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Monday, March 10, 2014

The Litmus Test

“Mom, what is that?” Our oldest child pointed to the unfamiliar object. This struck me as quite amusing, but I answered the question honestly. “It’s an ironing board. You know that thing I use at home once or twice a year? The iron? Some people use an ironing board with it.” Clearly, I was not one of those people.
This conversation occurred last year while we were out of town for a wedding. I’d found the ironing board in the closet of the hotel room. My magenta silk outfit needed a few minutes with the iron. At home I didn’t own an ironing board. I do iron things occasionally, but I just lay the clothes on the bed when I iron them. A life spent bend over the iron is not my idea of…well…a life well spent! So I wear things that don’t need much ironing and I spend my free time doing creative things and I don’t ever pine for ironing opportunities.
Having said that, you’ll be shocked to learn that I actually bought an ironing board last year. It was at a garage sale and for $3, it was a no-brainer. Of course, I’ve owned it for nearly a year and I’ve never used it for ironing. Fear not. I’m not trading in my edgy artist ways for a life shackled to the ironing board. I’m currently using it as an art desk while my real art desk is hidden under tons of found objects, awaiting their turn to become pieces of amazing art.

Look how this 50s housewife is smiling down at her iron, allegedly fulfilled by hour upon hour of time spent at the ironing board. (I bet she’s actually counting the minutes until she leaves for her belly dancing class!)

I like that the ironing board is a great height when I’m sitting on a stool, and I like that it’s easy to dissemble if I need to, and I love that it doesn’t take up tons of room. Perhaps there’s also a dash of insubordination at work, too. Ironing boards used to take up a lot of housewives’ time in the 1950s.

I love that I’m using the ironing board in a completely different way than it was intended. I use it to make my art, which brings me loads of happiness. Who says an ironing board must be for ironing? I’m thumbing my nose at the notion that a woman’s greatest pleasure is in removing wrinkles from her husband’s shirts.

And there, folks, is your litmus test. If you own an ironing board, is it used in obligation or for fun? You know where I come in on the matter. Life’s too short to waste it on chores. Let’s have fun instead!

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