Zen Ironing and a Viral Valentines’

by Emily Kemme

Have you surmised that Valentine’s Day went by the wayside? If so, you’re correct.  I would call it Viral Day, if anything.  Dr. K, Isabelle and I had wilted by the time K drove in from the hospital, Isabelle dragged herself into the house from school, and I finished up making that soup.  I did pop open a fabulously golden bottle of Pol Roger, hoping to share it, but ended up drinking a couple of glasses by myself, and stuffing a cork back into it.

So, here I am, sipping leftover champagne and ironing.  Zen ironing, that is.  There is something incredibly calming about hot steam radiating out of this little machine in my hand.  The entire process soothes my mind as I coax the wrinkles out of the antique linen napkins, creating a crisp white canvas upon which the next dinner guest may make their mark, leaving a memory of a delectable sauce.

Whoa!  I heard you!  Did you know I can do that? Well, I can.  I’m a wife and mother; we have eyes in the back of our heads, and ears in our fingertips.  And we’re mind-readers.  You’re thinking, “What is she doing, ironing antique linens?”  Well, Iron Girl asked me the same thing.  I entertained a lot last week; at last count I have to iron 22 cocktail-y/luncheon-sized napkins, eight dinner napkins and three placemats.  Not to mention the usuals: shirts, pants, etc.  But, I’m really not crazy. I prefer to think of this phenomenon as participating in the green movement.

You see, it’s Tuesday.  Zen Ironing Tuesday, when I act as Domestic Diva and Iron Girl (not to be confused with me, the “Zen Iron-er”), Nurse Lovee and I congregate in my laundry room, and. . . wait for it. . .they watch me iron!

Ooooh.  I bet you’d like to join in.  And, you really might.  It’s girl bonding.  It’s generally a bitch and moan session, the two of them perched up on the counters drinking a beer, watching me go with that steam machine, and occasionally weighing in with a comment, such as, “you gonna do something about that double crease you just left in Dr. K’s pants?”  Somewhere along the way we solve the world’s problems.

Anyway, we had to call it off  this week.  Isabelle is back at home, having relapsed; I’ve mandated a quarantine.  She’s thrown up four times today, at last count.  She phoned Dr. K three times today during clinic, convinced that she had been smitten with cholera, but he subdued this worry, although evidently she did a pretty good job researching all the symptoms before she called him.  I warned Iron Girl and Nurse Lovee of the situation on the home front, who both wisely begged off.  There was no way I could guarantee that Isabelle’s germs wouldn’t seep downstairs. Nurse Lovee is scheduled for double knee surgery next week, at the ripe old age of 50.  She’s already in pre-op mode:  filling out forms and becoming educated in the wonders of engaging in orthopaedic surgery.  And indulging her ever-present germophobia.

So, I ironed alone.  Which is a good thing, for Iron Girl.  Her “I don’t care what we eat” husband has requested dinner.  But, he doesn’t care what dinner consists of. Get it?  I suggested an easy solution, given his esoteric tastes:  roadkill.  After all, it probably tastes like chicken.  Do you think he’ll bite?


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MONICA February 17, 2011 - 5:20 am

how is Isabelle today?

Emily Kemme February 17, 2011 - 11:47 am

So much better! I poured a ton of chicken broth down her. There really is nothing like an old-fashioned remedy. Thanks for asking!


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