I am so terrible at ironing that it’s actually impressive. If there were an annual Bad Ironing event, I would win every year. It’s not that I don’t try; I do. I try very hard to iron things and yet, somehow, all my ironed materials wind up full of flat, well-pressed wrinkles. This is why I only iron twice a year. It’s too frustrating a task to take on more often than that.
I know people who are excellent at smooshing a hot device across fabric to make it wrinkle-free. I even know people who enjoy the task (yes, I am looking at you, RBW) and I can only assume it does not take these people 10 minutes to iron an Oxford shirt (and that’s when I’m going quickly) The first time I was married, my mother-in-law-at-the-time was appalled by my lack of homemaker abilities and tried to teach me the Way of Wrinkle-Free Clothing but I just could not understand the concept. Of course, I also didn’t understand why she ironed her family’s underwear. I don’t mean boxers, I mean white cotton briefs. Who the hell needs starched undies? Who cares if your panties are wrinkled? They stretch across the hips, the wrinkles can’t be seen. I guess it’s sort of obvious, in retrospect, why she wasn’t able to teach me how to iron.
Ironing, for me, is an exercise in not going on a killing spree. I start out with good intentions, my basket of wrinklies piled high beside me. I assure myself I’ll get it all done and I’ll feel proud of my accomplishment. I always start on the pants because they are easiest. By the third pair, though, I’m only ironing from the knees down, figuring I’ll just let my thighs get bigger and that will stretch out the wrinkles since that works for my underwear. Then I have to start on the shirts. Mostly, I wind up ironing new wrinkles in. I like to call them “creases” and I place them artistically all over the shirt, not just on the arms and down the sides. It’s awful. And it’s not like I don’t have the right tools – I have my iron and the ironing board. I even used to have one of those little sleeve ironing boards. I have my squirt bottle and my starch but it’s all for naught. Before you fill the comments section with helpful advice (i.e. flat-out lies), let me share with you the answers to some of the most common “advice” I get on this subject.
Iron them fresh from the washer while they’re still damp
Ok. I’ll try that.
Use special ironing fluid that comes in spray bottles
It’s called scented water. I don’t care if it’s rose or lavendar-scented, it doesn’t work any
differently than water. And water doesn’t help. Neither does starch. Well, ok, starch DOES help those wrinkles I iron in to stay well-pressed, actually.
Don’t buy clothes that need to be ironed
Even wrinkle-free garments are not wrinkle free and I’ve tried embracing the wrinkles but I can’t and I can’t wear jeans and t-shirts to work. SO. NOW what, huh?
Wear a dress, heels, pearls and lipstick! (That’s Gabe’s advice)
Drink a lot of alcohol first
That leads to melted carpet.
Make more money so you can just take it all to the cleaners to have it pressed
I’m working on it. Feel free to donate to the cause.
12 responses to “June Cleaver would be awfully disappointed”
I never iron.never. well atleast our clothes. i will iron if I’m sewing something, because your supposed to. I honestly don’t care if my stuff is wrinkled. Thankfully I don’t have a job where it’s important to have my clothes pressed. I DO get to wear jeans and t-shirts to work as I have to regularly climb into peoples basements so heels and a dress are not a smart choice.
I miss wearing jeans and a tshirt every day. Well…half and half miss it. I mean, I love putting together cute outfits and looking all dapper and crap but my love for the cute wanes when all my cute things need to be ironed. Then I’m more than happy to be all bag lady like. Until I get tired of looking like I live in a trash can. And that’s when I iron. Which is stupid.
What on earth are you doing in people’s basements, by the by? Stalking?
I test the water for people who have well water and who live on streets that are salted by the state which results in salt contaminated drinking water.
That sounds super important. Also, there are so many cliches in there – testing the water, there’s salt in the well (that’s not a cliche, actually, but it sounds like one), etc.
That’s pretty dang cool, actually. Your job, I mean, not the potential for ban puns.
The only piece of advice I can give is what I do. Turn the dryer back on and hope for the best. But I’m definitely not one to be giving laundry advice. I’m just happy when I remember that I started a load in the first place! I don’t know what I would do if I had to look professional everyday.
Probably exactly what you described up there. That’s what…
Thank you SO EFFING MUCH for the pictures as you were going through the entire process. I just peed in my pants a little bit. Seriously. I need to go change my pants now.
(I love it when that happens!)
Are they Stacey’s yoga pants? Have we just solved a mystery?
And you’re welcome. Thank YOU for feeling my pain.
I’m fucking fantastic at ironing. No lie. It’s like I was born with the most useless gift ever. But whatevs! Send your shit! I’ll iron all fucking day if there’s a good Buffy or Supernatural marathon going.
HOW? How did you get this gift? You can make the wrinkles LEAVE the garment? Do angels hover above you, singing? Because I…wow. I am in awe of you. I’ll start boxing up my stuff as soon as I get home. And I’ll send you some DVDs.
I don’t know how it happened. Folding, too. I enjoy folding and ironing. I like baking, and I don’t mind cooking… the key is that I enjoy all of these activities in spurts, not marathons. Like, I’ll go balls-to-the-wall on some serious muthafukkin ironing. I’ll iron the SHIT outta some pants and shirt for a few hours. But then it’ll be weeks before I do it again. And one time, my dad said how proud he was of me for being so “domesticated,” and I was all, “You mean like a dog?” and I was totally traumatized and nearly drank an entire bottle of wine (this was pre-baby).
….once again, my comment goes off the rails. I really should go to sleep before I OH! A BUTTERFLY!!!
When I’m living with you, not only will I do your concrete projects, holiday rolls, and make you fancy giant hats, I will also do the ironing. But only sometimes, because sometimes I’m enthused and I love it and every shirt is magically wrinkle-free with the barest swish of the iron, and other times I burn holes in the clothes. It’s 50/50, really.
Holy hell, this is going to be the BEST FREAKING LIVING ARRANGEMENT EVER!!! Because not only will our concrete projects get finished (and they are many) but rolls! Hats! And now ironing? Sometimes ironing is a lot more than never ironing, which is where we’re at now, so it’s good! It’s good.
Move to a damper climate! Friends from the South tell me they leave the house wrinkled but the ambient humidity combined with sweat soon pouring from their bodies in the wet heat causes the wrinkles to smooth away.
At home I get this effect by hanging clothes in the bathroom while I shower.