I am not in the habit of disappointing my mother. She has always celebrated every small achievement and let me know how proud she is of me. I was not a child who was starved of affection, constantly seeking acknowledgement. I had plentiful amounts of praise, and still do. It has made me somewhat hooked on getting good feedback, but I also think it has given me self-confidence and security.
However, I have one significant failing. (Not just one, I’m sure there are many if I sat and thought about it, but I fear that may quickly decimate the self-confidence my mum has spent years building up so I shan't). In this regard I know for a fact she is ashamed to call me her daughter. I cannot iron. Honestly, this is not a case of will not masquerading as cannot. It is just one of those things I am unable to do.
I do try. The first time I was let loose, I decided to practice on my school tie, promptly melted it into a scarred, scorched, strip of fabric and had to wear a jumper all summer just to keep the mutilated material tucked in and out of sight. It wasn't that typical teenager trick of doing something badly so you don’t get asked again. Even now I can’t iron. The Husband practically dives past me towards the ironing pile when I announce my laundry based plans, to protect his clothes from my advances. Mum has a startling (to me) ability to iron a shirt with razor sharp creases in the sleeves. By the time I have finished you can concertina the cuffs.
So in our house The Husband does the ironing. I am quite envious. Of the household chores it is quite a good one. You can watch a film whilst you work. It is pleasantly productive. You start with a pile of clothes and by the end it has transformed into a wardrobe of ready to wear outfits. The fruits of your labour are apparent for all to admire.
It is admiration that I would happily receive. Mum is always impressed when I tell her The Husband has done the ironing. “Wash, Dry, Iron clothes and Put Away” was a constant on her to-do lists when I was growing up. It is a very satisfying task to tick off. Being up-to-date with the ironing is a laudable aim. I understand that. I like to start and finish something. I hate putting all the ironing away (I am allowed to help with that part) and then finding a freshly discarded pair of socks in the laundry basket. The ironing never remains up-to-date for long. There isn't really an answer, apart from not washing clothes, which still isn’t really an answer.
I am not someone who can wear things without them being ironed. And I am definitely not someone who can iron things as they need them. I shudder at the thought of a never-ending ironing pile only being depleted one item at a time. I couldn't fathom it. Completely ignoring the fact that I find getting up and out of the house in some semblance of a reasonable outfit and being at my destination vaguely on time traumatic enough each morning. If I thought I had to lift out the iron and ironing board aswell (because they have to be put away when not in use obviously) I would quite definitely just not get up.
As a way of appeasing my guilt, we bought a steam generator iron recently. The Husband is enthralled. Everyone who visited got a demonstration. By introducing a gadget, suddenly ironing was cool. Added to that our recent subscription to Netflix, and honestly, it became a Friday night favourite. I did several hours of ironing the other day, in an attempt to get in on the action. The new iron was brilliant. I watched a great film. The ironing was up-to-date, it was a huge achievement, and my mum was impressed. Then The Husband came to wear a freshly laundered t-shirt. He tried really hard to hide his abject horror but I know him too well. I am back on putting-away duty.