Sunday, July 25, 2010

My mom taught me to iron as a kid, treating the immutable order of pressing a men’s dress shirt with gravitas typically reserved for religious sacraments (collar, then yoke, then cuffs, then front of shirt, then back of shirt, then between the buttons.) There was something trance-like and satisfying to my adolescent self about the hiss of steam, the satiny glide of the iron, exhaustively smoothing the flaws from a garment. (Did I used to iron the cash tips I received during my first serving job in high school? I wouldn’t worry about it.) Even now that I’m not being “paid” (I got five cents a shirt, which I think would make some five-year-old turn-of-the-century textile mill workers laugh), it’s a very soothing act but rarely do I really need to press something unless I’m sewing.

I’m altering a dress right now and the chance to press the hell out of some seams has been a weird pleasure.

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