Can we all agree, please? Ironed clothes do not intrinsically look better than wrinkled ones. A smooth surface does not a kind heart indicate. A well-starched collar isn’t a sign of bravery, confidence, or a robust bank account.
I’m not sure of the last time I ironed. Maybe during those first months of marriage when I was trying to figure out how to be married? Probably even before then. When my mother opened up her ironing board during one of our visits to Grammy and MaDa’s house, T asked “What is that platform thing?” He is cursed with a mother who does not iron.
It’s not a principle thing. It’s an efficiency thing. At least that’s what I tell myself when I become aware – usually in a room full of well-laundered people – how wrinkled I am. I don’t iron because then I wouldn’t have time to _________ (fill in the blank). And most of my clothing are the sort that stay magically smooth even after three days crushed at the bottom of the laundry basket. But even my pale green flowery shirt that really needs attention, even that one I don’t iron. I wear it wrinkled. And pretend to be too busy to devote time to ironing.
But I think, actually, I am too lazy.
If you ask me how to iron a shirt, I could probably show you, even though I haven’t done it for decades. Start with the collar. Then the upper back. Sleeves, lower back, front panel – careful of that row of buttons. Hang the shirt on a clothes hanger, hang the clothes hanger from the curtain rod that sits above the window behind you. Pause a moment to glance outside at the sunny, windy day where leaves have abandoned their branches and fly untethered until they lie still on the cooling ground. Turn back to the next shirt waiting to be ironed.