I can even handle the folding and putting away, although I miss the days when I did laundry on summer vacation and could fold while watching “Days of Our Lives” or “The Young and the Restless.” I hear people don’t watch soap operas anymore, which is really not such a great loss, but I have to tell you — nothing gets laundry done faster than trying to make sure all clothing is distributed to the appropriate bedrooms before a commercial break is over.
No, for me, the hard part is the ironing. Oh, the ironing. I have no one to blame but myself — after all, I was the one who suggested we nix the dry cleaner. Why did I think that was a good idea?
Think what you will, but we did not iron in the Parsons house. Occasionally, my dad would need a shirt ironed for something, although he could dress quite casually for his job, and my mom would put it on the floor and iron without an ironing board. I tried to do that once, but it didn’t work out so well for me.
When I still lived in my apartment, I once felt the need to iron something and I actually used my treadmill as the ironing board stand-in. It may not have been the best, but it got the job done, and I was pretty proud of my ingenuity.
But I really hate for my husband to head off to work in treadmill-ironed shirts. Somehow, it just doesn’t seem professional.
No, these days, the job actually requires an ironing board. I set it up in the bedroom, trying to channel the productivity of the soap opera days, but it was no use. The pile of shirts ready to be ironed never got any smaller. I would iron one shirt a day, so Brandon would have one to wear to work the next day, and then let the rest just hang out in the basket.
As you can imagine, this only resulted in a never-emptying basket. Shirts are worn, get dirty, get washed and end up back in the ironing basket. Finally, I got tired of looking at it, so I put it in the laundry room, where it’s still hanging out.
So far, I haven’t found a better solution. Obviously, the best solution is to iron all the shirts when they come out of the dryer. I know that’s what I need to do, but sometimes, knowing what we need to do and having the mental fortitude to actually do it are two different things.
My house is clean as a whistle because, every day after work, I sweep the floors, do the dishes, clean the counter tops and sink tops, anything I can think of to assuage my guilt for not ironing those crazy shirts.
Now I know why they invented dry cleaners. The “I iron on my treadmill” types are keeping them in business.
But I will not be defeated. It turns out, ironing is not that hard, just time consuming. My aunt got me a new iron as a wedding present that doubles as a steamer, and I always feel virtuous when I press the little button and see the puffs coming out. I usually have to refill the water after every shirt because I get so carried away with the steaming. There are so many functions on this iron, I feel like it’s more high-tech than my iPhone.
Wrinkled clothes, dirty toilets — the stuff that makes married life so glamorous.
I have actually figured out the shirts that take the least time to iron, and I keep washing and ironing them over and over again. Brandon is probably wondering what happened to all of his clothes.
I plan to do some research on the best wrinkle-free shirts, maybe set up my iPod speakers in the laundry room to try and ease some of the boredom while I’m steaming, and try to quit whining and iron more than one shirt at a time.
I gotta tell you, though, cleaning those toilets is sounding better and better all the time.
Contact Rachel Parsons at email@example.com, or follow her on Twitter, @ParsonsRachel.