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A pressing matter

May 31, 2013 - Heather Ziegler
I like to iron. OK, I put it out there because I know a lot of people think I'm nuts.

I have family and co-workers who refuse to buy anything that needs to be pressed. They look at me as if I am crazy when I say I'm going home to iron a few things.

Everyone has their quirks. I guess ironing is mine. Blame my mother. She sat me before a large, hot mangle when I was old enough to know the difference between hot and cold.

I sat there and ironed pillowcases, handkerchiefs and more flat items by laying them across the cotton covered cylinder, closing the top of the roller with the large handle and peeling the item off the roller as it went through the ironing process. I loved the results. I felt useful. I listened to the radio serials while I worked.

As I progressed in years, I spent plenty of time in the ironing room that used be the nursery, then my sister's room, then my room and eventually this tiny space became the ironing room for good. The ironing board was never taken down since it occupied its own room. I got good at collars and sleeves and cuffs but hated pleated uniform skirts.

And yes, there was a period we pressed a neat crease into our blue jeans. Does anyone other than George Strait still do that?

But this past week, I had to part with my longtime ironing companion -- my 39-year-old ironing board. It was a generously sized metal ironing board with sturdy legs. Well, those legs gave out with one final tug of the lever to stand it up. It collapsed on the floor in a loud bang. It was done. The underneath had rusted out and there was no turning back.

I had a small going away ceremony as I placed it out with the trash the other night. It was gone before morning although the trash had not yet been collected. I chuckled at whomever grabbed it from the trash pile. Perhaps it was worth a few dollars in scrap metal. It didn't matter. It was gone.

Then the task of replacing the ironing board was quite the challenge. Did you know that you can pay hundreds of dollars for a board on which to iron? You can but I didn't. I headed to Lowe's and found a suitable replacement. It's not nearly as agreeable as the board I just gave up, but it suffices.

It's a little wobbly and it doesn't really stand up on carpet very well so it's back to ironing in the kitchen again. At least I can pair it up with the kitchen stepstool seat my son and his wife bought me for Christmas when the previous stepstool fell apart after decades of use and abuse.

I have actually had a few people offer their analysis of my ironing issue. They believe I like it because I can steam the wrinkles out of my life. Some think it's a control issue. Really? I just like it, OK? It's not weird when guys rattle on about their favorite Dremel tool but mention ironing and people want to put me away somewhere with wrinkled, padded walls! I am a self-proclaimed expert on irons, too. I enjoy using the Shark steam iron. I used to buy Rowenta irons, which were pricey and worked very well until they stop working. Several times they would turn on and off with no warning. I can't afford to buy another one and have that happen again.

My husband bought me a very unusual iron at a trade show in Pittsburgh. It was more money than I thought he should spend but loves comes in all kinds of packages. This one is an Oliso brand. It steams well but has a gimmick that we couldn't pass up. When you stop moving the iron, little legs spring up out of the bottom of the iron and it rests just like that. No need to stand it upright! It's crazy but fun. It's kind of heavy but really does work.

Enough about ironing already. I've probably lost half my audience by now but please don't judge me by the lack of wrinkles in my shirt and I won't mention that your collar could use a little touching up.


Article Comments



Jun-05-13 2:24 PM

First, yahoo that your blog now has paragraphs! Second, I am one of the aforementioned colleagues who hates to iron. But I don't think you're crazy. After all, I like to weed flower beds, wash dishes and vacuum. My mom is the same way, and we DO believe it's the sense of gratification -- now it's dirty, now it's not. The weeds were there and now they're gone. We can clean up the mess quickly and methodically. But then we also love to "analyze" in our family. Here's why I don't like to iron -- I'm no good at it. Or don't have the right tools. If I had an iron that actually got wrinkles out, I might give my creased clothes the same attention I do my flower beds.


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