Recently my husband switched from a work environment that was super casual to one that is considerably more formal. He’s going from a jeans and henley company to slacks and button down shirts.
For me this also means a change. I will be going from ironing 3 shirts every six months to, well, ironing on a regular basis.
I grew up when home-ec classes had been replaced by sex-ed classes, however my mom was sure to school me in the finer art of ironing. I spent many a Saturday afternoon doing my share of my dad’s slacks and button downs. Yet after a decade of little or no ironing I have to say that it is something a girl can get used to living without.
So, as I stood over the hot iron and prepared my first batch of work clothes for my husband, I thought about what this change would mean to me.
Saturday and Sunday nights ironing isn’t exactly something I would jump at. If you told me I would never have to iron again, I’d be happy. And yet standing there as my feet got sore and my back tired, I had a different feeling about the task at hand. I felt connected.
I realized that maybe I’ve been missing out on something in the casual world we live in. Connection. Because other than using our medical coverage or being in charge of spending the daily earnings, I really haven’t had a personal connection with his work. Now suddenly, there I was, a part of what he was about to do. I was taking care of little details that affect his appearance, thereby influencing perception, thereby adding to his work life. I was once again connected to the man who goes to work every day in an office I rarely see, and I realized that maybe in our drive to be casual we are once again undoing the fabric of our homes. Because as simple as pressing heat into a piece of cloth may be it’s just one way I can support my other half. I am a part of his every day. A little bit of me goes with him and I am aware of that as I stand until my heels ache and my muscles are sore.
Suddenly this reintroduction of ironing to my weekly routine felt a lot less like a chore and a little more like a job. It had value and in that value was a connection I had been missing.
Sure, if you told me tomorrow that I could toss out my iron, I wouldn’t cry. But still, in a strange way I really like being a part of my husband’s work life. It feels good and I’m kind of glad I get to do it once again.
Or maybe the heat and steam just went to my brain. We’ll see after another week or two of musings over the ironing board…