I may be the only one I know who actually likes to iron.
And I actually have a bit of history with it.
Many years ago, when I went to Israel and lived on a kibbutz, I was given a choice of work placement: laundry, kitchen or children. (Much later, I fought the sexism of these positions and demanded and received a neutral job — in the chick incubator. Much later, I taught dance at kibbutzim throughout the valley- but, I digress.) I chose the laundry and when I arrived, I was asked if I was good at ironing. I remember thinking “’Good’ at ironing? Who spends any time getting ‘good’ at ironing?” But I said sure, and was given a seat at a table in the corner. It was there, piled up high, seemingly to the ceiling, were slightly damp, rolled up shirts. And it was there that I sat, from 6:00 AM every morning, and ironed. Other than a short break at 8:00 am for breakfast, (which I don’t eat) I sat at the perfect-height-for-the-job- table and ironed till noon, all the while chatting with the much older women who worked there. One of them, Hannah Fuchs, eventually “adopted” me, her family becoming my “kibbutz” family, offering me every Friday night, a place to go and be nourished and nurtured. For me, ironing was cozy, relaxing, I got a lot of work done, schmoozed a bit and felt very needed. After all, if I weren’t there to iron, half of the kibbutz would be walking around all wrinkled!
Now, all these years later, I still find ironing, in many ways, quite soothing and curiously rewarding. For in my world, where it often takes six months or more to raise the funds for a documentary, and then another wedge of time to produce it, starting and completing an activity in a number of minutes is quite satisfying. Going from a bunch of rumples to crispness without having to deal with malicious colleagues, self-important associates, and full of crap clients is a little bit of heaven.
And I like the results— so I just don’t stop after David’s dress shirts and polo shirts — no, I’ll iron my around-the-house garb and even particularly creased pillow cases. Every time I iron, I am grateful, not only for my Rowenta and the setup that makes it easy to watch television as I do my work, but for my time in Israel and the love of the Fuchs family, now all long gone. But most of all, for the ability to enjoy the simplest of activities, to see the value and beauty in the mundane and to start and complete an activity in a wrinkle of time, I am most extraordinarily grateful.