In Support of Ironing Abstinence: THINK OF THE CHILDREN

Aug 20 2014

I’m not sure how to say this, exactly, so I’ll go with the blurt-it-out, say-it-like-it-is, blunt approach and just get it over with.

I ironed last week.

I ironed last week.

Me. And an ironing board. 

With an iron on it.

And I know, I know; believe me, I know. This isn’t like me. Not at all. You’re right to be confused right now. I am, after all, a staunch supporter of Ironing Abstinence, and everything I’ve previously written about housekeeping would lead you to that conclusion.

I mean, I’ve thought a lot about it over the years. I’ve read all the pamphlets. I’ve heard all the pro-ironing arguments. I’ve considered it from every angle, most of them very wrinkly, and I’ve become more and more convicted over time that Ironing Abstinence is Right for Me. 

But then, in a moment of weakness, I ironed anyway.

I’m not really sure how to justify my behavior, friends, except to say this: my cotton skirt was wrinkly. I mean, really, really wrinkly. Which I know is a poor excuse, but it’s all I’ve got. 

Yes, I know I could’ve worn something else.

Yes, I know I shouldn’t been able to even find the iron, given how well I’d hidden it behind the boxes and bags and outgrown clothes and a truly stunning amount of trash in the laundry room.

Yes, I know I should’ve given that skirt to Goodwill years ago instead of leaving it in my closet to lure me back to ironing.

And I’m torn, honestly, between congratulating myself for my many-years-long ironing abstinence and hanging my head in shame that I succumbed to the iron once again.

Here’s the worst part, though. 

My kid caught me doing it.

There I was, mid-stroke, and a 7-year-old burst through the door and stopped short, shocked to find me engaged in that activity. 

Cai’s eyes went wide, and he said, “What are you doing, Mom?”

What was I supposed to say? I’d never intended to be found out. I considered lying to spare him, but I was afraid it would be obvious and he’d know me to be both an ironer and a liar, and so, at a loss, I confessed, “I’m ironing, son.”

“For real?” he asked, bewildered.

“For real,” I said, ashamed.

“I didn’t even know we had one of those things,” he said.

“I’ve tried to shield you from that knowledge,” I replied.

And then he said, in awe, “It’s just like they do in the movies, Mom! That is so cool.”

Which is when I realized my ironing behavior does not affect just me.

No; my kid thought ironing was cool, you guys, which was a real wake-up call, I tell you.

I mean, what if my son grows up to be an ironer someday?

I’ll be all, “Where did you learn that? Why aren’t you just using the dryer on high with a wet towel and then putting on hot, wet, still wrinkly clothes at the last minute like the rest of us? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??” And he will say, “I learned it from watching you, OK?! I learned it from watching you,” before turning away with wracking sobs while I stand shocked and convicted and sad music plays in the background.

Listen. I do realize some of you iron in your own homes. And some of you may even do it regularly in front of your children. But I’d like you to consider the fact that it only takes once, friends. It only takes your kids seeing you iron once before they begin to think that kind of thing is cool. 

Please don’t find out the way I did.

Abstain from ironing today.

Because I love you very much,

P.S. If you need a place to talk about ironing – both your stories of triumphing over it and the nefarious ways it seeks to regain a foothold in your life – the comments are open. I’m here for you, friends. And I understand. xo