There is no ironing in my house. We don’t even own an iron. Actually I think my friend bought me one in disgust. But I don’t know where it is. I definitely do not have an ironing board or one of those squirty water spray things.
Nothing is ever ironed. And I don’t send my laundry out. Occasionally I have something dry cleaned. But I mostly live a creased and rumpled existence.
The fact of this occurred to me when I was changing the sheets in my bedroom and I, briefly, wondered what it would be like if everything was flat instead of screwy. And I thought, “My children will never iron, because they know nothing of ironing.” My mother never ironed. She had someone come and do it but they were a pain in the arse and I have always associated ironing with an annoying pedancy. So it’s my little rebellion and I am forcing this rebellion onto my crumpled children. It’s not their rebellion but they are living it nonetheless.
I can’t really cook, because no one showed me how. So I bake and scrape and whizz with the children in order to give them at least the vaguest sense of how things are done. I grew up when M&S ready-meals were considered gastro. I can still taste the sweet and sour pork one. I probably always will.
I will continue to do all the work to try to make sure that the madness I pass down is different from the madness I inherited. Different anxieties. Different priorities. Different mistakes. But they are my own.
But I still won’t iron. Perhaps my children will grow up and feel a passionate need to be surrounded by crisp, tightly tucked-in linen, all while wearing perfectly starched white shirts. Someone somewhere will show them an iron and they will never look back. And that will be their rebellion. Losers.