lady ironing from 1950s

This is the first post I wrote about my client, Ole Ironsides, last year. I had to take it down due to some technical difficulties, but I have ironed out the kinks, so to speak and have republished it for your reading pleasure.

I go to see my eldest client today. I like to call her Ole Ironsides, the reason for which will become apparent. She lives in an independent living community, which is really just a big hotel-looking building with little apartments in it and a rec room for bingo.

It’s a very nice place but I always feel like I’m walking back in time when I go there.  Honestly I feel like I’m 80 years old every time I walk in. I think my gate subconsciously becomes slower and my back hunches a bit.

I slowly saunter past ornate furniture lining the lobby with grandfather clocks and high chandeliers. The round tables in the dining room are covered in white table clothes and adorned with flower centerpieces in crystal vases. For some reason, it makes me want to take up ballroom dancing. It’s almost a bit Titanic-ish.  And they’re always playing oldies songs throughout the halls.  Frank Sinatra and Perry Como belt out the soundtracks of a simpler, happier time. A time of sock hops and apple pie. I always wonder what they will play in the halls when Gen Xers like me get old. Will they pump out Cyndi Lauper and Boy George through the speakers? Will we still be fighting for our right to party? And will they serve alcohol?

The band Beastie Boys singing on couch
I’m so gonna rock getting old!

I’ll probably be ironing today, as every time I go there I iron. I don’t know what it is with the older generation and ironing. I think I might have one shirt that needs ironing and I rarely wear it because of that reason. When I iron there I feel like the 50s housewife surrounded by piles of clothes to iron, slaving away in billows of hot steam for the sake of a pressed shirt. It’s like someone back then declared a war on wrinkles. A wrinkled shirt is a Commie shirt!  Do your part, iron them out! If you really want to help seniors, form an ironing club for them and save me the work. Or just by them wrinkle-free clothes.

woman in 1950s ironing with hand on her forehead like she's sweating
Me, making a difference

The first time she asked me to use starch (do people still use starch?), I had to read the directions because I realized I had no idea what to do with it. Funny thing is, I even have to iron her sheets and pillow cases too. Of course I see absolutely no reason for this, but I oblige cheerfully. I guess when you get older the least little wrinkle will do irreparable damage to your paper-thin skin. And if the rest of her wardrobe is stiff as a board, why not the linens too. Wrinkled sheets sink ships after all.

So today I’ll probably be ironing again. But I have gotten pretty good at it. Maybe I could open up some kind of business. Oh, wait, they already have those. They’re called dry cleaners.

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