Recently I attended a small Christmas open house. During that event, I inadvertently gave away one of my secrets.
Because I am afraid that the story will get around in an exaggerated form, I want to go ahead and confess it in my blog. It’s better for me to tell this in fact form rather than wait until it hits the street.
I have a habit that I can’t break. I don’t even want to. It’s something I do at night, waiting until the children are asleep and the restaurant guy is at work. I really don’t want anyone around while I do it. It’s not that I am ashamed exactly, I just don’t like having to justify my habit to those who may misunderstand.
That’s right, I actually go through the hassle of ironing clothing and linens by choice. I have all sorts of paraphernalia that goes along with it that, if seen, would clearly define me as someone who irons for more than just social reasons. I have a separate board for shirt sleeves. I have a squirt bottle filled with scented lavender water for my specialty items and pillow cases. My iron is a heavy duty deluxe model.
My mother is the person who has the most trouble adjusting to the fact that this is my lifestyle choice. She remembers the carefree girl who got dressed in the morning out of a laundry basket, or from a pile of clothes on a chair. Such a radical change from my youth is too much for her to be able to take in.
Ironing is an escape for me. I can turn my brain off, put in an old movie, and just concentrate on nothing. The sputter of the starch spray, the hiss of steam from the iron, the feel of smooth cloth under my finger tips, and the hangers of pressed clothes lined up give me a sense of relaxation. It even smells like an “ahhh”. I like to follow the folds of a pleated skirt, or created knife edge pleats in khaki pants; perfection is easy to accomplish.
I even iron my pillowcases.
I hold myself down to once a week, and when I am done, I have a measurable accomplishment. At night, when I slide into bed after a shower and lay my head on my pillow with its freshly crisped case, I am soothed. The cotton is as smooth and soft as silk, with the scent of lavender and starch. It’s like hugging a grandma.