Rural Living

High-Dollar Wrinkle Removers


by Margo Oxendine, Contributing Writer

Margo Oxendine

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 iron.

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 do.

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 smell.

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 all.

To order Margo Oxendine’s A Party of One, email, or call 540-468-2147 Mon-Thurs from 9-5.


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