Last night as I was ironing the EO’s shirts for work, I had a little epiphany. I caught myself thinking “I never thought I’d be doing this.” After all, I consider myself a feminist, I’ve become over the years a very casual person, and the thought that I’m spending my Sunday evening in my studio ironing my husband’s work shirts seemed a bit incongruous.
But you know, I enjoy it. I’m not the best ironer in the world: the EO could and probably would do a better job on his own – but I find it meditative and it gives me time to think. Generally the EO does our laundry – something I absolutely detest, especially the standing around folding it part, so it balances out nicely.
But my thought was in error, too. As soon as I thought I never imagined I’d be doing it, I realized it wasn’t true – when I was 9 I begged Mom to let me iron my father’s work shirts and pants; and yes, handkerchiefs. I thought I’d be helping Daddy by doing it. I realize now that when I learned to do the ironing I took a real chore off Mom’s hands, making life easier for her.
So I still enjoy ironing. Unless I’m sewing. I’m impatient, and the time it takes to move to the ironing board and press a seam irks me. Strange how the same act can feel so different. I think it’s because one way is long and meditative, and the other I perceive as an interruption to something otherwise meditative. I haven’t integrated it in with the sewing: it’s still a separate chore. I think it’s time to readjust my thinking.