Thursday, September 9

the irony of it...

last week my iron of 10 years gave up the ghost.
since he departed this world i have come to realize his value.
i only ever use an iron when i am making things.
i see now i was a fool not to give my iron a name.
for indeed in hindsight, his value was equal to that of Miss Ethel...
i am actually rather teary thinking about my little iron now,
how for many years he did his job without complaint,
knowing others around him had names of affection
and yet he was known simply as 'the iron'.

needing my little bits of fabrics to sit flat
i headed to the thrift store to see what i could see.
as i was on a mission, i had no time to listen to the weight of my heart.
knowing i was to step through the thrift store door without Our #1 by my side
was something i was not prepared to linger on.
with 'a hoppity and a skippity' i was over the threshold
and transported into 'hunt mode'.

unfortunately the irons laid out upon the shelves of despair,
were indeed a despairing lot.
i picked them all up individually, peering at their bottoms
and twiddling with their bits.
one after the other, i replaced them with a sigh.
i returned to the shed empty handed and a little fretful.
after all, i was deep in 'making wares for the shop' mode
(obviously it would appear last week i was in quite the mode)

just taking a breather from beavering away on making stock for the shop,
could spell disaster for moi.
Mr Procrastinator, whom lurks in cupboards and around corners in the shed,
well he sees these moments and pounces when i am at my most vulnerable.
to avoid arousing suspicion from Mr Procrastinator, thinking i had weakened,
i said in a loud voice
"no worries Tif, i have a cunning plan... tra la la la" in a rather over the top squeaky sort of way.
i heard him sigh and step back to the shadows.

then continued a conversation inside my head with the little voice.
"so" said the little voice "what you gonna do Tif, after all you cannot buy a new iron"
i pondered my response
"well technically little voice you are wrong. for it is most clear since 'the iron' passed onto a better life, that he is a tool of my trade, a well needed little fellow that without, i am unable to make hand crafted goodness"
the little voice gasped, quite taken a back by my cleverness
"true, true... but still does it not make you feel like you have let yourself down"
oh! that little voice is so good at what he does.

the next day i spoke to my man,
and this dearest readers is where the 'irony' of the whole matter comes into play
(actually do you like how the word 'irony' is used in a tale about irons, i like that very much, it actually is the kind of thing to make me smile)
for many, you will already know the tale, others perhaps not.
nearly two years ago, i turned the big 4-0.
i will admit it was a struggle for me,
for i was not supposed to get to 40 as quickly as i did.
however the struggle was made worse for moi
now some may think me most ungrateful
but as i am totally crappity crap in the kitchen
i found to be gifted a kitchen gadget for turning 40
by someone who had 24 years to ponder his gift
was a little unfortunate.
the situation made a little worse by finding the receipt
and noting it had been purchased the day before.
however i can say no more, for there is closure on the issue.

actually before i say no more, can i just say,
not a day goes by when the panini maker isn't topic for conversation within the shed.
it has become the most loved piece of kitchen gadgetry we have...
Our #4 always asks "but surely mum after all this time,
you can see what a great gift it was?"
hoping one day i will cave and say "yes it was lovely wasn't it"
but i stand my ground and i stay strong,
advising him as only a mother to a son can do

"dearest child of mine, when you have been married for umpteen years
to the love of your life, do not be foolish enough to think a gift for the kitchen
is a gift worth giving.
whether you understand the wisdom of my words or not, is immaterial.
just heed them and heed them well"

roll on nearly two years and here i am talking to my man,
with the words 'the irony of it' going around and around my head.

"soooo" i began "you know my birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks"
to which he looked a little frightened.
i continued
"thing is, i know i gave you a really hard time over the panini maker but i have a situation here,
a situation that is causing me untold strife"
by now, i had his attention
"i was wondering if you may care to buy me a new iron and perhaps even better still, could i have it as an early birthday gift" i finished in a flourish and 'pretty please' grin

i have not seen the light in my man's eyes look quite so sparkly in quite the while.
i could see the cogs turning through them,
i could tell his little voice inside was chuckling at the irony of the situation.
here was his wife, whom declared with great voice
he was never ever to give her a household appliance for her birthday again,
was now requesting an iron for her 42nd birthday.

with that, he picked up the car keys,
drove me to the store,
stood for nearly an hour going through each iron on display,
discussing the merits and the disadvantages of each
whilst i pointed out the ones that would not do, due to their color.
after much debating,
i came to the conclusion the only one up for the job was The Shark.

my man kindly took The Shark to the till,
paid for him
drove us both home
promptly announcing when inside the shed,
with big grin on his face and sparkly stuff still in his eyes
"Tif, as it is nearly your birthday and i know you cannot do what you do without an iron,
i thought it quite nice if i gave you your gift early"
where upon he presented me with The Shark.

in the week that has past i have dallied with Mr Shark (his mossy shed name)
for quite a few hours.
he steams like i have never seen an iron steam before,
and he is a heavy weight for sure, causing me to pause between presses.
Our #2 when seeing his hunky silvery good looks exclaimed
"blimey mum, is your iron on steroids!"
to which i quipped
"no, but i may have to start myself, if i am to lift him everyday"

she is thanking you all so very kindly for the grand reception you gave her bigger than big news ~ Tif


Lola Nova said...

How clever indeed!

C said...

yay! Glad you got a new iron! Hmm, maybe that is why my iron tends to dribble all over the place - he is nameless, but all my other things are named! Hmm, but what to name an iron which isnt actually mine?! I will bear in mind the importance of naming an ironfor when i get one of my own though, thank you!

*jean* said...

ooo dottie, i love your blog...

*jean* said...

ooo dottie, i love your blog...

French Knots said...

Many, many years ago when we were newly weds my husband gave me an exercise bike for my 21st birthday, there'll be a lovely ring sellotaped under the saddle I thought...but no.
I still have it to remind him what a crappity crap present it was.

daisy fleabane said...

I truly-truly love my cordless iron that I purchased at a yard sale some years ago. Now you have inspired me to think of a name for this trusted and wondrous individual. Also, I now see that I am grateful for having found this treasure myself, rather than receiving it as a gift! As always, thanks for your delightful perspective.

Carol said...

Absolutely priceless! My OH often "threatens" me with such a gift, so far he has seen sense.
Mr. Shark looks a mighty beast, hope he has a very long and productive life in the shed.
I must confess to a certain weirdness of nature - I quite like ironing.
Carol xx

Unknown said...

What a WONDERFULL PLACE you've got here. Inspiration, - big time!
How do I sign up, for folloving your blog?

Anyway...I'll be back. That's for sure.

mamas collection said...

Ah, we women are a fickle lot, aren't we?
Love it.

misschris said...

Oh Tif, this is hilarious!!! Mr Shark is quite handsome and looks set to play his part.

Still, even so so so much better than the panini maker (horrible alternative to something sparkly and sentimental, even if it is useful.) Mr Shark has a little sex appeal. Maybe it's all that chrome.

Cannot wait for Seattle!! xo

Jillian said...

Oh my gosh, this post made me chuckle (nearly out loud during class when I was supposed to be drawing lovely things instead of reading) several times. I hope you enjoy Mr. Shark thoroughly, and happy birthday!

Pink Milk said...

What a beast! The Shark that is and not your beloved. I'm wondering if he has redeemed himself? Your beloved that is and not The Shark? :-)


Vicki K. said...

If ever the man could guarantee that a shopping trip with the wife would result in a pleasing purchase of something called a Shark, I think said man would be more willing more often.

And many lations of congrats to you on your forthcoming will be the bestest. I just wish I could have it Now.

Chloe said...

I am thanking *you* kindly for this inspired post. I smiled, I snickered, I laughed right out loud. Mr. Shark is a handsome one, isn't he? Happy 42, my dear.

sabrina said...

Your story made me giggle. And when you said you got a "Shark", knowing these are pretty much top of the line irons, I went "Yes!"

Personally, I would enjoy a panini maker. But then, I cook and somewhat enjoy kitchen appliances. *hee hee*

Have a great b-day! :)

Rachaeldaisy said...

You always make me smile! Mr Shark looks like a smooth character! May all your seams lay flat for evermore.

willywagtail said...

My ex gave me an electroluc vacuum cleaner for our 7th, bought from a door to door salesman and then expected me to go out and pay the thing off every month. I can quite understand the panini maker story. But yes, the iron story could be true too. I do love a godd steamer but Mr Shark might be a bit much for my slender (ahem, that is weak) wrists. I do love that green floral in your last photo. Cherrie

Annie B said...

I was so happy to hera your ' bigger than big news' - how exciting for you. Your Mr Shark is lovely but also keep a look-out at the thrift shops for a travel iron - perfect for pressing little bits of fabric and not so heavy to use. As a bonus you can take it to sewing camp with you. I have managed to find several that I let my students use when I teach craft.

Dogwood said...

Great story as usual. You are very funny. I think you are going to love your new iron and how nice that it already has a great name!

Unknown said...

Too cute! First, Happy (early) Birthday! I too just had my 42nd birthday. And I have a few doozies to tell of my own. LOL! Your poor hubby. I guess we could chalk it up to "men!" But let's not let them off the hook so easily, shall we? Good for you for teaching your youngest about what NOT to give his future love. ;) Mr Shark is a perfect name for your new iron. Now I'm feeling like I should name mine also.

Sharon Stanley said...

congrats on your new acquisition! what a great purchase....even the name..."the shark" is great. may you have many many years of ironing pleasure together!

Talia said...

Hah! What an awesome iron story!! :-D

Julia said...

Thank you for making me laugh when I really don't feel like it. Congratulations on your bigger then big news! It could not be more deserved.

mynameisdelma said...

Oh my goodness, this sounds like a situation I had with my man recently; he responded the same way. Made me smile...And my #4 just graduated college is off on her own in the world. Checking out charity shops in her area. I enjoy your writing and your work very much.

Michelle said...

Welcome Mr Shark...
You are indeed in good company...

wordybird said...

i had the selfsame experience re: household appliances. my husband and i had been together not very many years, when i was gifted one christmas with not one, not two, but THREE small appliances. he was quite chuffed, thinking himself quite the clever lad. we had a little TALK about the inherent non-giftiness of small appliances. we then made the handy little rule: no prezzies with plugs!

Mama Thor said...

Strangely, it is a rather intimate relationship we have with our irons, isn't it? Best of luck to you and Mr. Shark.

marian said...

oh i totally agree with you gadgets are a big NO-NO for a birthday gift! that is of course, unless you are absolutely desperate for a particular the case may be (and is/was) in your case, then & ONLY then does it makes absolute perfect sense. btw i'm loving your new shark, bet he gives your biceps a good workout lol!

Juliab said...

I thought you were going to say you were using the panini maker as an iron!

Greedy Nan said...

I, like you, Tif only use an iron when making things; the fact that most of my clothing is super-crumply just hides my super-crumply body which lurks beneath.
I, again like you, do not consider the 'household implement' to be a gift and should I be given somesuch as a gift I would be a very unhappy Nan.
Unfortunately, and extremely UNLIKE you, I do not have talent but still admire someone like you greatly big ...

Autumn Mist said...

I laughed myself silly over this - your irony is not wasted on me, Tif, as very nearly the grumpy recipient of an ironing board as a Christmas present. Mr Shark looks like quite a beast, doesn't he? I think elevating his status to a 'Named Item' may well secure his loyalty, but don't go upsetting miss ethel, whatever you do.

Gorgeous Things said...

Mr Shark looks like a bit of a beast - I hope you soon manage to master him! How we rely on these domestic appliances - my iron and my vacuum broke over the last ten days, and I seem to have wasted no end of time "researching" what to replace them with. (Would have liked to have replaced them both with a full time housekeeper, but Mr. Thing wasn't keen!)

Arthur Ransome said...

Dear Tif, you've brought a smile to my wrinkly old lips yet again. Amongst my acquaintance, a liking for panini is thought to be a sign that it will be "pension soon", so your man's choice of gift was cursed in more ways than one. Mr Shark, on the other hand, looks ready for anything and should make up for the Panini Maker Disaster of 2008, I trust. Love - Athur

Angie D said...

Hehehe :) I'm so glad you got yourself an iron, no matter how!

Anonymous said...

Dear Tif,

I so enjoy your blog... My mom is English... I was born in England, with an American father. Have been in the States most of my life.
Still see the English in you.
I was never quite "American" and never wholly "English"... but, well... enjoy it very much.

It is amazing to age. Be thankful you have beautiful english skin.
I am not telling anybody, my children are still guessing, that I will be 50 this September. WOW how does that happen?


dottie angel said...

haha heehee! i knew the irony of it all would not be lost upon you, my peachy readers :)

gosh your tales and your words have made my morning. and indeed warmed my toes, which are tres cold due to sitting outside doing a garage sale in my pippi longstocking plaits...
a little slow but am at last getting it 'back on' with Mr Hook, so perfect use of sitting there twiddling my thumbs :)

Devon said...

Oh I love you story,,and by the way I just bought me a shark iron to..after I accidently knock my off the ironing board and it broke,,may you and Mr Shark have many happy hours together..

celine said...

I have obviously been reading your blog for too long as I soon as you mention "iron breaking down", I knew for sure where the post was heading.... and I was right!

Ps: very big congratulations on the book thing

glam.spoon said...

reading your blog always brings a smile to my face. welcome to The Shark!

Wendy said...

Ooohh... Mr Shark is indeed a handsome fellow. May you have many happy years of loveliness together!
Congrats on the book m'dear! Fantastic news!
Uppercase = So SO pretty. Reminds me a little of Present and Correct... A Sort of UK version in a way... It feeds a rather long-standing obsession!

Jolly well done you!!!

Kerri said...

Hilarious! I think the name Mr Shark is perfect as he does look very sleek and slightly menacing :)

Jill said...

This is indeed "irony"! But, I agree with the advice you gave your son!! EXCEPT if it is a Bunn coffeemaker. I got one from my husband for my birthday. He doesn't drink coffee. I do--and lots. I needed a new pot and he chose the lovely Bunn with it's high price tag for me and I don't love it because of the price, oh no...but because of the great and speedily made coffee that pours forth.