Thursday, February 28, 2019

A Bundle of Shirts

Yesterday's bizarre experience -- I seem to have at least one a day -- went like this:

As I set out for work, I gathered up all of Dave's and my dress shirts that needed laundering. I usually don't wash our nice shirts, because we don't have an iron and besides, I hate ironing and I'm terrible at it. So I take them to the cleaners on the high street and have them washed and pressed. I've been going to this same cleaner as long as we've lived in West Hampstead -- so, five years.

I walked into the shop and there was a young woman at the counter who I've never seen before. I greeted her and said I had shirts for laundering and pressing.

"OK, shirts for dry cleaning," she said.

"No," I replied, "not dry cleaning. Just laundering."

"Oh, we don't do that."

I looked her in the eye and said, "That can't possibly be true. I have this done here all the time."

"No, we don't do this here," she said. "Only dry cleaning."

Without another word I picked up my shirts and left, and went to the cleaners down the street, where they were perfectly happy to launder my shirts.

I'm sure that woman is new, or maybe just filling in for the one who's normally there, but good grief! I am not going to argue my way into being allowed to spend money in someone's business. And why on Earth would I want to dry clean a plain cotton dress shirt, and contaminate the world with all those toxic chemicals, when I could just get it washed?!

My enthusiasm for that cleaner has been waning for a while, for a number of reasons. I might switch to the other one permanently.

(Photo: A mural on the Isle of Dogs, a couple of weeks ago.)


  1. Well done!
    Nice Muriel....very fitting

  2. Clearly you stepped into an alternate universe when you walked through the door of the cleaner. That's the only explanation for that bizarre exchange. lol

  3. There must be YouTube videos on ironing shirts that you and Dave could follow or perhaps you could sign up for a night school course. This would save you the trips to the cleaners.

  4. Like you Steve I rarely iron anything. I do own and iron and an ironing board though.
    I do not own a washing machine but have a Launderette just across the road. I wash dry and fold very, very carefully and nothing requires me to waste time ironing then, lol

  5. As you know, I sort of like ironing. It's taken me sixty years to reach this point though.
    I think you HAVE entered a parallel universe. Yesterday's strange night experience and now this. What's going on?

  6. Oh man I HATE to iron - and I'm terrible at it too. I have one pair of pants that I iron about twice a year & that's it - I shall just be rumpled at all other times.

  7. The perfect time to switch...

  8. I like the "alternate universe" theory. It's happened to me before.
    I somehow feel normal now that I see I'm not the only one who doesn't iron. About a year ago, I told myself it was stupid to keep paying to get my white shirts laundered and pressed so I bought an iron and an ironing board. The board is in the closet with it's plastic cover still on it and the iron is still in it's box. One step at a time, I guess.

  9. I can never understand businesses not training staff and then how they can hire such inept people.

  10. Maybe with the new staff they gave up laundering shirts. It might be worth calling just to check. If you like the way the new laundry service did the shirts, I'd say stick with them.

  11. maybe they've been dry cleaning your shirts all along and just never mentioned it.

  12. One of the happier days of my husband's life was when I suggested that he quit ironing his dress shirts and I would take them to the cleaners near my office.

  13. haha What Ellen said...gosh , life is rough.Be glad you have a self grooming dog!

  14. I only have one dress shirt and it just hangs in the closet. Probably doesn't even fit me anymore. So much for the cleaning problem.

  15. Or maaybe you've been going to the second place all along, bwa ha ha.

  16. Steve, you should read I should be laughing blog. He features a home you would enjoy seeing. It is on your walking trail.

  17. One of the joys of retiring is no longer having to dress in anything remotely formal. That means cotton T shirts (that never need ironing anyway) and shorts (summer, which in our part of the world is about 9 months) or jeans (winter). Occasionally we dress up and go out, and yes, there is a bit of ironing afterwards (sigh) but at least you can minimise the job - two or three times a year. When I actually DO have to iron, I stand at the ironing board in front of the TV and watch the news. Kill two birds, so to speak, with the one job.

  18. Maybe you stepped into a parallel universe? If so, I'm glad you avoided polluting the world even more than it already is!

  19. GZ: It does fit the theme, doesn't it?

    Jenny-O: Right? It's like a "Star Trek" episode!

    YP: It's not that I don't know how to do it, exactly. I just don't do it WELL. Having someone else do it is indeed a little luxury. If we had to cut expenses on that front I could do it myself, but first we'd have to buy an iron!

    Briony: I'm impressed you get by without a washing machine!

    Ms Moon: The key is to entertain yourself with something else while you're doing it, right?

    Bug: I never ironed at all until I was about 30 and my coworkers made fun of how rumpled I was.

    E: The downside, I have discovered, is that the second cleaner is much more expensive.

    Sharon: At least you're prepared, now! We don't even have an iron or a board.

    Red: I know! Did no one TALK to this woman before they put her on the counter?!

    Robin: I'm going to ask the next time I see one of the regular women working there.

    Ellen: God forbid! No, I know that's not true, because I HAVE had one or two things dry-cleaned and it's more expensive than the shirt-washing.

    Allison: It is a nice little luxury, and it makes things so much easier. I usually wear the shirts a couple of times, too, so I get my value out of those ironing jobs. (My job is fortunately not at all messy!)

    Linda Sue: YES! Olga's self-care is a major plus!

    Catalyst: That sounds wonderful. I am looking forward to those days.

    Marty: That WOULD be a parallel universe!

    Barbara: Thanks for the tip! I did check it out! I rarely leave Hampstead Heath on the Highgate side, so I've never seen that house. (Plus it's on a private road.) But you're right that I come pretty close to it when I walk the dog on the Heath!

    David: Yeah, I love summer, when I can just bum around in shorts and t-shirts all day. I'm not sure I could iron and watch the news. I think I'd wind up throwing the iron at the TV!

    Elizabeth: The craziness of our times is definitely part of my generally befuddled feeling these days!

  20. How weird. No doubt it was time to move on.