Ever since six months ago, after an extremely fruitful trip to Kohl’s, I’ve had a craving for really good button-up shirts. In early July I had a very frustrating weekend of shopping in which I learned that most shirts which have my neck size will also double as a parachute in the event of an air emergency. Therefore, I have since been on the look-out for shirts that more closely match what I bought in February.
Last weekend I swung into Macy’s at Northgate Mall before heading over to my friend’s driveway to be all awesome at fixing my car. I was actually looking for shorts, but shirts were on my mind, too. Well, Macy’s was having a killer sale and I found two really nice dress shirts that were originally $60 and were reduced to $15 each. Score. $120 of shirt for $30.
I bought them, took them home later that day (remember, I was being manly with wrenches and grease for the hours that immediately followed the purchase), and washed them as I do all new clothes. I was thrilled to be able to put on my I-look-like-I-waste-money-on-things-that-I-can-buy-cheaper-somewhere-else-but-actually-I-got-them-cheap-so-in-your-face shirts the next morning and look stylish for the other corporate slaves, whose minds are deteriorating like mine. Imagine my shock when I took them fresh out of the dryer and the sleeves were bunched-up long-ways like a twisted-up, wet paper towel, the collar was creased in about 20 wrong places, and the row of buttons and the opposite places-for-buttons were folded in half, right where they shouldn’t be. I had crappy shirts I’d “borrowed” from people I knew that did that, but never had I seen a new shirt do this. It’s extremely frustrating considering where I bought them. And this is obviously not something that a bachelor’s best friend, the dryer, can fix, because they came out of the dryer that way!
A series of odd events that week which I will not bother explaining led me to realize the solution that a 29-year-0ld man would have known full-well 30 years ago – ironing. Most of my shirts are either half-polyester or wrinkle-free, so to me, ironing is something you do when someone in authority over you says that your pants, which have been lying in a ball on the floor since you took them out of the dryer a week ago, will not do.
Well, I went and bought some starch and set out to get my new shirts back into crisp, flat condition. And now, after a total of probably 45 minutes of ironing, those TWO shirts are ready for the week. TWO SHIRTS! FORTY-FIVE MINUTES! That’s a one-and-a-half episodes of Duck Tales! Make no mistake – this was not like quickly ironing a pair of pants or even flattening out a crinkled dress-shirt. I had to meticulously pull things flat as I ironed to make sure the desired shape of the shirt was restored and not permanently setting in the post-dryer creases. I’m also using starch, so I’m continuously having to brush away white starch clumps that build up on the shirt.
Honestly, I’ve never faced something like this before. Clearly, these shirts will do this every time they are washed. Clearly, they are nice shirts that fit well, so I will want to wear them. But I’m a 21st-century man! I have things to do! Places to go! The world didn’t move slower in the 50’s because they didn’t have satelite or iPhones – it moved slower because everyone had to iron their shirts!
I’m happy that at this moment in my life, the worst I can find to whine about is ironing dress shirts.