Don’t Press Me!: The Debate About Ironing

by Cate

Antique charcoal iron

Do you know why they call this is a “sadiron”? It’s because it was invented by Henry G. Sad.

Within the Slow Laundry movement, there is a lot of disagreement on the subject of ironing. Some people, like my husband D.J., think that ironing is an integral part of the seventeen-stage laundry process and should be done using traditional tools like “sadirons” or a well-trained musk-ox.

Other, smarter people believe that ironing is frivolous and that your time could be better spent…well actually, any way you spend time is better than ironing with a sadiron. Except maybe ironing with two sadirons.

This is actually a minor point of contention within our household. I mean, it’s not like D.J. and I are going to get divorced over it (ha ha!). But we have been attending weekly marriage-counseling sessions to help resolve the issue. (Incidentally, it is surprisingly difficult to find a marriage counselor who doesn’t say “just iron your clothes with a regular iron to avoid this fight altogether.” So the guy we’re seeing isn’t technically a marriage counselor so much as he is a butcher. Well, “charcutier,” actually. Sorry, Jerry.)

Personally, I believe that the only way to allow your clothing to fulfill its destiny is to let it be itself. If that means being wrinkled, then you should let it be wrinkled! And as it turns out, pretty much all clothing wants to be wrinkled.

Just to be clear, my position on ironing has nothing to do with the fact that this chore takes me fourteen hours a week and causes over 90% of our kitchen fires. I just want my clothing to achieve self-actualization.

Pressed shirt

You can tell this shirt hates itself.

D.J., on other hand, thinks my anti-ironing position is extremist—like those Slow Laundry Fundamentalists who don’t believe in doing laundry at all, and instead just wear their clothing out in the rain once in a while. He works in an office where people are expected to wear clothing that has been forced into an unnaturally crisp and flat state (although this doesn’t explain why he insists that I also iron his underwear, or why he will only wear socks that are made out of silk.

How has your household handled the age-old ironing debate? D.J. and I have managed to reach a compromise, in which I don’t iron his clothes, and he tries to stay in constant motion when people are looking at him.


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