Domer, Meet the Iron

Domer was home over Thanksgiving, and we used that as an opportune time for a refresher course in Ironing.

Now, before you protest, let me admit up front that I’ve never believed “chores” are gender-specific. Meaning, being female doesn’t make me uniquely qualified, for instance, to do laundry, cooking, and cleaning.

Conversely, being male doesn’t let Domer off the hook for that sort of thing.

Now that he’s up to his ears in “suit-up occasions” — things like job interviews, social events, etc. — he recognizes the need for clean, pressed shirts. Ties and business suits, too.

So he brought home a duffle bag filled with dirty long-sleeved dress shirts and insisted I teach him again.

I say again because I did the instructing once before.

When he was in middle school (seventh or eighth grade, I think), part of his Health curriculum included a segment on Laundry.

The kids — boys as well as girls — had to do laundry for a couple of weeks. For a grade.

I remember helping him measure out the detergent, read the instructions on the washing machine, choose the settings. Once they finished, we transferred the clean clothes to the dryer and followed a similar procedure. We also pulled out the ironing board and tackled wrinkles.

He got an “A.”

But things we do briefly rarely stick with us for the long haul.

I refreshed his memory when he went off to college, and he’s handled his laundry duties admirably. Or so I hope — he tells me he changes the sheets and washes his things, and I have to believe him.

But ironing still had him stumped. And a couple of job interviews in one week made it imperative he remedy that.

Fast.

During one moderately frantic phone conversation, I tried to tell him again how to iron a dress shirt. The order of pressing. And I reminded him that he could just do front, collar, and cuffs if he was short on time. Or patience.

But afterward, he told me he’d managed, though not very well. He wasn’t pleased with the “look.”

So we used an hour or so of his vacation time to learn again.

This time, by George, I believe he’s got it!

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23 thoughts on “Domer, Meet the Iron

  1. Ah yes, laundry. Few people have dryers here, so my son developed his own drying technique…throw (literally) the clothes on the line …consequently I came home from work one day and found my socks and underwear had flown to the neighbors garden!

  2. So impressed. I don’t own an iron and have never ironed. Really, can you imagine me with an iron in my hand? No. Before you wonder if I am wrinkled…sometimes… but mostly I wear flax, blue fish, and unpressed jeans. I do own an ironing board for my mothers visit. She brings her own travel iron. There is a dry cleaners 5 minutes from me that is very reasonable and if I need something ironed (rarely) the owner irons it up for me while I wait. I once asked the question, “do you iron?” on Facebook and the 400 plus comments were pretty much divided… slightly favoring the ironer. Cole loves doing laundry so maybe he will ask his grandmother to teach him to iron. Otherwise I will suggest a job that does not require dress shirts, or a good relationship with his dry cleaners (a skill in itself).
    I think it is great that Domer wanted to learn to iron…being self sufficient is a wonderful thing.

    • Now it’s my turn to be impressed! How did you have a mom who brings her own iron when she travels, yet you have never ironed?? My sister sounds like you — she’s tight with the dry cleaners, so she doesn’t iron, either (and thinks I’m “cheap” for doing it!!)
      But if Cole enjoys it, you might convince him it’s a worthwhile life skill — before he wises up, of course, ha!

  3. I have a son who probably wouldn’t have a clue how to press properly. My other son, however, and my husband, have the military to thank for their understanding. Now they both take things that need to be pressed to the dry cleaners. They understand ironing indeed. However, it’s always been something I enjoy.

    • Me, too, Barb! I guess I inherited that from my late dad, who started ironing for his mom when he was a little guy because he felt sorry for her. Domer is notoriously cheap, so it’s going to take a lot for him to part with money for dry cleaning. I’ve offered to pick up the tab while he’s in college, but he doesn’t even want me to spend that kind of money. At least he’s cautious with my money, too!

  4. Oh, Debbie, this is wonderful! I love your stories :-) They are so engaging, entertaining and universal. I’m impressed that doing laundry for a grade was on Domer’s curriculum in high school. Also , you know that old saying “When the student is ready, the teacher arrives” It appears that facing job interviews has facilitated Domer’s learning curve. Someday, his future wife will thank you for your devoted coaching!

    • Well, future wife is definitely in the back of my mind, Kathy. I don’t want him to rush into marriage or a living arrangement, just because he thinks he’s found a housekeeper, ha! Thank you, my friend, for your kind compliment. I was pretty impressed at them teaching the kids laundry, too — it was something I intended to teach him before he went off to college, but then it just became a refresher instead of the real McCoy!

  5. I’m glad you’re teaching him that skill. I also believe that chores shouldn’t be gender specific. Our boys already do a lot to help out around the house- kitchen, vacuuming, bathrooms, laundry, etc. They are going to need to know these things anyway (as your story about Domer as pointed out.)

    I can iron in a pinch, but I don’t like it and I’m not good at it (and don’t have the interest to practice!) I have actually given clothes to Goodwill that require ironing. My husband irons better than I do, and he doesn’t seem to mind it. My theory is, if it doesn’t straighten out with a spray bottle then it doesn’t belong in my closet.

    • That’s funny, Janna! I’ll bet the Goodwill people don’t care that your stuff needs ironing. Since your hubby likes to iron, he probably doesn’t consider it a “chore.” Good for you, getting your sons started on learning their way around a house — I just hate the thought of any poor male having to take a wife or a live-in girlfriend, just so his home will be clean and there will be food on the table!

  6. Debbie, that Domer has winner written all over him! Good for your for not designating gender to house chores. The Son has been instructed in the fine art of washing dishes, setting a washing machine, making a bed, and other type chores. However, we still have not mastered Ironing 101 or Cooking 102. I hope we can undertake these in the near future because there are times that “momma” is not in near proximity and these young men have to do things for themselves! Great post, lady! :)

    • Thanks, Bella. Domer does pretty well on cooking, but chiefly if it’s meat. Veggies? Not so much! But at least I can rest certain he won’t starve. Glad to hear you’ve been working on your son, too. These young men need to become self-sufficient!

  7. While my kids were growing up, we didn’t do a great job of holding them to regular chores. Mostly, I would randomly assign tasks for them to do; simple things that they could take off my plate. But laundry is something they all learned to do. When I went back to work, I needed help managing laundry for a family of five. I made them a color chart with instructions for the washer and dryer and they did well with it. Ironing, though? I’m not sure my boys could do a good job. But my daughter can handle it pretty well.

    Good for Domer for wanting to know how iron himself instead of just trying to find someone to do it FOR him!

    • I think it boiled down to the lesser of two evils — spending money on dry cleaning or doing it himself. It probably is easier to send stuff to the cleaners, but a college kid doesn’t have a whole lot of discretionary income (meaning, he’d rather spend his money somewhere else, ha!)

  8. I don’t iron either. Used to sort of. Not well. Now, with work life so casual I don’t buy anything that needs ironing and I think I’d resort to dry cleaning for anything that did! Once I ironed my husband’s shirt. The front of it anyway. He hasn’t asked me since.

    • At least you know your strengths, Dawn, and if ironing isn’t one of them, well, sounds like you’ve compensated okay. Domer doesn’t have the luxury of casual job interviews, though, so he’s forced to suit up and look put-together. I’m not there to do it for him, and doing it himself is cheapest. He likes cheap!

    • Ah, Kim, I LOVE this — what a good mama you are! Our sons need to know their way around a kitchen as much as daughters need to know their way around a garage. Good for you!

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