Friday, July 3, 2009

Confessions of an Iron Snob

My name is Marty, and I'm and Iron Snob.

I'll admit it. I'm picky about irons. I iron quite a bit, and I know what I like. Ordinary, run-of-the-mill irons are not for me. I want features, and I know what features I want. And I want them now!

Steam. Lots of it. Variable steam. Burst of steam. (Vertical steam not necessary.)

Spray. Reliable spray. A spray push button suitable for an arthritic thumb.

A control knob. An easy to use control knob. A control knob that doesn't fall off.

A skinny, pointed tip.

Automatic shut-off. Not that I would ever need it. What never? Well, hardly ever.

An extra long cord.

Light in weight. Even if I am Super Muscle Woman, I try to confine my weightlifting workouts to the fitness center.

A very stable heel rest. Very, very stable. Stable enough to be almost anti-gravity.

And this is what I've been using for the past few weeks. It's the garage sale iron.

It has no features except steam. None. But the price was right. $1.00. Take my word for it. You'll have to believe me because the price sticker on the handle is partly rubbed off.

This iron has been in the basement for more than ten years. I bought it for my daughter as she was getting ready for job interviews as a senior in college. For some reason I didn't remember I had given her a real iron earlier. It has had occasional use.

Below is the iron I wish I still had. The Steam & Reach. It burned out in a glorious blaze of... Well, not exactly. One afternoon I noticed that the handle had become quite hot. The next day, it made some clicking noises but wouldn't go on. Not to confuse anyone with references to multiple small appliances, but this iron was toast. The box is still here (available to store the garage sale iron) but the iron has moved on.

I bought this wonderful Steam & Reach one day in a snit. It was about 15 years ago. Imagine coming home from an exhausting (and not all that thrilling) work-related conference to have your associate homeowner confess right there in the airport terminal that your iron had been terminated. Violently thrown to the basement floor... Well, not exactly. Knocked off the ironing board onto the basement floor by an innocent (huh!) person looking for nails on the workbench. The old iron was toast. Little pieces of toast.

So I went iron shopping that week. The only other option was wrinkles, since the garage sale iron was still with its previous owner. I found the wonderful Proctor-Silex Steam & Reach. I didn't know how wonderful it was at first. And then I discovered the beauty of the Reach--the extra long cord. No longer was I forced to be adjacent to an electrical outlet. I could iron while I roamed! Of course, carrying the ironing board all over while ironing was a little awkward, but the possibility of roaming was so liberating!

The iron wasn't perfect. But that only made it more endearing. About halfway into its working life, the temperature control knob came off. That was a minor problem, only of importance if one wanted to control the temperature. I put it back on several times. Finally my associate homeowner glued it on with something powerful, no doubt to make up for the unfortunate incident with the previous iron. The Steam & Reach was just like new. And knowing that the knob might come off again just added some excitement to my ironing.

But I must come to terms with the fact that the Steam & Reach has moved on. So I say, "Good-by, sweet iron. I'll try to find a worthy successor."


flyingbeader said...

HILARIOUS! Hey, want to really cry...I've still got mine with knobs & all. Of course the edges are all burnt looking & it steams ALL THE TIME...can't readjust it to not steam. But you are it. dot

Carol said...

The picture of your iron caught my eye in my blog roll. Believe it or not, It looks like one of my irons (Black and Decker) that is one of my favorites. My others are Rowenta. And of course, I have Singer steampress. I iron a lot, both in craft/sewing and our clothes. Why do I have so many irons? I'm nuts.

pam T said...

who knew that an iron could evoke such a longing for the "perfect iron" in us? Such a simple thing... yet I think someone who doesn't iron is making them these days. Ah, to wander the house with iron in hand! OMG Marty, this was too funny!