I choose to do it the old-fashioned way — and yet I get *again* what a commitment it is to have a commitment to something. It took me at least two hours to do all of that ironing, and although I enjoyed the work, it was still two hours of standing up and being on my feet. (Does it count as exercise?) And we both said that we could stop the expense of the dry cleaner, and he wants to learn how to iron, and we can share the duty, and it feels really good to have done this — and I’m pooped! So if we’re going to iron his shirts, every other week (because he has a sizable number, because of the dry cleaning schedule), then I will need to plan a couple of hours to make sure I can get it done.

I imagine doing this while conversing, visiting, listening to the radio or CDs would also be fun (I don’t watch much TV).

Pressing doesn’t have to be *depressing,* does it? It can actually be good for the planet. 😉

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