Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hot iron gone cold.

Early in life I have learned that washing and ironing one's own clothes is a part of life, the way brushing one's teeth is. I was taught early on that knowing how to iron clothes is a life skill and if nothing else, a necessity. We Filipinos take pride in our clean and well put appearance.

In fact, we wouldn't be caught wearing a wrinkled clothing even inside our homes.

So, imagine my surprise when I see household here in the US without an iron or ironing board in their homes. Most Americans wear creased clothing that is in dire need of ironing and yet no one give a hoot about it.

Wait, that's jumping forward.

Going back, I didn't actually get into ironing clothes when my boys were still growing up. We have a housemaid who do that for us. But when money become tight, and letting go of the house help seemed practical, I have to learn how to iron our own clothes.

Oh yes, it's a relief that irons have come a long way since the heavy cast iron monstrosities of days gone by. The one we use back in the province used charcoals to heat it. Thanks God, today we have electric irons that are time saving devices and also save me lot of effort. No wonder I find ironing very pleasant and I do it every Sunday morning after I am done with my house cleaning chores.

Yes, I like ironing. So lower you brows...please!

You see, ironing allows me time for reflection. It' is so easy to let my mind wander as I continue to work my way through the ironing pile. The simple rhythm and the soothing music relaxes me. Sundays is the best day because radio stations play old songs which really sets me in the mood.

BUT, living here in the US changed all that. It seems ironing is a task many Americans shy away from. People here go to church as if they are simply going to the supermarket. They wear shirts pulled out straight from the washing machines. Some don't even bother folding washed clothes but instead just throw them in piles on a bed.

I understand though why ironing is the last thing people here want to do after a long week of work. They have more pressing things to do on weekends like going fishing, or having a picnic, watch football games or go shopping than worry about such mundane things as ironing. Besides, everyone wears wrinkled clothes, so who cares?

So, I really don't know if I should be hopeful or scared with the thought that advancements in technology may further change the way we iron our clothes.

Maybe electric irons will become an ancient relic that we can admire and tell future children, "When I was your age..."

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