At 5am this morning, I listen to a colleague’s recording while I spray water on pillowcases. The hot steam presses out wrinkles. The cases crisp up and soften. I grab for the top sheet and iron three-quarters of it. Who cares where it tucks into the bottom of the bed. I then start on the dishtowels. At last comes my white shirt. The seams lay flat now. The collar perks up with sizing.
Sometimes, the greater part of valor is action that lets you breathe. slow down. See results. Ironing does that for me. When the news shrieks disaster and doom and politicians refuse to do anything that hurts their re-election status, we stand dumbfounded, helpless, and furious. That’s when I iron. I see results. I think. I also remember how Mom taught me to iron: first on Dad’s handkerchiefs and then pillowcases. The iron was heavy and the ironing board made of wood. I graduated to shirts, learning you started with the placket at the back, then the collar, then the body and finally the sleeves. Inevitably, somewhere along the line, I’d also wind up with a couple burns. I’ll bet few, if any, children today are taught to iron. Heck, their parents probably don’t even own one or if they do, it is tucked away in that secret utility room closet. Pity. What do you think?