Iron, Man, Iron

I killed another iron this week and had to buy a new one. The confession of the day is that I still iron. Not only do I still iron, I tend to work my irons until they die a sudden, painful death that usually involves an electrical problem. Sometimes there are noises and oozing and seepage involved.

I had recently returned from a trip in which my daughter and I and 20 outfits were gone for 10 days, so I was in the home stretch of a 48-hour laundrypalooza, trying to get caught up, when my iron started to pass out. I’d stand it up and the light would go off. I’d put it down flat to iron and the light would come back on.  I’d push the cord into the butt and the light would flicker. Come on, little Sunbeam, don’t die on me now - I still don’t have a single pair of capris ready to wear. Stay with me now.

I rooted around in our hall closet for some purple duct tape that we bought to make wallets and I taped the cord to the base of the iron as tightly as I could. Despite how festive purple can be, the iron looked like it was on life support. The blackouts stopped, but I knew it was headed for forced retirement and the pulling of the plug, so to speak. I had to buy a new iron.

Have you seen these new irons now? Of course you haven’t. No one irons anymore except for me. Well, let me tell you, while I was happily ironing with my little Sunbeam the last few years, the iron industry was making leaps and bounds in anti-wrinkle technology.

Did you realize that you can spend $139 on an iron? You can also spend  $9 on one. I looked to spend somewhere in the middle (because that’s how I roll) so I ended up with a Hamilton Beach stainless steel “Professional Iron” with 1500 watts of power, anti-drip technology and an extra-long cord. This thing is so big, it doesn’t fit in the iron holder that’s attached to my laundry room wall. And it weighs about as much as one of those old irons that are now used for door stoppers. Big time heavy. I’m keeping it on a high shelf, so I’m sure there’s a pointy iron tip falling on the top of my head in my future.

But wait. “Professional Iron?” What’s that? Are there professional ironers? And if so, why didn’t my high school guidance counselor tell me about that? I would have been a beast as a professional ironer.

I know that your opinion of me just took a nosedive now that you know I still set up an ironing board and iron clothes. I don’t care. (And I’m quite certain I haven’t wowed you with my burning intellect up to this point anyway, so que sera sera.) In fact, I’ll add fuel to the fire and tell you that I iron t-shirts. I iron my robe. I iron my son’s running clothes. I iron the Abercrombie clothes that are supposed to be wrinkled.

This is why I can never be one of those modern-day housewife bloggers who brags that her kids don’t know what an ironing board looks like. Or “I set up the ironing board in 1990 and it got covered with liquor bottles so now it’s our bar.”  Or “Housework is for stupid bitches.”

If I didn’t iron, I would be wasting the skills I developed as an eighth grader, when I ironed for Ann Stiftinger for $2 a week while I babysat after school. Ann, who was my idol from 1968 through 1977, had me ironing not only her super cool stretchy, colorful, Polyester blouses and jeans (with creases), but everything else, including her son’s baseball uniform and their bed sheets. A lot of Ann’s high standards rubbed off on me, at least in the ironing department, and I’ve been ironing my own clothes since.

I am who I am and I can’t help it. I like to get dressed in the morning and put on clothes that have been run over by hot steel, however perfunctorily. And truth be told, ironing is not something I loathe. I set up the ironing board in front of the TV and, well, how else do you think I know so much about Law & Order?

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