Sunday, 6 July 2008

To Iron Or Not To Iron?


When my son and family were staying with us, we sometimes rubbed each other up the wrong way when East and West both thought their way of doing something was not just different, but superior.
For instance, I was told that "The Japanese" do not do ironing but pull the wet washing into shape before hanging out to dry. When I say pull, I really mean pull, as I found my favourite blue sweatshirt was twice as wide and much shorter. By the term "The Japanese," I'm not sure if this is the norm for everybody or just a habit of the one I know, so forgive me if I am generalizing here, when I needn't.

I used to iron all the family clothes while they were here and they never complained except to say that it wasn't necessary if only I'd pull the clothes right. I think they thought I was mad to do it!
Well, as they have their own place now I don't need to even think about their laundry habits, but you can imagine my surprise, when Sam popped in and asked me to iron his dancing trousers! I had to smile as obviously the stretch & pull didn't work on them!

The family were on their way to a Morris Dancing weekend, (camping.) People outside England might not know that Morris Dancing is a traditional form of village dancing connected to Spring time that goes back to medieval times. They use sticks and bells and dress either in raggedy clothes & blacken their faces, or brightly coloured outfits. Each region has its own traditional dance routine and style. We are all mad in England, but usually harmless!

24 comments:

Lindsay said...

I have to admit now that Husband has retired and does not wear office shirts the iron has been hidden away! This started off when Wonky Knees were being fixed and I was forced to iron Husband's shirts on the arm of the armchair I was sitting in! If we look a bit crumpled - well we are wrinklies!

Rinkly Rimes said...

Thanks for visiting me. You're my first British contact and, as you can see from my Blog I'm originally from what is called The Old Dart here in Australia. I love the way you take a topic and weave a story around it. I do something of the same and I hope we 'meet' again
Brenda

The Dotterel said...

Definitely not (or as not as we can get away with). Having said that, I did buy a new iron last week...

Working mum said...

Maggie, you are a saint. When we lived with my MIL for while (inbetween houses) I did all the washing, ironing, cleaning, food shopping and cooking - for us and her! On top of a full time job, looking after daughter and studying for an MSc! While she stayed at home doing crosswords all day! I felt like the unpaid housekeeper (and we were paying her rent, too). Can you tell I'm still a bit peeved?

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Mum's come in useful for some things!! I never iron. At all. People don't believe me but it's true. All our clothes go on the emersion heater then I press them with my hands and they don't need ironing. Saves a whole lot of time!

CJ xx

the mother of this lot said...

And I bet you said 'Iron your own dancing trousers'.

Actually, I bet you didn't.

Peter said...

I HATE ironing - can't stand it. Now I'm in Moscow, I don't bother ironing anything - they just hang to dry and I take it that they're fine. In fact, ironing shirts isn't too bad, but trousers? Now that's a different fishy kettle :-)

Suburbia said...

Maggie I can see why you were 'rubbed up the wrong way'! How can you pull it straight when half the time it's raining too much to dry it outside anyway?!

If it's any consulation, my mum ( who becomes host mother to Japanese students) has lots of strange tales from the East (strange to us of course not them!)

She has found that they have a habit of drying thair washing in the wardrobe! Of course it doesn't dry at all but just goes a bit smelly! She has learnt now to pre-empt and asks them to hang it elsewhere!!

Suzanne said...

Want to say more, but for now can just say...

Hi Maggie!

Maggie May said...

Lindsay........ don't blame you. needs must!

rinkly rimes ....... glad to have you visit.......... I will be back as I am very impressed with your blog!

the dotterel....... so what are you going to do with the iron then?

Working mum .......Oh my! you were definitely put on!
Did not charge rent and did H & my cooking & all the ironing & nearly all the washing. Baby sat!

crystal ...... a good system...... works for you!

Jackie ....... you know I didn't!

Peter .......... you have it all sussed.

Suburbia ....... glad you told me that as the washing was often draped round the banisters wet & dripping (over carpet) or hanging from windows. must be a culture thing then. Did not like it when I said "No"

girl with the mask said...

Morris Dancing- my favourite!

david mcmahon said...

Yup, I iron! Must be my boarding school training ....

And I loved your tale about getting stuck and doing a three-point turn!!

Rose said...

The pulling method doesn't sound too appealing to me, but I avoid ironing if at all possible. Sometimes things look worse AFTER I've ironed them!

SandyCarlson said...

Ironing....I always say thanks if someone does the honors because it is always better than it would have been in my hands. I can relate to your story, though. My father's mother used to tell my mother how to go about this art. Not a good idea!

I love to watch Morris dancing. I could hear the bells and sticks as I read your post.

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

I think my vote goes with the iron, but nowadays I usually only purchase "no iron" items. Wash and wear, as it were.

But I do find there is something enjoyable about ironing flat things, like tablecloths, napkins, handkerchiefs, scarves, etc.

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Maggie May, I've given you an award! Pop over to the birdbath when you get a moment...

nanatrish said...

I had to visit as we are fellow recipients of an award from Lavinia Ladyslipper. She is a wonderful person and if she recommended you I had to come visit. Love your post today and will come back. Take care. Trish

Aunt Jo said...

I want a granny named Maggie May! What fun!

pulling clothes sounds like way more work than just ironing the silly thing!

my mother in law LOVES to iron. when she irons she sings. she sings alot. :o)

Aunt Jo said...

PS I am here from The Birdbath Chronicles

Suburbia said...

It's a weird thing to do isn't it? And good manners to follow the rules when in someone elses house??!
So glad you had the honour of the morris trouser ironing!!

cheshire wife said...

So did they have irons in medieval England?

CrazyCath said...

Well clearly not as mad as some Maggie! I don't DO ironing if I can possibly help it, but some clothes are just not meant to be stretched!!

I can imagine your frustration and I think you have the patience of a saint. I don't mean to insult your DIL, but I was always taught that when in Rome... etc. and that if your host does things a certain way, it is polite to respect that and go along with it. Or at least, to only interfere in your own clothing! I bet you wouldn't go to Japan and introduce the iron....Or did you? ;0)

Great post. Great patience. Will you be my mum?

Mean Mom said...

I iron when I have to. I would rather do something else, however, like blog. Needless to say, I have an emormous pile of ironing, which I am ignoring just at the moment.

We went to the Braunston Historic Boat Rally, just recently and saw Morris Dancers, there. I think that most of the ladies were older than me and I was very much in admiration of them. Good for keeping fit.

Robin said...

I hate to iron. I call clothes that need to be ironed every time they are washed - Disposable. ;)

At our house we have a different technique I guess it would be called, grab it from the drier while its hot and quick hang it up. I learned it from my mom.