Monday, February 9, 2009
Ironing Out the Details
This morning I was hand-washing my unmentionables. I wash my fine lingerie in cold water with a gentle detergent. I rinse the delicate pieces and carefully lay them flat or hang them dry. Taking care of them ensures longevity.
During my first trip to India I was gathering up clothing for the hotel to launder. In the pile was a nice shirt that I typically hand wash. My roommate said, "Oh don't let them do that. They'll ruin it." I thought she sounded like the Ugly American. I have since used that same sentence.
I've seen Indian women at lakes and rivers pounding clothes with rocks and sticks. They wrench and twist them with deft wrists and strong forearms. The clothes take a real beating. Men stand on street corners surrounded by piles of laundry and iron. They use the real deal—heavy irons that are stoked with burning coals.
My laundry comes back very clean and flat. All pleats and ruching are gone. My panties are ironed and folded. Bras too. One T-shirt bra came back with the underwire hopelessly twisted. I threw it away. Now I just send out my jeans and T-shirts for laundering.