What is the point of ironing?

Every week I spend an unfeasibly large amount of time standing in my kitchen ironing things. The pile is almost insurmountable and yet every week mount it I do. It all gets beautifully and lovingly pressed with sharp creases where appropriate and then folded into remarkably neat piles where the size of each item perfectly matches the one beneath. It then gets laid carefully on the bed of its owner from where it is knocked on to the floor, screwed up in the back of drawers or hung in wardrobes on inappropriate coathangers which seem to add more creases than there were before I started. Hmmmm.

I once worked out, because ( as has been pointed out previously ) I have too much time on my hands, that the household laundry is second only to things relating to food in the amount of my time that it consumes. In the time that it takes me to sort it, carry it downstairs, wash it, dry it, fold it, iron it, carry it back upstairs and put it away I could probably run a small principality quite effectively. Quite reasonably, many of my friends have given up in the battle against the laundry. A quick shake and smooth over the upper thigh as it comes out of the tumble dryer and that will suffice.

However, this cavalier approach is not for me. I gave up my paid job to run our household. Of course this task has grown with the number and age of the children but it is still the job that I gave up my career for. And so I feel that if I let standards slip and start taking the easy route then I am failing to do that job properly and if that is the case then what was the point giving up my paid job. I could just have paid someone else to do it for me.

Anyway, much as I may moan about the injustice of it, especially as it lies uncared for in a heap on the floor, I like ironing. It is one of those jobs where you can see real results. The pile is in the basket and then it is gone and for a brief moment the laundry is done. I get a huge feeling of achievement when I open my linen cupboard and see the sets of bedding all pressed and neatly piled. As much as presenting a case to an Employment Tribunal for a PLC client and winning? Well perhaps not but in my world now it’s an achievement and that’s what counts.

However, my house can no longer be the centre of my universe. In 2009 I must set my sights a little wider and who knows what will happen to my ironing pile if I do that?