- The workings of the ironing board
- The workings and settings of the iron
- Proper ironing motion and the importance of keeping the iron moving at all times; “ironing is flowing,” She’d say, “almost like performing a ballet!”
- How to read garment labels to ensure they were ironed on the correct setting; too low and there would be wrinkles; too high and a garment might scorch – in either of these undesirable situations there would be painful consequences for me!
- Organizing garments from lowest to highest iron setting both to be more efficient as well as reduce the possibility of scorching more delicate fabrics
- The importance of being organized by having enough hangers and of having the hanging rack open and near-by
- Sprays, starches, what they did, when to use them, and the importance of reading the wearer’s instructions as to whether She wanted starch or not – a protocol for the Women was to properly label their ironing so it was done as they wished.
- Inspect each garment to see if it needed buttons or other repairs; I was to set aside such items and tend to them; loose buttons on returned garments were not acceptable!
- Proper hanging and folding techniques
- Use of fragrances and sachets as a finishing touch
- The use and importance of a garment steamer in keeping garments like Women’s business suits looking good
Thursday, October 2, 2014
dennis: DOMESTIC SKILLS IN A FEMALE LED RELATIONSHP—LEARNING TO IRON (Part 1)
i have always enjoyed serving Women and look for situations where i can do so, whether at home, at work, in a social setting, at the Boutique where i often help out, at the Women’s Center where i volunteer, or at the Woman-led congregation where i worship.
i absolutely enjoy serving Women! Women understand my feelings and accommodate me both to their – and especially my – satisfaction. And one of the keys to improving one’s service to Women is simply the desire to do a good job. my experience is that Women have always been willing to invest Their time and effort to teach me – or any man – a new domestic skill.
i am convinced that i enjoy housework today because of the good training that i had from both my Wife’s Grandmother, Joan, and Joan’s Mother, Sue. Their training not only taught me valuable domestic skills, essential to happiness in my life with Nancy, but also instilled a level of personal pride and dedication in performing those tasks. They schooled me on the finer points of many domestic tasks, of course, but one stands out and that is ironing.
i love to iron now, but when i was first told that i had to learn, i was inwardly hesitant. Ironing seemed complicated. my real fear wasn’t of doing more work – but, rather, that i would somehow fail at the task and not meet Joan’s expectations.
Confusing my hesitance with disobedience, Joan administered some “motivation” to the backs of my bare legs – Ouch! i explained my reservations to no avail. “Reservations of not,” She promised that not only would i learn to iron but that i’d have fun doing it. It was a promise that She was to keep!
Ironing lessons started immediately. As i stepped up to the ironing board, my trepidations melted! i was suddenly more than a little excited at the prospect of ironing; it was a lot like taking a seat in a sports car – i could hardly wait to start! She was right; ironing was going to be fun!
Joan taught me so many practical things:
Joan started me out on simple things like handkerchiefs and slips and, as i improved, She moved me on to more complex pieces. Before long i was doing lace-trimmed blouses and pleated skirts – i love such challenging pieces! At first She stood over me through every step, but as my skills improved, She’d leave me at the board and come back periodically to check my progress.
She demanded perfection. Things that weren’t up to Her standards had to be done over and likely merit a little of Her painful brand of “motivation.” Do things right though and She just might – just might! – invite me to have a cigarette with Her!
When Joan felt i was sufficiently skilled, She arranged for me to do ironing for Her Sisters and a few of Her Friends. They would bring over a basket of ironing and often stay and chat over coffee while i worked. They always involved me in their conversations, although i heeded the advice that the Women in Nancy’s family always gave men – “Shut up and listen!” i learned a lot by listening. The Women were indeed wise, and it was obvious why each of them was in charge of Her respective household.
Ironing quickly went from being a chore to being a hobby. Today i love coming home and seeing a basket or two of ironing for me to do. i don’t view it as part of my housekeeping but something to be enjoyed during my personal time.