mercredi 15 avril 2009
Why do you love ironing so much?
Or, if you don't actually love it (which seems to be the case from how much you complain about it) why bother doing so much in the first place?
I mean really- do the sheets really need to be ironed?
Aren't sheets, by definition, for sleeping upon?
I swear, if you are so nice as to put me up in your home, I won't be criticizing the non-ironedness of your sheets. And believe me- ya ain't gettin' ironed sheets Chez Moi.

{Actually, chez moi you should count yourself lucky if you can find the pull-out couch between the tools, but that is a sidetrack.}

I have heard many times Frenchwomen say something along the lines of "I have a huge pile of ironing to do, but I just don't feel like it."
Guess what? I never feel like it.
There has not been a single time in my life that I have said to myself
"Hey, I think I would like to iron instead of eating chocolate while watching TV."

There are people who outsource their ironing. If I am going to outsource anything, it would be
1) mopping the floors
2) scrubbing the mold out of my shower (but that's another post for another day) or
3) actually cooking meals that take longer than 10 minutes to prepare
{I guess I have now ensured that we will never have visitors}

The only things that get ironed around here are white linen shirts that absolutely must be ironed or are else unwearable.
This hence means that they don’t get worn much.
Alain complained that I didn't iron his white t-shirts.
I laughed. Then I realized he was serious.
"Sure honey, put those in my 'Ain't Ever Going to Get Ironed' Pile over there right next to the 'Only When I need more Good Daughter-in-Law Points' Pile."

So, Frenchwomen, please tell me: do you actually like ironing or do you feel a cultural obligation to do it and are thereby obligated to complain about it?
And to any non-French (men or women) reading this: have your ironing habits changed since moving to France?

Also note that I didn't pose the question to Frenchmen: I am quite sure that they do not do their ironing. This seems to be one of those "straight from the mother to the female object of affection" things. This may cause problems if their female object of affection is not a Frenchwomen. For the first few head-bashings at least.

13 commentaires:

Karen a dit…

I'm not a French woman, but I had to comment. You made me laugh with this one.

My French mother-in-law has someone who comes in to iron every week. There is a huge pile of ironing for just her and my father-in-law. I don't get it either.

I send my husband's shirts to the dry cleaner here in the US. My ironing skills are so poor that I actually create more wrinkles when ironing than were actually there in the first place.

I'll be interested in other comments on this.

screamish a dit…

oh yes! my ex was french and me being an australian tomboy didnt go down v well. i couldnt understand WHY the mother in law insisted on ironing underwear....

amerigirl a dit…

Good think about my Frenchie was that we got together in America and I was able to convince him that Americans don't iron anything. We have an iron, but no ironing board.

I think the big problem is not having a dryer. So clothes are washed and then hung to dry. In places where it rains all the time, they need to iron it to finish the drying process. But in the south, it usually isn't necessary.

French Women stop ironing and buy a dryer.

Ksam a dit…

I don't think I've even picked up an iron since I was 12 and I burnt a hole in my shirt. I am just absolutely terrible at it, and thus don't buy clothes that need to be ironed. I do dry my clothes in a dryer though, which helps like amerigirl said. And I was lucky that my ex was a farmer and didn't give a damn about wrinkly clothes (and he grew up without a mom, so he wasn't really "French" at all when it came to food or household stuff).

Astrid a dit…

I'm glad that the husband prefers to iron his own shirts. Though father in law was shocked seeing his proper son ironing...

As Ksam said, I as well buy non iron clothes and only iron upon strict demand on certain pieces of clothing...

Starman a dit…

I make certain that everything I buy is non-wrinkle, iron-free. On the other hand, I have a friend who insists that his sheets have no wrinkles when he gets up in the morning. If they do, he bundles them up and sends them back to the place he bought for a refund. Needless to say, he spends a lot of time at la Poste. And can you believe people who iron their underwear?

poppy fields a dit…

I iron now, but didn't in the states. I guess I've been contaminated.

La Niortaise a dit…

I only iron when necessary. I avoid buying clothes that need ironing. My other half is French and most of his clothes need ironing. I only iron my things and let him do his.

He claimed he wasn't very good at it. I showed him once or twice, and now his does it all by himself.

I've never ironed sheets, and never thought of ironing sheets! Le niortais hasn't asked about ironed sheets either. My house is always tidier than my mother in law's, and my cooking is better. She's never criticised about sheets not being ironed.

Milk Jam a dit…

I don't iron, i buy clothes that don't need it and the clothes that do are dry-clean only so they do it for me! i told the boy that if he wanted anything ironed he'd have to do it himself - needless to say he hasn't touched the iron!

his mom is very french and irons everything, socks, underwear, sheets - you name it! she thinks i'm weird that i don't but i don't think she judges me on it either i do a ton of other work around the house and couldn't give a red rat's ass about a shirt that will end up wrinkled in 5 minutes. i've got better things to do with my time (like eat chocolate while watching tv! ;-) hehe)

just give it a good shake as it comes out of the washer (or dryer, although we don't have one) and hang it up right away and presto! perfect shirt! ;-)


(oh on the mopping part, i finally bought a real mop as not to deal with the stupid serpillere which was literally sending me over the edge...) best investment ever!

jadie a dit…

hmmm...in the past couple of years i have taken an sudden interest in ironed sheets. this after 25 years of NO IRONING. why? i bought some beautiful italian cotton sheets that are divine when ironed: smooth, soft, so lovely to pull up and relax into. i'm hooked. tried to put them on my bed without ironing, and felt....let down!

Notre Vie Juteuse a dit…

wow ironing. haven't done that in years. also haven't thought of doing that now that i'm living here. all our clothes don't need it. we don't have a dryer - i'm very jealous. I do love a lovely smooth comfortable bed though and if I had sheets like Jadie I might iron them.

Mrs C a dit…

My MIL irons TOWELS!

She irons sheets. She claims it makes them easier to put away.

Um. Yeah.

Mr C and I had been together for only a couple of years when I gave him an iron for his birthday. In front of the entire family (they were all in stitches). I "got away with it" as the foreigner but I didn't understand until later that men don't generally iron here. Hell, man. He ironed when he was single. Why, now that he's hitched, am I supposed to do that crap now? I wasn't having NONE of that!

Which shocked the family to no end. The iron gift was 10 years ago and they still talk about it.

sue a dit…
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