When and why people decided they needed to press cloth smooth is a mystery. We do know that the Chinese used hot metal for ironing before anyone else - probably soon after they used it to light fireworks...
Unfortunately for women, this cloth smoothing chore/talent fell to them. Some dark glass objects thought to be linen smoothers were found in many Viking women's graves... yes, even in the hereafter, wearing horns and fur thongs, men will still need to have their clothes ironed, and of course the women will have to do it.
Beyond that stereotypical connotation ... I have to admit I actually like to iron. Somehow, it is a task that calms my soul and gives me a sense of accomplishment. It is Zen-like. It appeals to the mulititasker in me, allowing me to watch a movie and still "accomplish" something. Sandra Bullock admits to enjoying it as well, but obviously we are a minority. A Facebook group called I Like To Iron has only 8 members.
But as my grandmother used to say, with every favor there is a forfeit. I have found over the 30 odd years that I have been applying steam heat to fabric, that the very item that makes this practice possible is horribly flawed. Maybe its just me.
Seriously, how many irons have most people owned? 2? Maybe 3? I have owned more than 20 irons. And that is a conservative estimate. Everything from the high priced stainless steel models, to the compact specials made of plastic. The first few irons I purchased were bought with little aforethought. When they crapped out, as they invariably did, I just figured it was unfiltered water, or fluctuating current that brought about their demise. Not until the early eighties, when a particularly feisty iron actually tried to kill me, did I start to think there may be a connection between my particular molecular make up and the entire product line of irons.
I am not sure why - maybe it's my ions interacting with the iron. Maybe it is some sort of cosmic irony that affects those who iron. Maybe its because I actually use the damn thing every week. But I seriously have never owned an iron for more than a couple of years without having it either blow up on me, or just silently give up the ghost. This is not a rhetorical question. I seriously want to know...
What is it with irons?