A moment of silence please as we remember the passing of my ironing board this evening. As my FHB said as he tried to revive it (it refused to collapse) “I don’t think you could have found anything made cheaper. Why do you buy junk?” . I think he was trying to make me feel better.
So I can’t identify as a member of the Greatest Generation who probably included an ironing board in their dowry. I was born in the early years of polyester but that didn’t mean that somehow I wasn’t designated as the oldest child, to be the person who would do the ironing, once I was old enough to turn on the iron and not burn myself. The the pile of clothing, including my my father’s boxers and handkerchiefs, as well as tablecloths and napkins, made for a busy couple of afternoons between Hebrew School and Girl Scouts. I know I sound like I must have been Cinderella in another fairy tale, but this was a task that I was required to do. Who knew that 11 year olds had job descriptions. My mother did not like to iron, although she told tales of her childhood when the “woman” would come in and do the weekly ironing and my mother was given a cold iron and a handkerchief to make believe she was ironing. We did not have a “woman”, I was the only one who did a lot of this horrible, and I say that with no kindness, chore. I vowed that I would NEVER own an iron, or an ironing board.
Ironic now that I would mourn having to discard such an object that I loathed for so long. As time went on, in my adult years, I went from no iron to an iron and a couple of towels on a table (a bad idea since hot iron prints are pretty impossible to eradicate from wood) to a countertop ironing board to a full sized replica of the one of my youth. We now do bring much of our ironing to a dry cleaner, who now probably has a swimming pool built on the dollars they charged for our clothes over the years and I certainly don’t begrudge them the lap pool and slide. However, once in a while there is something that seems ridiculous to spend money on ironing, when I have the years of experience behind me, to do the job and do it well. I am still that school aged organized person who picks out their clothes the night before and makes sure things are ironed so that in the morning I can get up and go. And thus, the shirt was ironed and the ironing board ready to be put away, and I might have just jammed it just a tad too hard and…..killed it. So, I am a bit grateful that Mother’s Day has passed as I am pretty sure that my FHB might have felt an obligation to get me a new and more sturdy 21st century version. I never named it, which I am generally known to do for objects that I interact with. I guess that is why we were frenemies. I found I needed it (no gender here) more that it needed me. Goodbye Gertrude (I guess everything deserves a name). I guess I hated you less than I thought.