Monday, September 26, 2005

Wrinkle Patrol

I just got off duty. Wrinkle patrol—ironing that is. I realize that to admit that I iron “dates” me. Most women these days don’t iron. Many don’t even own an iron. Call me old-fashioned, but I still think that my husband’s casual shirts and kakis deserve a little smoothing out and a crisp crease.

In the early days of our marriage, I took in other people’s ironing to help put food on the table for our wee ones. I didn’t want to leave by babies in daycare. Thus, I opted to iron men’s long-sleeved, white, 100% cotton shirts for ten cents apiece. Baskets piled high with shirts were dropped off. Rows of freshly pressed shirts were picked up.

The task was tedious. First, I sprinkled the shirts with water and folded them back into the basket, covering them with plastic. Dampened shirts were much easier to iron. Then I would spend hours on my feet with my iron and starch.

Then came the era of polyester and double knit. Women were convinced that the days of ironing were gone forever. Yes, I was temporarily delivered from wrinkle patrol. But that didn’t last long. Polyester became a thing of the past, and it was back to the comfort of cotton.

Do I like to iron? Not really. It’s a mundane chore to say the least. I procrastinate more often than I care to admit.

However, when I think about it, I like the power I posses with my hot iron and spray starch. Wrinkles quiver as I attack and win the battle. I’m in charge! If only it was the easy to smooth out my ever-increasing facial wrinkles.

What I really want is to iron out the wrinkles of life! I want to smooth away sadness and disappointment for myself and others. And if I could only steam out wrinkles in relationships, finances, and health—press out problems of every sort. Since I can’t, I will have to settle for what I can do—pointing rumpled hearts to the Heavenly Father. He can handle the wrinkles of life that I can’t. As for me, I had better stick to me weekly wrinkle patrol in the laundry room.

(c) 2005 Marlene Depler

1 comment:

Alice said...

I don't really mind ironing at all, and I'd certainly rather iron clothes than wear them wrinkled. Ironing today is much easier than when I used to help Mum as a child. We lived on a dairy farm with no electricity so we used flat irons that were heated on the wood stove. Believe it or not, to check if they were hot enough we would pick them up, turn them over and spit on them. If it sizzled, then they were hot enough. I remember making a bridesmaid's dress on the treadle sewing machine and ironing it with the flat irons. One day I didn't check just how hot the iron was and took a piece right out of the back of the dress. Fortunately, it was only the lining so I was able to cut another and replace it. Those flat irons are usually found only in antique shops today or propping doors open.