Thursday, April 12, 2012

Aging Gracefully

In 2002, we were in Washington, DC for my sister's wedding. While we were getting ready for the rehearsal dinner, which was being held in the groom's parents' suite, I was a little frantic* about the effects of suitcase rumpling on the blouse I had planned to wear. I called out to Son-One (then almost 14), "Please bring me the wrinkle releaser!"

He brought it to me and said, "What do you need this for? You don't have any wrinkles."

Flash forward to this week, a mere 10 years later. Daughter-Only is a cashier at the local grocery store. The wife of a co-worker went through her line and Daughter-Only said, "Aren't you Rich's wife?"

The wife said, "Yes, aren't you Masked Mom's granddaughter?"

*Not frantic enough to actually use, or even seriously consider using, the iron that was readily available in the bathroom of our suite. Iron is a four-letter word, have you noticed? And four is exactly the number of times I've used an iron in my entire married life. (Three for each of the boys' gowns for high school graduation and once a shirt Hubby needed for a job interview.) When Daughter-Only was seven, she saw an iron on the counter when we were visiting a friend of mine and she asked me what it was. Needless to say, this friend (who has a serious clothes fetish) was deeply amused.

22 comments:

  1. As one who was raised in mid-century, you know the one where housewives (my mother) ironed everything, including sheets and underwear, an iron and board were always something that was included at a wedding shower.
    I always had an ironing basket full, waiting. I would never let the kids wear anything that wasn't ironed.
    I was shocked to find out that my daughter doesn't own one.
    But since I retired, I very rarely pull out one of the two irons that I own.

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    1. The generational thing does seem to have a lot to do with it. I have a friend at work who is only about twelve years older than me and she routinely irons not just her dress pants but her blue jeans. Like I say below, I liked to do it growing up, especially at my grandmother's house--but probably because there was a certain novelty to it.

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  2. Are you serious??????? There is such a product as this wrinkle releaser? I guess there is b/c I clicked on the link and there is was! Where has this been all my life?
    Naturally, as a girl coming of age in the 60's I was educated in all things ironing - one of my weekly jobs was to iron the boys' white uniform shirts and my own white uniform blouses. I learned early the "proper" technique for ironing all sorts of garments - what sections get ironed in what order. RR still has shirts that should be ironed (mostly b/c we don't get them out of the dryer fast enough) and he irons them as often as i do these days (I am the one who goes off to the salt mines every day - he has FAR more discretionary time than I do) . But I am going to get some of this wrinkle releaser stuff and try it out! awesom

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    1. It's a pretty amazing product--it doesn't really replace ironing for stubborn wrinkles or for more formal type clothes, but for casual clothes like T-shirts, etc. it can take them from pretty severely rumpled to presentable. There was a period of time when the kids were teens and EVERYTHING stayed in the dryer too long that this stuff was indispensable arond our house.

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  3. I iron all the time. Not because I like to, but because my kids have clothes that wrinkle, and like lyndagrace, I would never let them wear something that wasn't ironed!

    I don't have too many of the other kind of wrinkles, but I also haven't been carded in ages! My daughter and I were at the bank and the teller asked if she was on break from college....do I look old enough to have a college age daughter? I sure didn't think so!

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    1. When my coworker told me this story (because Daughter-Only sure didn't), I laughed out loud. I said, "That's hilarious!" My coworker said, "No, it's not!" He seemed slightly disappointed that I wasn't devastated. ;)

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  4. I've always owned an iron, but never an ironing board. As an older child and teen, I actually liked ironing. It was never my chore, so I loved to do it. My mother always did my father's work shirts, but my grandmother did EVERYTHING and she had this old glass pepsi bottle with a cork top that had little holes in it to sprinkle water on the clothes (before the water could be put directly into the iron)--I always thought that was the COOLEST thing. ;)

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    1. Youngest Sister4/13/12, 11:02 PM

      I could just be haing reverse amnesia here (you know, remembering things that didn't happen), but I know that in New Hampshire, I ironed quite a few shirts (still have the scar from when the iron fell on my arm to prove it). Of course, hubby's mom said something about ironing the other day and I had to admit that I wasn't even sure ours had moved with us last August.

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    2. I remember you burning yourself with the iron. I have to say reverse amnesia, like so many things, reminded me of a Steven Wright quote: "I like to reminisce with people I don't know. Granted, it takes longer."

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  5. I never iron. When I worked as a waitress, I had to wear dress shirts and I was written up for their appearance. I ironed wrinkles INTO them and stained them with rusty water. I, like you, own wrinkle releaser, and I firmly believe is placing a wet rag in my dryer to "reboot" the clothes and release wrinkles. If something MUST be ironed, my husband does it, just like the sewing. Ironing is so 19th century.

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    1. Ah, yes, the wet rag trick is one with which we are very familiar around here as well!

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  6. My mom had a basket just for ironing. If you had something that needed it, you put it in the 'ironing basket'. She would stand for what seemed like hours every Saturday night ironing the stuff in that basket. I used to iron my jeans and even sweatshirts. No more. I only do it when I have to, and then I use my bed instead of an ironing board.

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    1. When I've had to do it, I've used the dining room table with clean towels down. It was kind of funny, but a little sad that when I did the graduation gowns, everyone kept coming up with a severely wrinkled pair of shorts or a dress shirt for me to do while I had the iron out. It was a true EVENT each time.

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  7. My mom irons. Dad always wearing suits and shirts and everything formal all the time, I'm quite used to the ironing board and iron. I hate ironing though, I'm not a fan of things I'm not good at. Although, I'm sure that fact has something to do with me never ironing anything anyways. *sigh* My grandma irons everything too, and she does it with such practice I get cases of envy...

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    1. I used to love watching my grandmother iron because she was so GOOD at it. And I loved the smell of the steam and the starch and the warm cloth. This is actually making me WANT to iron. Hmmmm. Blogging is dangerous.

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  8. My Mom taught me to iron using my Dad's handkerchiefs. As a military wife, she starched and ironed all the time. I have an iron, but I'm not sure where it is. Mostly, I buy clothes that don't need to be ironed, or hang out with people who don't care if I'm wrinkled. I had a roommate once who ironed a crease into his jeans, then drove his Camaro off to the bars while laying back as far as possible in the driver's seat so as not to ruin his outfit. I never understood him.

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    1. My mom was a military wife, too. And as for crease-pants Camaro dude--how could he possibly ENJOY life if he was walking around that concerned about his clothes? This concept is completely alien to me. :)

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  9. Ha! A year spend backpacking o/s taught me that an iron is vastly over-rated. . and I tend to buy clothes that don't need ironing. I know that if I wear it once and need to wash and iron it, it probably won't get worn very often.
    Must investigate the wrinkle-releaser though!
    Stella x

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    1. As I said above, I really did love the product--especially for the boys when they were teenagers. There's such a fine line between rumpled chic and out-and-out unkempt and we liked to keep them on the right side of that line when we sent them out in public.

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  10. Who knew people had such strong feelings about ironing? I guess I do, too, since I keep my ironing to about one garment a decade. I'm old enough to remember when "perma pressed" clothes came out, and I gave up wearing linen many years ago to avoid ironing it! For everything else, as it comes out of the dryer is how I wear it (although I will throw the damp towel in the dryer if clothes are looking too sad).

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  11. Second niece5/1/12, 3:32 PM

    I'm not sure if you've ever heard this story so here is my best (and worst)ironing memory. During the summer of 2008 My best friend and I decided to make shirts for a concert we were attending. We went to wal-mart and got all the necessity items for shirt making and then set up shop on her computer room floor. We were using iron on letters to decorate the shirts. We were about half way done when she went down stairs to get us snacks or something. I looked around at the work we had done and naturally leaned back into a proper thinking position to decide what our next step would be. I had been alone with my thoughts for a few seconds when all of a sudden it felt as if there were needles poking all over the top of my right rear cheek. I was so deep in thought that instead of moving I just pondered for a few more seconds on what could possibly be causing this prickly sensation. A little common sense and a sudden wave of heat kicked in and I jumped up to look down and see that my low rise jeans had lost the battle with the ever mighty, rarely used iron.
    I learned many lessons that day.

    Somehow related yet not at all related to that incident any time my best friend and I have a momentary lapse of judgement or need an excuse to get away from something we say "I left my iron on."
    (Which happens to be one of John Travolta's most memorable lines from hairspray.)

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    1. The best lessons are the ones we learn the hard way, right? And it's hard to imagine a harder way than an iron burn to your butt cheek.

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