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Ironing is about Attitude

Suzanne Pollak

One day, a very long ago, a famous magazine editor, and his family, happened to be staying with us. He wanted to know where we kept our iron and ironing board, telling me unashamedly that he enjoyed ironing his shirts (or at least he did then.) He shared his ironing tricks; explaining that there was nothing to it…just pay attention to the collar, cuffs and strip with the buttons. This man -- a haughty, brilliant, intellectual with his finger on the pulse of everything everywhere -- did not turn his nose up at ironing. Who knew?

So why did I? I am ashamed to confess that I believed ironing was beneath me, a waste of time plus a pain in the neck. For years I collected antique linens and got others to iron. Now, I iron myself, and I enjoy it. My ironing sessions are for afternoons when I am doing heavy brain lifting, very difficult for me. My brain and I need frequent breaks. I am a believer in multi-tasking by pairing something that does not engage the mind with something that does. I plug in the iron; remove a few linens from my refrigerator (more on that trick in the video below) and find the back and forth of ironing soothing, contemplative, and surprisingly rewarding. In no time at all, my mind disengages enough to solve whatever weighty problem is stressing me out, plus I have a pile of lovely linen napkins ready and waiting. Like a Battalion Commander planning an exercise, I feel that one detail is completed for future dinner parties.

There is something so satisfying seeing the pieces of cloth go from wrinkly to smooth. Now if I could just figure out what handy machine gets that result on my face.