IT WOULD BE A LIE to say that I have deliberately misplaced the ironing board. In fact, I’ve lost two: One long-legged, folding sort, and one table-top, short-legged version. And I’d like to say that it was not easy to do but that, too, would be a lie since, in fact, it was a snap.
Early in my nearly quarter-century-long marriage I told my husband that I didn’t iron. It was during that breezy getting-to-know-you time, and since it seemed to me that he might very well be the real thing, the go-the-distance guy of my life, I figured there was no better time to fashion myself into the woman I might like to be forever. Topping the list of things I would become was a woman who does not iron.
It’s not that I am not domestic. In fact, I am known for my domestic godessies, sometimes baking for days; my knitting jags are seasonally effective (very effective, in fact). I recently emerged from a slow-cooker bender that explored myriad ways to dispatch pork shoulders. The gardens on my property include an herb bed that is harvested in all seasons for kitchen use. So I am no slouch when it comes to the benefits of the domiciliary aspects of life and love. I simply took a position long ago, stuck to it and made it as much of my brand as my red hair.
“What are you looking for?” my husband inquired this morning as I was overheard scrounging on my knees in the back of a bedroom closet.
Uh oh. What to say? Fess up? Admit that from time to time I want the wrinkles out of one of my shirts and do actually do it myself? Lie outright? I began to reach for one of the closet’s wasteland of discarded items, just about to pronounce, “Look, honey! The rehab boot from when you broke your ankle!” when instead I backed up just enough to see what he was doing.
There he was, my husband of almost twenty-five years, neatly stacking up his end-of-the-week pile of the lovely shirts he wears to work, readying them to be dropped at the laundry as they are, once-a week, at week’s end, every week. All normal, all part of another day, another week, another month, part of the life of a good, long marriage, and I quietly put down the boot and decided to let things stay just the way they are.