One-Liner Wednesday: A Memorable Piece Of Marital Advice From Aunt Ann

This is one of those you-can’t-make-it-up stories.

Z-D says considering all the bad advice that is on social media lately I need to share this here. It’s a story from my past that imparts some memorable advice.  

Kind of weird advice.

I swear to you that his Aunt Ann said this to me years ago. And I’ll also tell you up front that I can honestly say I took her advice to heart.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here…

~ ~ ~ ~

Many years ago I went to a bridal shower held for moi.  It was ostensibly for me to meet about 20 of Zen-Den’s older female relatives, but was in fact a way for them to size me up.

They were not a friendly crowd.

It was an awkward uncomfortable event for me, an introvert, a sweet little lambie tossed in among the wolves, but I did my best to be likable because back then I cared about such things.

At this shower we played a game in which all the women at the shower were to write their best piece of marital advice on a 3×5″ index card.

While they got snacks I was to read all the cards to myself, picking the card with what I believed to be the best advice.  The person who wrote this card then got the door prize.  I can’t remember what it was, but these women wanted that prize.

There was a competitive spirit amongst them.

That I do remember.

I realized immediately that this game was a trap, the Kobayashi Maru of bridal shower games.  No matter whose advice I picked I’d tick off someone and there’d be repercussions, perhaps for decades.  These were women with a penchant for holding onto resentments.

Grudges were their lifeblood.

I did not like this game, but miracle of miracles I read Aunt Ann’s piece of advice and I instantly knew that I liked it the best PLUS I realized that no one there would ever resent me for picking it.

Yes, that’s how timeless and profound it was.

Aunt Ann told me: Never start ironing your rags, because once you do, you won’t be able to stop. 

Is this not so? And was I not fortunate to have Aunt Ann point this out to me, thereby setting me on the course to a life of freedom that comes from having wrinkled rag?

Huzzah!

~ ~ ~ ~

To learn more about Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday click HERE.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

169 thoughts on “One-Liner Wednesday: A Memorable Piece Of Marital Advice From Aunt Ann”

  1. Ooh – first commenter of the day. So rare for me! We have an iron. It’s probably 25 years old. It’s probably been used 4 times. I should probably just get rid of it…
    Boy, that seems like a hostile bunch. Did they end up being as nasty over the years as they sound? Maybe you live(d) far, far away and only have to see them at weddings and funerals?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Travel Architect, congrats on being the first commenter of the day. This is for you: ⭐️

      We lived far away so they rarely had a chance to judge me. That being said Aunt Ann’s advice was so bizarre that when I picked it I made them chuckle, so I kind of won them over.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good advice. Meeting the in-laws, yikes!

    I used to enjoy ironing my dress shirts, but if you couldn’t see it, I didn’t iron it. When I wore a suit jacket all day, I ironed the collar, cuffs and a quick dash up the front.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan, yes, it was a day that lives on in my mind. I like your approach to ironing. I agree with you about your shirt technique: if you see it, iron it. But if you don’t, forget about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve ironed. The last time, I was in my 20’s and I burned a hole in my favorite blouse. After that, I never purchased clothes that required ironing. I have an aunt who irons her sheets!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jill, I’m not good at ironing so a blouse, or a bed sheet, might be tricky for me. I can guarantee you it never dawned on me to iron our rags, even before Aunt Ann told me not to do that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Were you and I at the same wedding shower?? My first husband’s mom threw me a very similar one and it was like reliving it again.
    I cannot even imagine all of the other pieces of advice if that was the best one. I haven’t ironed anything in over 20 years. We are a wrinkly bunch. Thanks to wrinkle-free fabrics, we aren’t ostracized because of it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Writer McWriterson, I wonder how many of us went through bridal showers like this one? Today everyone plays all nicey-nice at bridal showers, but back then… those women were serious about assessing me. 😳

      As for ironing, I don’t do much of it and that which I do ends up looking wrinkly after I’m done. Just different wrinkles, you know?

      Like

  5. Excellent advice! Iron is a four-letter word at Chez Badass. Sometimes when I pull an especially wrinkled sheet or kitchen towel out of the dryer I think hmmmm, maybe I should run a quick iron over this but then I catch hold of myself and shake and hand press the offending thing into a better place and that IS GOOD ENOUGH. Once I start ironing, I don’t think I would stop. And life is too damn short.

    Deb

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Deb, I’m with you on GOOD ENOUGH about sheets and kitchen towels and most of my shorts and pants and whatever. I will run an iron over a blouse that looks a bit disheveled but I’m not good at that. Better to send shirts out to the laundry, I do believe.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A few months ago, I felt the need to iron something that was going to be worn in civilized company. That’s when I realized I don’t even own an iron. I used to, but I have no idea what happened to it. Wherever it went, it went there at least a decade ago, and probably longer ago than that. I thought about buying another one, but so far I haven’t.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. shoreacres, I can understand not owning an iron. We have one because Z-D’s 100% cotton khakis need to be ironed. He does that, btw. I try not to be in civilized society too often, thus I rarely have a need for pressed clothing. Being an introvert has its advantages. 😉

      Like

      1. Just a note — comments I’ve left on other blogs via the notifications tab haven’t been appearing in their blogs or tab, and your response to my comment didn’t appear in my notifications, either. It seems to be spotty, but WP is having a glitch or two this morning.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful piece of advice that goes a long way over years of marital togetherness. Sorry you had to experience the uncomfortable situation you found yourself although if you had not gone, you would not have gotten this Blessing. Yes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AmyRose, yes Aunt Ann’s advice has been useful [and entertaining] for many years now. The bridal shower was in its own way a wonderful experience. These women were nothing like my family, so they introduced me to a new world of… people… and values… and behaviors. They were a blessing, however you want to define that word!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hmmmmm. Now, I’ve never ironed anything in my life… so I’m far from an expert in this. But it never occurred to me that someone would want to iron their rags. Then again, maybe everyone around me already knew this was good advice and just never did it….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. evilsquirrel13, I never had considered the idea of ironing rags until Aunt Ann told me not to do so– or else. It is entirely possible that Aunt Ann was suffering from OCD, undiagnosed. She was a bit… uptight.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh hell to the no on ironing. I do have a steamer that gets used – I’m not even sure where the iron is. haha. Bridal showers in general – suck. I could never stand being the center of attention! Hope you got some good swag at least ;-).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pam, I like our steamer better than our iron. We have an iron because Zen-Den needs to iron his pants for work. I don’t like being the center of attention either. The hostess of the shower was a lovely woman who meant well, but she had no control over those older ladies who enjoyed scowling more than smiling. I/we did get lots of gifts– and one check that bounced. So, all-in-all a good haul.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Aunt Ann’s advice is profound – I’ve been pondering her words since I read them over an hour ago.

    Don’t know what she’d have to say about the fact that I have adopted an abbreviated version of her statement: Never start ironing. Full stop.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maggie, ha! You’ve suggested something that would, I’m afraid, shock Aunt Ann. I rather like your take on this because it gets to the core of the issue. Good advice, for today’s world and realities. And my natural inclination to be a sloth.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. You certainly have been through all kinds of fun social events! Sorry you had to endure that one. But great advice! Had me cracking up here. I don’t know anyone but my cousin who likes to iron. She irons sheets, towels ,sweatshirts ,jeans and I’m not totally sure, but probably underwear! Not me. I’m with everyone else here who responded. No ironing in this house!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beth, yes I seem to find myself in the most unlikely social situations. Fortunately I take people as I find them plus these situations might cause me pause, but make for good stories. If nothing else Aunt Ann’s advice has proven to be timeless. Not a fan of ironing either, but if someone wants to do that have at it. Just don’t judge me/us for being wrinkly.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I hate dumb games at showers. I have held on to a quiz from Aunt Ruthie; I believe I could even find it now underneath stuff in my reading basket.

    Though the in-laws sound contentious, your hubby seems cool.

    When we moved, I threw away my rusty ironing board but kept the iron, which I use rarely these days. If you came to visit me, I’d probably iron the embroidery on my guest room pillowcases. 😉

    Huzzah!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marian, I’m not big on shower games either, but I went along with it, of course.

      Zen-Den has two different sides to his family. The bunch who were at the bridal shower were/are more inclined to default to negative, while the other side is inclined to be cool & pragmatic with life as it happens. He’s like them.

      And if I did visit you I’d be sure to compliment how nicely you ironed the pillowcase. ‘Cuz I notice things and am polite!

      Like

  13. Oh I enjoy ironing, seriously…fabrics for quilting, pieced blocks/borders/in progress piecing, fusible webbing of stuff onto fiber creations, etc…Oh you mean as in ironing shirts? Luckily, if hubby wants a certain shirt that needs to be ironed, he actually gets after it and likes doing it! And I never ever heard of ironing sheets much less rags…ugh.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Laura, my husband irons his own pants and we send out his shirts to the laundry, so I rarely get near an iron. I can guarantee you that I never entertained the thought of ironing rags, but thanks to Aunt Ann that concept is part of my backstory. Can you even imagine?

      Like

  14. Yes. Who among us has not longed to be free from rag-ironing.

    The best advice I ever heard at a shower was, “Never argue after 10 PM. It will always go south.”

    I think it’s actually 8 PM for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. AutumnAshbough, Aunt Ann saved me from going down the wrong path. I have never strayed from her advice.

      8 PM sounds more reasonable to me, too. I’m exhausted by then and just want to chill. My attitude at that point in the day is pretty much: whatever, dude. ✌🏻

      Like

  15. I think her advice goes much deeper than that. I think the ironing of rags is a metaphor.
    What that advice is really saying is that you shouldn’t focus on being such a perfectionist that you get bogged down in ridiculous details because then you’ll never, ever get out of that trap: nothing you do will ever be good enough for you.

    It’s terrific advice.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. nance, I like your take on what Aunt Ann said, although she wasn’t a metaphorical kind of gal. However, you have interpreted this advice taking it to a higher level of meaning that I love. And agree with. 100%.

      Like

  16. We played a similar game. I chose “never complain about your spouse’s family” but probably haven’t followed it as well as you’ve followed not ironing rags. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kate, oh that’s a great choice. No one at the shower could fault you for choosing that helpful [?] advice. I don’t know that I’d suggest that advice. It seems like a good way for resentment to build in a relationship if you don’t talk about family things openly and honestly. Just saying…

      Like

  17. My mother ironed the sheets and pillowcases (even starching the pillowcases). I had to find my iron when I decided to sew face masks and wouldn’t you know – it was in the last place I looked. 😆

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Eilene, I remember my wealthy aunt and uncle’s maid ironing sheets and pillowcases, but in our house we slept just fine on wrinkles. I’m not surprised your iron was in the last place you looked for it. That’s where they hide. Known fact.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. River, your comment is now here. Uh huh. This is good and I’ll leave it at that. 🤨

      I’ve never been tempted to iron a rag, before or after Aunt Ann offered her advice. Kind of defies belief that anyone would do that.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I think something was [is] off with my WP notifications. When I go directly to my Comments tab I see your comment, but according to notifications you’ve not said a thing. Me knows not why.

          Also thanks for following along on this blog. I appreciate and enjoy your comments.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That is weird. I didn’t land in spam did I? It wouldn’t be the first time someone labeled me trashy…..
            And no worries, You’re stuck with me as I enjoy your blog as well.
            😉

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Donna, I’m not surprised you thought you’d need an iron, but also not surprised that you only just recently used it. For some of us, having an iron was part of setting up a household. Looking back on her I’d guess that Aunt Ann was probably OCD, but her advice has withstood the wrinkles of time. 😉

      Like

  18. I’ve always liked that game at wedding showers, in fact at the shower I went to last summer they played it. If that bit of advice was written on a card today, the future bride might ask, “What’s a rag?” “What’s an iron?”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jean R, I was thinking the same thing as I wrote this. Brides today live in a different world than the one I grew up in. What a joy it’d be to not know what an iron is.

      Like

  19. What a den-full of mean “girls.” I winced as I read about the “game” they played with you. That’s just plain cruel. But then Aunt Ann came to the rescue. Personally, I think the “rags” she was writing in that little note were not literal, but figurative. Don’t try to iron out your and other people’s problems, or their problems with you. Otherwise you’ll be doing that your entire life. And you know what? You’re right. You followed her excellent advice beautifully.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Pam, you could be right. Aunt Ann was uptight but she was also smart. Maybe more clever than the rest of the women at this party. I like your interpretation of the meaning of Aunt Ann’s advice because it’s a good idea– both literally and figuratively. She was unique and had a positive influence on me in an unexpected way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I expect Pam’s right ~ the advice extends to anything that you don’t plan to keep up.

        Don’t pick up your husband’s dirty socks unless . . .
        Don’t wait on your husband hand and foot unless . . .
        Don’t mix his martini unless . . . you’re mixing one for yourself! 😀

        Liked by 2 people

  20. OMG – best advice ever. I can see how it paved the way to years of marital bliss and allowed you to become the exceptionally wonderful person you are. Clearly there’s no way to argue with the importance of party games! 🙂

    Several years ago when someone was visiting town to attend a wedding, they asked to borrow my iron. I confess to a moment of slight embarrassment when I had to wipe off inches of dust on the neglected implement. But then my better sense kicked in, and I created a new motto on the spot – if you can’t see the wonderfulness beneath the wrinkles, you’re the one who needs vanishing cream.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Deborah, I like Aunt Ann’s advice, too. I mean the way in which I got it was via a game, but it has stayed with me like something more profound.

      Your motto is a good one. I also can understand why your iron was covered in dust. I personally rather like a few wrinkles, whether they be in my clothes or on my face. But that’s just pragmatic [lazy?] me.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. You’ve reminded me that I have the very best of both worlds. I do not iron; probably have not lifted up an iron in 45 years, except maybe for when I moved and thought I should at least bring it with me. But, my mother who nearby and loves to stay busy and feel helpful LOVES to iron. Go figure. So, I actually let her iron the linen napkins, the slip cover skirts when I change them, and a few other oddities now and again. I feel I’m doing my part to keep my 90 year old mom happy. As for rags? I had a MiL (with #1) who ironed rags. Early on, she’d just visited and left us with a stack of newly ironed ones when my hubs stubbed his toe on something in the dark and blood gushed forth. We ran him to the ER with a wad of what had to be now-sterile rags stemming the flow. I was actually grateful for the rags at the time. (Though I never told her; she’d have begun to iron his underwear).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Janet, oh you do have the best of both worlds. It’s good of you to keep your mother busy doing something she loves. Such a thoughtful daughter!

      You knew someone in real life who ironed her rags! As I live and breath, I’m amazed and entertained to know that there was/is someone besides Aunt Ann who’d do that. I can see how her rags helped you, but what are the chances of that happening? I mean really, ironing rags is goofy. End of story.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Huh. Boxers I could sort of see ironing, I guess. But t-shirts? Where’s the sense in that! Yes I’ve known a few women with a German ancestry that were… a bit… tightly strung. I get your reason.

          Like

    1. Nancy, I did manage to get a small laugh out of some of those unfriendly relatives-to-be. Plus Aunt Ann was onto something there, so it was important to give props where due. I hope your iron found a new home where it is loved.

      Like

  22. That is truly excellent advice — and a remarkable solution for an unwinnable choice. Not only is it true and it holds deeper meaning — but it’s cute and pretty sure to bring a smile to most people’s face. I don’t doubt that some of the competitors went home wishing that they had come up with something as clever, but they couldn’t be mad at you for choosing it.

    I’ve never ironed rags, btw, but every once in a while when I was doing Dad’s laundry I chose to iron his handkerchiefs. There is something quite satisfying about ironing sometimes. I couldn’t stand doing it on a regular basis but once in a very long while it’s almost enjoyable.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Zazzy, yes Aunt Ann saved me with that piece of advice. I think she was serious about it, but it does translate into a deeper meaning, too. She was a bit of an enigma to me.

      I think ironing anything square or oblong is ok. I’ve ironed table runners for our tables here when we used to have parties. I enjoyed that, come to think of it. But rags? Not going to happen in this house under my watch.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Aunt Ann was wise indeed. My MIL gave me a similar (though more pointed) piece of advice: never start ironing my hubby’s shirts. Also, whenever he golfs I get the same amount of money to spend on my own fun/relaxing activity. She was a fount of knowledge. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I hate those party games. Fortunately all my friends are married and/or too old to have babies so I don’t have to go through that. Ironing? I believe that’s why they invented permanent press. My mom used to iron her sheets. That’s on par with the rags IMO. Happy Wednesday.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Star Trek is one of my passions, so I got your reference without clicking. You did beat the scenario too! How did your relationships develop with ZD’s lady relatives, or did they?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Margaret, oh there were no relationships with these older negative women. We’ve never lived near either of our families so I rarely ever saw these women. Just as well, really. I represented education and solutions. Not their cup of tea, so to speak.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Extra credit for the Star Trek reference! I liked the sound of that game, until I realized that it was indeed a no win situation. WIth the right crowd it might be more fun? I think if it had been me, I would have tried to figure out my MIL’s handwriting, and picked her advice. Strategery.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. J, I agree that with the right crowd the game could be a hoot. And make for some good gossip-y family stories, but this was not that crowd. I didn’t think of your idea about MIL’s handwriting, but that would have been a good plan. Thankfully Aunt Ann saved the day for me.

      Like

  27. Ha! Wisdom from Aunt Ann and from YOU for picking that comment! We do tend to ratchet things up and we can’t go backward. When I was a little girl, it was my job to iron the sheets, pillowcases, my dad’s handkerchiefs and his boxers. Ugh! I don’t iron any of those things now! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Laurie, I believe that Aunt Ann was sincere with her advice. It got me out of a potentially tight spot with this group of women, but maybe at her expense. I dunno. I was young and it was a stressful event. I remember ironing my dad’s handkerchiefs [but not boxers] now that you mention it. I did that well. Squares are easy! 😄

      Like

  28. That had to be such a relief, both to get out of a tough situation and to get such good advice. My mom irons my dad’s handkerchiefs and shirts and dress pants, but thankfully my husband is an IT guy and even before he started working from home, his work clothes were a polo shirt and khakis. If you take a polo shirt out of the dryer while it’s still damp and hang it up, it needs no ironing at all and the same with pants. Now that we’re in Arizona, I hang things out, but as I just have a couple drying racks that can’t be seen and I’m not sure what the rules in this area are (yes, there are places that don’t want laundry hung out), I hang shirts and blouses in the master bedroom closet, where they dry amazingly quickly, don’t drip, don’t need ironing, save on electricity, and look just fine. I do own an iron, but the last time it was used was at Christmas when our s-i-l ironed his dress shirt.

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Janet, oddly enough Aunt Ann saved me and for that I thank her. I hadn’t thought about how quickly clothes would dry where you are living. I know that some areas don’t allow laundry to be hung out to dry, so you’re wise to keep your outside drying racks to a minimum. [Seems like a silly rule to me, but whatever.] I would love to hang wet clothes to dry in our master bedroom closet. That seems ideal to me. You’re lucky in that regard.

      Like

  29. I’ve never heard of this tradition of cards at a bridal shower with in-laws. Those ones sound like outlaws.cAunt Ann gave Admirable Advice … since we left Johannesburg last July to live down at the sea, we no longer have the luxury of our housekeeper who did the ironing. Undies, bras, boxers, pillowcases, kitchen cloths, you name it. Do we miss ‘it’? No way Jose … though I do miss my Jane 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Susan, I don’t know if younger women are subjected to the kinds of bridal showers we had back in the day. I hope not, they deserve better. At least Aunt Ann did give me a good way to keep everyone happy at the shower. While we do have an iron I’m not much for ironing so rags, and almost all articles of clothing, remain wrinkled.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Ha, ha! My mother told me to never admit that I could operate a lawnmower!

    Same for an iron. When my new husband needed his shirts ironed, I suggested he learn how or you use the shirt laundry that would do it for $1.10 per shirt. He saw the wisdom of hiring it out!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. KDKH, there’s something to be said for your mother’s advice and for sending your shirts out to be laundered and pressed. I know how to use a lawnmower, having used one of those more frequently than an iron. Also, am big on sending shirts out while not ironing rags at home.

      Like

    1. Almost Iowa, I don’t think Aunt Ann was talking in metaphors. She didn’t seem like the literary type. HOWEVER a few commenters here have made some wonderful cases for this advice being a metaphor. I can go either way on this point. Believe whatever makes you happy to believe.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Interesting insights on Aunt Ann in several of the comments and your replies. I’d imagine that since you knew her, you’re right that she wasn’t talking in metaphors. I read it, however, as “don’t sweat the small stuff.” There’s a saying about if you do something unexpected people are really grateful, the second time they might acknowledge it and by the third time, they’ve come to expect it. If you get tied up in the small stuff – like ironing rags – you’re not going to have time for more important things, and no one is going to appreciate it anyway. So, it’s interesting what people read into something as small as this. I wish we could ask her now what she intended.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Zazzy, I think Aunt Ann was being literal, but it was a loooong time ago and I wasn’t tuned into metaphorical nuances back then. I’ve not heard your saying but in my life I’ve seen that happen so I believe it to be true. I like the idea of not sweating the small stuff and try to do that myself. At least when it comes to people and cooking and reading the news. On some issues the small stuff needs to be sweated.

          Liked by 1 person

  31. We have an iron but it is seldom used for anything not related to sewing. But, I don’t like being wrinkly (clothes, I mean… I don’t have much control over my body parts) so I always give garments I’m considering buying the ole squeeze test. If I squeeze the fabric and it leaves lots of wrinkles, I don’t buy it. That’s why I’d never purchase anything made of linen.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Janis, I’ve never bought anything made of linen either– for the same reason as you. I prefer to not be wrinkly and that stuff is all about the wrinkle. I’m not keen on ironing unless it is something like a table runner, then I’m all over it. That I can do.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Haha – Auntie Ann must have been a card (and a lifesaver). I assume you saw beyond the simplicity to the deeper and more profound meaning: rags equally past deeds so incriminating that they must be “ironed” over. Or perhaps just don’t get into foolish habits. Or perhaps it was just the first thing in her mind!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jan, Aunt Ann was a woman who I’m guessing was suffering from OCD. She was being literal with her advice, or so it seemed to me at the time. Now, as a wiser woman I realize there could have been more to her advice. But I dunno, this wasn’t a crowd for beating around the bush. Still…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So at one time she ironed her rags? Well, she probably wasn’t alone! I was being my usual silly self … few of us have aunts whose advice rivals the great mystics with their layers of hidden meanings! Especially at bridal showers!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I really never got to know Aunt Ann, but I’m guessing that she ironed her rags until she couldn’t iron no more. She was insanely uptight and maybe had a bit too much time on her hands? She was, if nothing else, memorable. 😉

          Like

    1. Marie, ha! I agree that t-shirts are rags in waiting. What a great line. I’ve never ironed a t-shirt and probably never will because it doesn’t make sense. I barely iron ever.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same here. I used to iron and even kind of liked it, but that was when I was young and thought I had all the time in the world. Now, I have nothing in my closet that has to be ironed. Some clothes I hang dry after washing, which reduces wrinkles; others I hang up immediately after drying. If there’s still wrinkles, I consider them part of the “texture” of the garment. They are meant to be there 😉

        Like

  33. That is priceless good! Just priceless! Good on Aunt Ann!
    I love the idea of you being a little lambie among the wolves. I often felt like that when I was young, too. And I have to say things to people now, like, “I don’t know, I just didn’t want to upset anyone.” Why? Why would I rather upset myself? What sense does that make? Ugh.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. joey, yes Aunt Ann’s advice is one of those moments in time that I’ll not forget. I was too concerned with being nice back then. Like you said I didn’t want to upset anyone. I wasn’t clear about what was important [me], so I let people push me around. It made no sense, but I figured that out eventually.

      Like

  34. I also thought this had to be metaphorical, because…who irons rags? Are there people who iron rags? I’ve always thought it beyond the pale to iron sheets. I like it as metaphor, taking it to mean: Don’t try to make something a thing it can never be. Let a rag be a rag. They are useful, too.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. rita, I love your interpretation of this advice. It’s perfectly in keeping with how I live my life. I don’t know that Aunt Ann meant it that way, but your thoughts make sense to me. As for ironing rags… I dunno… sounds nutso to me.

      Like

    1. DrJunieper, an iron is good and necessary for sewing, but for me, a woman who doesn’t sew, it is more of an object taking up space in the closet than something useful. Therefore I do not iron my rags!

      Like

  35. Sound advice I would say – I finally broke my mom of the hasty habit of ironing everything. She had a wringer washer for years and hung clothes downstairs on lines in the laundry room all Winter, but the other three seasons they went on the pulley clothesline outside. She’d bring in sheets that were frozen stiff, just like her fingers. She ironed PJs and I said “they get wrinkles when you sleep” and her response was “you’re a helluva housekeeper Linda!” (Sadly, she was right.)

    When she finally got a washer and dryer, no more ironing as we chose permanent press whenever possible. I used to hate the kitchen curtains and even wrote a post about them one time. They were cafe curtains with long panels on top which were held back on each side with a contrasting perky bow. My mom would iron those curtains, all the pieces, then I had to climb up high and hang them and invariably I’d mess up the bow. I’d lose my patience while she would be calling the shots how to make it look just so. Not my thing. 🙂

    Like

    1. Linda, I wonder if for some older women of your mother’s era ironing was a pleasant experience because no one was bothering you as you did it. Kind of a break from kids and cooking and cleaning? Just a passing thought.

      Permanent press was a good invention. I remember as a child having sheets that said that on the little tag on the sheets. I also remember those cafe curtains. They were a bit too precious for my mother’s style, but they were fussy creations that I’ve no doubt needed to be carefully ironed. Lucky you to have the opportunity to rehang them. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ally – that is likely is the reason everything got ironed back then. My mom had some oddball gizmos for doing laundry that I remember. Not everyone had a washer and dryer and so they tried to dry clothes with minimal wrinkles to avoid spending hours on end at the ironing board. She had “pants pressers” which were metal “outlines” of pants legs, which were slipped into a wet pair of cotton pants and were used to stretch/dry the pants. The pants dried while hanging on a clothesline. Voila, no wrinkles Ma! She dried socks with a similar gizmo, We have it easy don’t we? (And we didn’t have to use a washboard either!)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t know about a pants presser or a sock presser, but they sound ingenious. I remember helping a friend do laundry in her family’s basement. The family had a hand-wringer washing machine and it took both of us young girls to turn the handle. Then we put the clothes on a basement clothesline, using peg style wooden clothes pins, to dry. Not easy at all. I love my electric washer and dryer, oh yes I do.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, my mom had those peg clothespins, as there were no clip-type ones back then. You had to feed the clothes through the wringer and keep them in the middle of the rollers – a lost talent for sure!

            Liked by 1 person

  36. Oh, my, my bridal shower was like that too. Each person was to bring me their favorite recipe on a card. My future grandmother in law called me on the phone and yelled the day before, “You’re expecting the guest to bring their own food to the party?” She was relieved to hear that wasn’t the case. Anyhoo, your post cracked me up. Aunt Ann was smart and so are you for taking her advice to heart! LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shelley, oh you have a funny bridal shower story, too. I can see how your future grandmother could have misunderstood the invitation, but at least you were able to set her straight. Honestly, Aunt Ann’s advice was what got me through my shower with my head held high, and it is good advice for the long haul. But really… why did a bridal shower have to be so stressful?

      Like

  37. Ooh, 116th comment of the day! Do I get a star, too?

    The same advice could be altered slightly and still apply. Never start shaving your legs, because once you do, you won’t be able to stop.

    Or…

    Never start watching Mad Men, because once you do, you won’t be able to stop.
    Never start reading Tundra comic strips, because once you do, you won’t be able to stop.
    Never start buttering your banana bread, because once you do, you won’t be able to stop.

    And so forth and so on…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sure, Swinged Cat, you can have a star. Here is yours: ⭐️

      I doubt that Aunt Ann thought about the implications of her advice to the degree that you have but excellent point about applying the logic of this advice to different aspects of your life. I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re right. I shall muse upon this idea while not ironing my rags.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Hmmm – as I’m reading through some of the comments made by others, it occurs to me that I may have been overthinking this.

    I was looking for some deep philosophical meaning like making an issue out of insignificant matters becomes a habit that’s near impossible to break and doesn’t add value to anything.

    That makes more sense to me than ironing rags. Even my mother, the Ironing Queen, wouldn’t have ironed a rag 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Joanne, this is one of those pieces of advice that you can interpret any way you want. I went with the literal meaning because Aunt Ann was known to be a fussy housekeeper. However maybe she was telling me something more. Who’s to say? Your mother was the Ironing Queen, you say? Well aren’t you the one!

      Like

      1. Seriously. My mother ironed virtually everything. Even underwear.

        My father had a small grocery store with a butcher shop and each week they went through 50-60 white aprons. My mom bleached and washed them them weekly. Those heavy cotton aprons then needed to be crisply ironed. I did more than my fair share of ironing aprons in my youth.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I can understand why your mother and you ironed the aprons. That makes sense to me, but underwear? While I don’t want to sound judge-y, I will when I ask: WHY? Life is too short, imo.

          Like

    1. philmouse, Aunt Ann’s advice was good and makes for a good story. As for the unfriendly crowd, well– this was a long time ago and they’re long gone, grousing in heaven I suspect.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, this group of older women were never going to like me. I was too young to realize that then, but I realize now that being empathetic and educated threatened them. I found solutions to problems; they preferred the problems! 🙄

          Liked by 1 person

  39. What a trap! This is why I don’t like games at showers. I know some people like them, but many of them are so uncomfortable. The worst ones are when you have to answer quiz questions based on the honored person. Half the time I’m invited to showers for ;people I don’t know well, so those questions are always awkward.
    Aunt Ann’s advice is priceless. I guess I can stop ironing rags now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. L. Marie, I’m not big on silly party games, either. I’d forgotten about those quizzes about the honored guest. Probably forgot about them because I dislike them, both as a player and as the honored guest. Yes, please discontinue all rag ironing in your house immediately. We must abide by Aunt Ann’s advice. 🙂

      Like

  40. So were there later repercussions? My first marriage was full of back-stabbing in-laws, so I can relate to that. This is yet another in a series of reasons why I think it’s easier being born a boy. Having to attend showers sounds like an absolute nightmare to me. One can skip the alcohol at a bachelor party, but I’m guessing that the games at bridal showers are mandatory. Ugh. – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Marty, games are mandatory at bridal showers and I’ve yet to play any that were fun. Of course, times may have changed. I haven’t been to a bridal shower in years. As for repercussions? Not a one. These were much older women and I rarely saw them. We lived far away, so they forgot about me, I’m sure. I, however, will always remember them.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Taken to the next level, it can mean, “Don’t start doing anything that you’re going to someday resent having to do.” I can think of a few things I wish I hadn’t started years ago, because now I’m KNOWN for those things, and it’s hard to extricate myself from them.
    On a more practical level, it’s similar to another piece of advice that I wisely do follow: Life is too short to fold fitted sheets.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Arlene, you said it. I like your interpretation of the advice and agree that there are some things I started, am known for, and no longer want to do. People lock you into a mold, then balk when you break out of it.

      That is good advice. I cannot imagine folding a fitted sheet. I’m not a Martha!

      Like

  42. This is hilarious. I remember being embarrassed to open lacy nightgowns at my shower because my mother in law was there. His mother did not have a shower or an engagement party or even a small, quiet dinner to celebrate our engagement. As a result, I never felt the once-over from the aunts until the wedding and by then there was enough of a crowd, I wasn’t focused on them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ernie, oh much better to encounter the aunts at your wedding than upclose and personal at a bridal shower. Many of these women where great aunts so there was no way they’d go to our wedding in another town, thus I got to meet them this way.

      Like

    1. Betsy, it’s one of those stories from way back that is as funny now as it was then. Yes, having shown my mettle at the party I did well with those older women. They were never going to like me, but they respected me, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, they’re long gone. And we live hours away so it was never an issue of me winning them over to fit in. They were their own little clique, no room for an educated outsider like me. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  43. Hi Ally, Funny you say this line “…because back then I cared about such things.” Yes, a few things I would change if I could go back in time.

    I need to mull over Aunt Ann’s advice. Even the concept of ironing gives me shivers. All the hours wasted over the years. Note to self: Never again. Ahhhhhh…..I get it……I should never have started ironing in the first place!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica/Erika, you’ve said it. Don’t start ironing, save yourself from the potential agony of doing it. I don’t think Aunt Ann would have agreed with this, but I like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  44. I am not a fan of ironing and hang my clothes right away for this very reason. My husband irons his work clothes. Luckily, the military taught him well so I’ve never had to attempt to take on the job.

    Like

    1. Amy, I rarely iron my clothes, either. No joy in it. My husband irons his pants but we send his shirts out to the laundry. I suspect that when he retires we might never use an iron again. Something to look forward to.

      Liked by 1 person

  45. I’m ashamed to admit that I used to be an ironing martinet. I had impossibly high standards (only for myself I might add) and even ironed my high-thread count Egyptian cotton bedlinen up my early 50s. Luckily, I had a damascene moment & decided that Life.Was.Too.Short, and my iron has remained untouched for years. Himself is a scruffy so & so too (& I love him for it). I do have a steamer which gets pulled out on rare occasions, but is more frequently used for defrosting the fridge/freezer:D

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, I’m glad you’ve seen the error of your ways and joined the wrinkles are great club. Life is much freer without ironing, although we have a steamer around here somewhere and *heaven forbid* I have to iron something I usually grab the steamer instead. Never thought to use it to defrost the freezer. Hmm…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s very effective – I can highly recommend it 🙂 ‘Twas Himself’s idea to use it, as our fridge is currently making like a freezer, and we’re so not going to be getting in a repair man nor consider having a new fridge delivered for a while yet.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Judy, I had to iron as a chore as a child, too. I was not good at it and didn’t like doing it so when Aunt Ann gave me her advice I knew she was right. Also it was a perfectly graceful way to end that stupid game on a high note.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Okay, I shouldn’t admit this, but… I remember being very young and wondering what that bag of damp clothes was doing in the refrigerator. I remember a soda bottle with water and having a sprinkler head on it that was used to sprinkle water on shirts in particular so they could be ironed damp. Thank heavens for non wrinkle materials. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’d forgotten all about pre-dampening clothes and putting them in the fridge. I remember that too– and I remember the soda bottle with the sprinkler head on it. Wow, talk about a trip back in time. I also remember steam everywhere when my mother ironed. Clouds of it. You’re right, today’s non-wrinkle material is soooo much better.

          Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.