I thought the rumpled look was only for the young kids who are part of the ripped, drooping, sagging, distressed generation. I guess I was wrong. I guess even the grown-ups of today are satisfied with rumpled.
I came to that decision after persuading George to haul my old, heavy, metal ironing board down to the thrift store, the board I replaced with a much lighter, easier-to-use-although-not-as-well-made, newer model. Easier on the old back and the gratzy shoulder. But someone else, someone younger and stronger, might like that old one just fine, I thought.
Nope, the store didn’t want it.
“It won’t sell,” the woman told my husband. “Nobody irons any more.”
Really? Am I the only person anywhere who actually stands over a steaming iron,
even in the dead of summer in an non-air- conditioned room, carefully pressing out the wrinkles and rumples from our clothes?
It seems I must be. And how strange, considering that cotton clothing has become so popular. It’s very comfortable, to be sure, but I don’t care how fast you take it out of the dryer, it’s going to be rumpled. The button plackets are going to curl. The hems are going to fold up. They’re going to have that all-night-on-a-park-bench personality.
Now that I think about it, though, I shouldn’t be surprised. Ironing is old-fashioned. It’s the attention to detail that women used to take pride in. Nowadays, so many women “don’t sew,” either. They might quilt, or maybe do crafts, but they don’t sew. They leave their own and their husband’s pants legs dragging on the ground because they can’t manage a simple hem. They let the short sleeves on their husband’s shirts hang down over their elbows like an older brother’s hand-me-downs. They think a button box is some kind of accordion. They aren’t taught, or don’t want to learn, things that have always been considered part of running a home and a family.
I don’t advocate the opposite extreme, of course. I once knew a woman who ironed her son’s t-shirts and shorts, and all the bed sheets. Not me. After all, you have to draw a line somewhere. But to not even OWN an ironing board?
Well, to each his own, I guess. Maybe I’m old-fashioned to make sure George’s dress pants have a crease, that his tux shirt looks crisp, that both of our cotton shirts look straightened and fresh. But I just can’t quench the feeling of satisfaction I get from having addressed the details, of having expended the bit of extra time needed to spiff and polish just a bit.
Meanwhile, does anyone know of a use for an unwanted ironing board?