Do you own an iron? How about an ironing board?
It would seem the two would be inseparable, but that
is not always the case. Gentlemen (and ladies) admit it: You have ironed
something by laying it on the bed. We all have.
I got to thinking about ironing the other day at the
hair salon. No, I wasn’t having my own hair ironed, although that is
something I actually did in college. We’d line up and iron each other’s
hair. I also remember “rolling” my hair up in washed-out orange juice
cans, and sitting around the dorm with a bunch of other girls looking
just as ridiculous. But I digress.
I was sitting in the chair, getting as beautiful as I
could, and the stylist gave me a Williams-Sonoma catalog to look
through. Williams-Sonoma offers all sorts of wonderful, weird,
way-too-expensive things for the home and kitchen.
And there, I saw it: An ironing board. For $180.
Huh? I said to myself, showing it to the stylist and
exclaiming, “Who pays $180 for an ironing board?” Or, has it been so
very long since I bought one that they, too, have increased in price. I
believe that the woman who buys a $180 ironing board also pays a
housekeeper to do her ironing.
The catalog also had irons for sale. Several of them
cost $175. And then, there was the Miele Rotary Iron, priced at $2,199.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The photo shows a spiffy housewife, wearing suede
flats (and you know, we all wear those around the house), sitting
happily in her laundry room, ironing tablecloths with the $2,199 rotary
Just for fun, I looked it up online and scrolled down
to the comments. Surprisingly, not one woman commented on the cost of
the thing, other than the one who enthused, “Well worth the $$$!”
Another woman exulted about how her husband had
bought her one for her birthday. Hello? If I had a husband who wanted to
spend more than $2,000 for my birthday, I’d much prefer a trip to New
York City. I once had a husband who bought me a Crock pot for
Christmas. It was our last holiday together.
Another happy commentator mentioned how nicely her
sheets look after ironing them. Do people still do that? Iron their
sheets? For heaven’s sake, why?
Here’s my secret for sheets, or tablecloths, or
placemats, or really, anything that needs ironing: Get them out of the
washing machine as soon as it slows down enough so the spinner does not
break your arm. Immediately hang outside in the sunshine, being careful
to place items on the line just-so. Haphazard hanging simply will not
When the items are dry, they are ready to carefully
unpin and bring inside. Voila! Truthfully, I haven’t ironed in years.
That was not always the case. I developed a passion
for ironing when I was
4 years old. Mom bought me a tiny ironing board and a
real, working little iron. My job became ironing Daddy’s handkerchiefs.
Yes, back in the day, every gentleman carried a fresh handkerchief in
his pocket every single day. And that handkerchief was always
meticulously folded into eighths, with each fraction pressed into place.
Daddy’s handkerchiefs were works of art when I was done with them.
I graduated into ironing more cumbersome clothing
and, finally, did all the family’s ironing. I stood happily in the spare
room for hours on end, ironing and humming. There’s a certain instant
gratification to ironing that I learned to love, until I discovered
horses and boys and pianos to occupy my thoughts. Fortuitously, that is
about the time polyester became all the rage. Anyone who has ever tried
to iron polyester knows it is pure folly. And creates an icky chemical
I do own an iron and an ironing board. I think I know
where the iron is. I am unsure about the ironing board. Lucky for me, I
know how to make it out to the clothesline.
By the way, if you’ve just got to have a Miele rotary
iron, they’re on sale right now for just $1,999. Ah, the irony of it
To order Margo Oxendine’s A Party of One, email
firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 540-468-2147 Mon-Thurs from 9-5.