Friday, February 09, 2007

An Ode To Ironing......


"An ode to ironing, the bane of my time....
Is the monotony worth it, just to save a dime?
The ironing board beckons from it's home in the corner,
as the ironing pile begins to overflow it's border....
One wrinkle down...hundreds more to go....
As the steam rises, my thoughts overflow....
towards missed opportunities and adventures to come,
my dreams rise up, and float away towards the sun.
But then my reverie is broken by the hissing machine...
and I'm back to my chore.... just the iron and me....."

Okay, excuse my lack of poetic skills. Ironing is my VERY least favorite chore in the whole world. Up until my husband got his current job, I never had to iron...a quick throw into the dryer did the trick just fine. Now he has to wear dress clothes each day and it's my job as the "Domestic Engineer"...ahem... to launder and iron them. We don't want to waste money on dry-cleaning or be exposed to the toxins it puts out. I guess there is a "right" way to iron, but I don't know what that is. I usually iron more wrinkles INTO the clothes as I'm trying to get them out. I tell my husband to blame the horrible ironing job on his hour commute.

I cope with the hour long monotony by putting in a favorite CD and doing little oompa-loompa bends to the music...or thinking deep thoughts......or chatting with Sir Laughsalot about the varied and random things that fill a 5 year-old's brain.

Do I have any ironing lovers out there? If so, please share some tricks of the trade...they would be appreciated. And for those like me, what do you do to make your chores more enjoyable? I love hearing other's ideas......

24 comments:

L.L. Barkat said...

Yes... I love it when my husband irons. (I am an ironophobe.)

L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, and this is great to link to my Salt Tag post (so, I just linked to Ode to Ironing... too bad my post is a few posts back!)

Erin said...

BlueMountainMama,
I'm here from L.L.'s blog... had to see how much you love ironing that you'd actually write a POEM to honor it. ;)

I don't like to iron either. Only do it when I have to. Truthfully, there are very few chores that I adore. (Can't say that I really detest any of them either though.)

Ironing is usually done about once a month in my house. After the kids go to bed. I'll coax my hubby to sit on the basement couch and watch a movie so I can be "with" him while I iron. I use spray starch for linen clothes and dress shirts (someone is about to tell me that's an ecological no-no, aren't they?), and spritzed water for all the rest. With cottons, sometimes I just hang the clothes from the shower curtain rod while one of my kids is taking a hot bath.
The lengths we go to in order to avoid a chore!

Jenny said...

Oh my, Amy! I love ironing. If only we lived closer, I'd iron those clothes for you. Seriously. Now that Adam wears jeans to work, I only get to iron his shirts.

I know this might not be proper form, but I always iron the back first and then the sides and sleeves. That works for me.

I know what you mean though about more wrinkles. One time Adam had a 100% cotton dress shirt and boy was it a beast! I was so happy when we replaced it with a blend. Not so crisp a shirt but not such a wrinkly mess either.

Anyway, I've gone on too long about ironing. Best wishes with the ironing...just grin and bear it.

Anna said...

Sorry bluemaountainmama...no advice from me other than to get a good dryer that has a wrinkle free cycle. :)

I actually hate ironing...BUT I love your picture here.
Hope that you are doing well and enjoying your weekend.

Christianne said...

Hi Bluemountain,

I actually enjoy ironing, though I don't do it often. I don't enjoy shirts as much as pants because they're awkward. But there's something about taking a hot, searing object across a wrinkly, cotton object and seeing that cotton flatten out like a pancake -- and the heat is so cozy to the skin when it's done!

I don't know that I think about much when I iron. I mostly just pay attention to how good it feels to watch those wrinkles go away, right beside the columns of fabric that haven't yet gotten hit by the metal magnet.

I do, however, find it has a similar catharsis to washing dishes. THIS is my favorite chore! I wish I could wash dishes every day. (We hardly ever eat at home, so there's not many dishes to be had.) I feel there's something therapeutic and spiritual about washing dishes under hot water with suds. My thoughts go up to God every time.

bluemountainmama said...

jenny and christianne- can i outsource my ironing to you? and i don't mind dishes as much. especially if i have a window over the sink, which i don't right now. that is somewhat cathartic to me, also. i can "tune out" a little more than with ironing.

erin- thanks for the tips!

bluemountainmama said...

l.l.- that's great that your husband irons. my husband will, but he does a worse job than i.

Joel and Jaime said...

This post just cracks me up!! Before we were married, I sat down and told Joel seriously, that if he wanted any ironing done after we were married---he'd have to do it himself!! I was more than willing to do the cooking, the cleaning....but the ironing?? NOPE! My mom would always laugh at the horrible job I would do-I absolutely detest the chore! I honestly believe our iron has only been out a handful of times since our wedding :/ So, my only advice is----um, I can't think of any :)

photowannabe said...

Frankly I try to avoid ironing at all costs until the pile gets too high or the one thing I need to wear is buried deep and very wrinkled. I usually watch the home and garden or the food channel while I iron. It does help the time pass.

Babystepper said...

Sorry, no tips here. I actually gave away my ironing board to my dorm boys, because I never used it and it was in the way. We just don't buy clothes if they're going to need to be ironed. I'll be in big trouble if my hubs ever has to switch from business casual to business.

Andrea said...

Amy,
I actually *like* to iron--but I'm not very good at it.

My husband is in the clothing business ( a designer), so I feel guilty sometimes about not being able to iron his clothes properly.
Ironically, (well maybe not ironically, but *funny*)...he is an excellent ironer and folder of clothes...much better than me.

I love that you iron...and I loved your poem, too. It's a good discipline, no? I always think it's good to do tedious chores you do not want to do...it disciplines you.

And on another note--*thank you* for your sweet, sweet, note to me this morning. You don't know how much you made my day....really!!
You are a celebrated and unique individual who I have so enjoyed getting to know better. Your blog (and you!) are a blessing. :)

susan said...

Our local cleaner has a shirt offer -$1 a shirt - washed, ironed, back in 2 days. No dry cleaning. I used to use them when my husband needed ironed shirts. I figured it was way cheaper than me doing it. But if you have to do it at home, spray starch is a must!

I can't believe you got so many comments on ironing! go figure

Kala said...

that was a really impressive poem you put together on ironing - It made me smile - I wondered if someone actually wrote that - you have poetic skills! As for making chores more enjoyable, I just turn up the music, and try to get it done as fast as possible - of course, sharing chores with a partner makes things much easier to bare.

kirsten said...

Jordan actually brought some clothes to my apartment once ... "can you show me how to do this?" Of course I ended up ironing the pile. :o) Here in the Pacific NW, jeans without holes is considered "dressed up" so most of the time, I can manage without ironing at all.

Thanks for the post, it made me chuckle.

AphotoAday said...

You know, a long time ago I remember my mother spending a lot of time ironing, and certainly I guess people still iron their clothes, but personally I have never had to wear stuff that required ironing... I am certainly no slave-to-fashion...

Elise said...

I love your poem! It's excellent, and I totally agree with its' spirit!
I don't like to iron, either, but fortunately rarely have to do it. When I do, it's not a great job, but it gets us by!!
I listen to books on tape, classical music, or visit with my hubby (if he's home) when I'm doing things I don't like. (folding laundry - ew)

Mom said...

Love the poem Amy. Ironing was never my favorite either. When you all were little and I would be ironing your little dresses, or one of Daddy's shirts, I would visualize in my mind the person whose garment I was ironing with loving thoughts and would pray for him or her as I ironed.
The way you girls turned out to be women of substance, faith and compassion, it is obvious that the Lord honored those prayers!

Your Loving and Proud Mom

Stacy said...

I'm with you on this one. I abhor ironing, and avoid it at all costs. (Meaning: I try not to purchase ANY clothes around here that need to be ironed, ever!)
But on the occasion that I must do it, I bear it and inadvertantly create more creases and wrinkles as I go!

Blessings to you and yours,
Stacy
www.homeschoolblogger.com/reformingmama

Rosie said...

Ironing is perhaps my favorite household chore. But then, I have an MFA in costume design..or laundry...whichever you prefer.

The best tip is to get a really wonderful iron that you love. Rowenta is my favorite home-style brand. It produces a very satisfying shot of steam. But I have a Naomoto. A big steam iron with a separate water tank. And a big Jiffy steamer. A spray bottle with some vinegar and water in it will take creases out of wool very neatly. Use purified water in your iron. It will make it last longer and won't create mineral build-up in your steam vents.

Don't dry your ironing all the way in the dryer. Best is hang drying. Use fabric softners sparingly or not at all on textiles to be ironed. Use a man's cotton hankerchief as a "press cloth" for whites and delicates.

Ironing is a Zen activity. It can cleanse your mind if you approach it with the proper ritual and respect. It's the perfect activity to empty your mind of excess thoughts and tensions. Become one with the steam and the spray starch.

bluemountainmama said...

thanks for the tips rosie! now i have a new mantra to say when i'm ironing...."become one with the iron...become one with the starch...aaahhhmmmm" . :)

Kendra said...

Well, I can't say that I like ironing or that I'm very good at it. But...I've found that adding a little essential oil to the water I put in for steam helps me along. Plus, it makes my whole house smell great. I usually use lavender, but since they're your husband's shirts you might want to consult him about scent.

Anonymous said...

OK............for you admirer's of this little poem from Bluemountainmama, here's a short sampler from a little book of poems she stapled together when she was about 6 or7...........each composed on a small piece of scrap paper, each letter a different size, some backwards and sitting whappy-cornered on the page (you Moms with young schoolers learning to print for the first time know what I'm talking about). Bluemountainmama, as the old Virginia Slim ad used to say, "You've come a long way, baby." A couple of quick peeks at your poetic past:

Tom turkey lurkey lurkey
Tom turkey lurkey

or how about

Your eyes are nice to look at,
They're nice to see with too.
But when you look in the mirror,
Your eyes are looking at you.

So............what was that you were saying about "deep thoughts?"

Dad

bluemountainmama said...

dad- you exposed me! ahh....memories! i do remember the family bringing it out during a holiday a few years back...and it providing MUCH laughter at my expense. :)