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.