Pressing Concerns

The accusation could fairly be leveled at me that I don’t much care how I look. My socks usually match, and I do comb my hair, but nobody is ever going to mistake me for a fashionista. (On one recent occasion I discovered that I had arrived at the gym wearing mismatched tennis shoes, but that was strictly an anomaly.)

Nonetheless, I do iron my shirts. Or rather, I try to.

I own an implement that is reputed to be a steam iron. It was made by Black & Decker, who are better known for their table saws. That may be part of the problem. What it actually is is not a steam iron. It’s a steam-plus-intermittent-gouts-of-hot-water iron. Or, for short, a steam-and-peepee iron. In between bursts of steam, it dribbles (and occasionally spurts) puddles of hot water onto whatever garment I’m attempting to flatten.

After ironing my shirts, I have to hang them up to dry. Once in a while I have to wring them out and iron them again.

But that’s not the worst of it. I’m sincerely baffled that no one has invented an ironing board the same shape as a shirt. Getting a shirt to lie flat on the ironing board while ironing it requires three hands — one to wield the iron and two more to keep the shirt from scrunching up, sliding off onto the floor, or both at once.

Possibly the fact that my shirts were sewn in factories in China, India, and the Philippines by low-paid women who harbor quite justifiable grudges against American white men has something to do with it. The shirts usually bunch at the seams. They also bunch in places where there are no seams. I suspect voodoo.

I haven’t given up yet. I even iron the collars. But if you see me wandering around town someday in my pajamas, you’ll know why.

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