Ironing a shirt in 1953 Germany
Ironing a shirt in 1953 Germany

Is there a domestic chore more mind numbing than ironing? Probably not.  Washing the dishes comes a close second but ironing is way up there in the tedious, infuriating and soul destroying categories.

Slightly over-dramatic? Perhaps but if I ever get around to winning the lottery the first person I will hire is someone to do my ironing.  And then maybe a butler.  I’ve always fancied the idea of a butler.  Jeeves or Ellington or Carrington.  Yes! Carrington.  Preferably Carrington would be a butler who enjoys ironing and that would kill two birds with one stone.  So to speak.  And also save on wages.

Anyway, in the absence of Carrington I have to do my own ironing for the time being and really, I will iron the very bare minimum that I can get away with.  Basically, anything I need for work and some jeans and that is it.  I will reluctantly iron an outfit for a night out if I feel it requires it.  I’m not going to be standing on any red carpets when I’m out (unless the pub has a red carpet as part of its decor) and the only person who might be taking my picture is the obligatory sozzled person in the pub who’s on his work night about and wants pictures of EVERYTHING.

Although, in thinking about it, in this social media age I could appear on a Facebook page dedicated to shaming those people who step outside without ironing their clothes.  Named and shamed!

Ironing, according to its Wikipedia page is commonly done to a temperature of 180-220 degrees Celsius.  It also appears that the Chinese might be behind the inventing of the process known as ironing.

Ironing is just a task the world should do without.  First of all, the iron.  Still, in this day and age, irons come with that cord (used to call it the ‘flex’ but that might have been a local word).  You know the cord though, it’s not a normal wire.  It’s, well, cord.  Here’s a picture of said cord (flex).  Funnily enough, it’s not attached to an iron, which is, ironically, what tends to happen to iron cord (flex) after a short period of time.

Iron Cord

Iron cord (flex) will never look that good on your own iron though.  With the best will in the world, as carefully as you put the iron away every time, the cord will twist.  Not twist so that you can untwist it and sort it but TWIST so that it can never be untwisted and eventually it will start fraying…

Fraying, a bit like my nerves when I have to iron.  I wouldn’t iron at all but if I turned up at work all wrinkled there would be steam all right, but not coming from an iron, more likely from the ears of a boss.  So it has to be done.

So, I get the ironing board out, then the iron.  Now, filling up the iron with water is the start of the frustration because as much as I try, and I am not the only one, the water will never just go directly into the iron, it’ll end up pouring down the sides and all over whichever surface you’ve put the iron on while filling it.  That spouted cup that comes with the iron never works.  The water goes everything.  Guaranteed.

Finally get the iron filled up, then begins the process of actual ironing.  Does anyone else find themselves ironing in more creases than they are trying to get out? Or when you’re ironing something like jeans and they just won’t iron.  At it for ages and there are still little creases visible to the naked eye.

Then you’re just about at the end of the pile of ironing, maybe three or four items left but what’s happened? The iron has run out of water and needs refilled.  That whole palaver again.

Why do we iron though? To look neat and tidy? Well, you iron something, you put it on and it gets crushed again.  How many times have you thought to yourself in a sarcastic tone ‘really glad I bothered to iron that!’.

Are there really people out there who look for people who haven’t ironed something and will point and laugh and say ‘look at her, she never ironed that tee-shirt, she’s sooooo creased’? Actually, there probably are.

Viva the ironing revolution, I will lead it.  Let’s make it cool to be creased.