Let’s iron it out.

I am fashion major. I mean, I actually went to school to study fashion. I did minor in marketing, but bottom line, I am a fashion major. I am not very talented when it comes to envisioning a piece of clothing, when I put it on paper and then sew it, it literally NEVER turns out the way I wanted it to BUT I am good at improvising, so in the end, it doesn’t look anything like my drawing but it looks like something else, that someone else could have drawn. Whether or not it looks good is a totally different story.

I learned how to properly iron anything from the smallest piece of garment to huge meters and meters of fabrics. 5 years I did nothing other than ironing. Several hours a week I would stand in front of a industry ironing board and iron, iron, iron and yes, iron. At least that’s what it felt like. I complained a lot, not only because industry ironing boards are very loud and the irons are heavy and not at all suitable for someone like me. I can handle a dryer, very well even. But I CANNOT handle a iron. There are countless times when I burnt a fabric, because the iron was too hot, but seriously, how am I supposed to know when the iron is too hot and why would anyone ever need an iron to be too hot? Somehow I could always save my fashioned things. The spots either where intended or not visible, that was just my luck. I think my teachers knew about my inability to iron anything, but they didn’t give me a hard time about it, I guess they figured I wouldn’t iron another thing after school in my life anyways.

My mom never asked me to do any ironing at home, I think she liked doing it, even though it took her hours and hours to iron the clothes for the five of us. But I think part of her actually really enjoyed doing it. She would do the laundry several times a week, let it dry and then iron it on the weekends (we did not own a dryer). I once tried ironing my shirt before going to school but my mom shooshed me away, she told me she would do it. I believe that to my mom her iron is like her baby, she guards it and she does not let anyone touch it.  Needless to say that day I went to school wrinkle-free.

My grandma would wash her clothes, let them dry and iron them off the drying rack, she too did not have a dryer. I would come and visit her and watch her as she would stand and iron her and my grandpa’s clothes and all kinds of other fabrics. I once asked her why she did it, I mean seriously, do I need a towel to be ironed? I am just going to use it for drying off later anyways… She said yes, it was necessary, just like making your bed. It was necessary. I ask you why. I mean, seriously WHY is making your bed necessary? Who is going to look at it and judge me by my unmade bed? Who, I ask you.

I never iron a thing. I wash my clothes, let them dry, fold them and put them away. Just so you know, yes, my wardrobe is a mess, I never find a single thing, but I do save a lot of time on not ironing a thing, although I guess it evens out if you count in the countless times I am looking for something specific to wear… I do not own a single thing that requires ironing if it did require ironing at one point, it sure doesn’t require any anymore. Looking messy is the new in, at least I keep telling myself that.

Well, that is until the other day, when I was reminded of why I do not iron a thing. My mom and grandma would say, that if I would practice ironing, it would have not happened, I say it happened once, it will probably happen again, I just should stop trying. I was getting ready for work, pulling out my most favorite cotton sweater and it was just a mess. It was buried underneath clothes, smushed and wrinkled and no matter at what angle I tried looking at myself, it did not look good. I guess that’s what my grandma meant, when she said it was necessary.

But of course, I figured, I just iron it, right? Well, wrong. I am not very familiar with our iron, since A is the one that does most of the ironing and he only irons things as he needs them. He had it adjusted to his needs, meaning, it irons shirts just fine and I guess that’s about the only thing this iron from hell can iron just fine. So when ironing my super soft, wonderful white sweater, I had to completely rely on my senses, meaning smell, sound, sight and feel. I gladly plugged in the iron and it felt just like it did back in school: completely unnecessary. But then again, I wanted to look good. I ironed my shirt inside out, if you ask me why, I have no idea, I just felt like it.

I am, what you would refer to as book-smart, but definitely not street-smart, no matter how hard I try. After a few minutes of ironing, I was smelling something that I could, thanks to my education, identify as burnt cotton. I have no idea where my head was at, since I did not make the connection. I kept, slowly and carefully ironing, until I heard a sizzling noise. Now, THAT was odd, an iron should NEVER make that noise. By then I was already done with the ironing and didn’t care about the smell or noise anymore. I put on my sweater, glanced at the mirror and basically headed out the door without any second thought.

My day at work was going great, I had a bunch of customers and they were all super friendly. I sold a lot, had some good laughs and genuinely enjoyed myself at work that day.  Right before lunch my colleague gave me a puzzled look. I asked him what the matter was and he said, “Did you know that your shirt is covered in black spots on your shirt?” I looked at him terrified and raced to the bathroom, and there it was. My mess of ironing. A few big nice burnt brown and black spots on my most favorite white sweater. Seriously? Why did I not notice these things? Needless to say that that day my sweater landed in the hall of fame of things that I did burn.

Needless to say, ironing is nothing I will be doing again any time soon…

burnt shirt

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