Shannon Stacey

I don't even own starch

If you looked at the Christmas pictures I posted, you might remember that the Tall Kid showed up bright and early to open his gifts fully dressed, right down to the belt and that fastened top button.

And here he is eating his breakfast before school:

One note—thanks to crappy cellphone camera, it looks like he’s wearing a sweater vest, but he’s not. That was last year. This year’s vest is a fabric one, like you’d wear under a suitcoat.

He’s got his own style and that’s fine, but there’s something that sets his clothes apart from the rest of the family’s other than the look.

They have to be ironed.

I do own an iron. If somebody dies suddenly and I don’t have time to take our funeral clothes to the cleaners for pressing, I’ll even try to remember how to use it.

But during his kindergarten screening, the only thing TK couldn’t identify was an iron. (As if it’s his fault his parents wear jeans and t-shirts.)

Since I can’t afford that fancy dryer system with the attached steaming closet, I’m trying to make do with a rolling clothes rack. The idea is that I can take the shirts and pants directly out of the dryer and hang them on the rack, where they can stay until I pass them off to TK. They don’t have the precisely pressed look, but they don’t look they were shoved under the bed, either.

Once I assembled the rack in the kitchen, realized I couldn’t get it down the basement stairs, took it apart, carried the pieces down to the basement and reassembled it again, that’s what I’ve been doing.

Sadly, my dryer doesn’t have a buzzer, so by the time I remember I need to get TK’s clothes out of the dryer before they wrinkle, they’re already wrinkled. What’s a mother to do?

Iron, right?

It’s actually easier to throw a damp washcloth in and dry for another ten minutes, setting the oven timer so I can be standing in front of the dryer when it shuts off.

TK needs to find himself a wife pretty damn quick, because this is getting old.

12 comments to “I don't even own starch”

  1. Lisa Hendrix
      · January 24th, 2010 at 1:15 pm · Link

    Shannon — Do you know about this stuff? Magic!

  2. Shannon
      · January 24th, 2010 at 1:20 pm · Link

    Dayum! How do I not have any of that?

    Have you used it a while? It mentions it “relaxes fibers” to get the wrinkles out. Have you noticed it having an impact on the longevity of a garment?

  3. Charlene Teglia
      · January 24th, 2010 at 1:24 pm · Link

    TK is old enough to learn to do this himself. ;-)

  4. Angela James
      · January 24th, 2010 at 1:27 pm · Link

    I ditto what Charli said. Stop teaching that child that a wife will do it for him and make him do it himself, dammit. Otherwise? He is NEVER going to get married. Ever. And it will be all your fault.

  5. Lillie A.
      · January 24th, 2010 at 2:15 pm · Link

    I don’t iron. Ever. If my work clothes are wrinkled, they go in the shower with me in the morning. I hang them on the far side so they get slightly damp (and steamed!), then when I get out of the shower, they get tossed in the dryer for a few minutes. By the time I’m ready for the clothes, they are dry and wrinkle free.

    If my husband wants his clothes ironed, he either does it himself or he takes them to the cleaners.

  6. Jean
      · January 24th, 2010 at 7:01 pm · Link

    Charlene beat me to it — If TK wants it done, he should do it himself. He’s old enough. Besides, he might want different wife criteria than her sole ability to iron. Help him to become independent.

  7. jenifer
      · January 24th, 2010 at 9:28 pm · Link

    I’ll 4th the suggestion for him to learn. My husband has done all his own ironing (not that either of us does much of it) since before I met him when we were 18. He also does most of our laundry. A man who has those skills will be that much more desirable to a future spouse indeed. :)

  8. Annmarie
      · January 25th, 2010 at 12:18 am · Link

    My mama loves to iron. I’ve never learned how. I mean. I iron. I just don’t get all the wrinkles out and have the creases where creases are meant to go.

    If I need something ironed and can’t get to the dry cleaners, I take it to Mama.

    This will be your future, Shannon. Imagine a 41 year old TK bringing you his suit shirts to iron…

  9. Shannon
      · January 25th, 2010 at 9:49 am · Link

    But…but…he’ll do it WRONG!

    The men on that side of the family who don’t have wives tend to use a laundry service, but if he’s going to go to law school he won’t be able to afford one. :lol:

    I guess I could try letting him do it. Start him out with jeans and t-shirts.

  10. Jaci Burton
      · January 26th, 2010 at 11:38 am · Link

    Coming in late on this, but men are perfectly capable of doing their own laundry. And ironing. Both my sons learned how to do this.

    #1 son became a class A ironer in the Marine Corps. Better than me, actually. Trust me…they can learn. And I had them doing their own laundry when they hit 12 years old. Were they perfect at it at the beginning? No. But they soon learned if they wanted clean clothes they did it themselves. I didn’t hover to see if it was as good as I did it. It was their clothes.

    The lesson was to push out self-functioning male adults onto society, not male adults who thought some female was going to do it for them. ;-)

    I also taught them to cook. And do dishes.

  11. Jean
      · January 26th, 2010 at 7:18 pm · Link

    Go Jaci! What she said. TK would learn to do a fine job ironing. He looks like the kind of guy who would LIKE to be crisp and pressed. He’d probably enjoy learning to do it. And starting on old jeans and T-shirts would be a good idea. Then he could move to an old dress shirt and vest to learn the differences between fabrics, but I’m certain it wouldn’t take any time at all for him to master these skills.

  12. Natalie J. Damschroder
      · January 26th, 2010 at 10:46 pm · Link

    I agree wholeheartedly with everyone. :)

    Shan, I found it interesting that HE’S the one who wants to dress like this and look pressed and everything, but YOU’RE the one who determines what’s “right” and “wrong.” :)

    If you love ironing for him, or jumping through all the hoops with the dryer, that’s one thing. Then you just make sure he knows you do it because you love him and want to do it for him, NOT because you’re the woman and he’s a boy. But if you don’t like doing it, that’s really sending a message I would be surprised you’d be okay sending. :)

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