Stuff We Think in the Toilet #004: On Ironing the Clothes...

If there's one thing I'm pretty sure I hate more than anything, It's ironing my clothes. Truth to be told I was so comfortable ...

If there's one thing I'm pretty sure I hate more than anything, It's ironing my clothes. Truth to be told I was so comfortable on having the clothes ironed by our live-in maids for the 16 years I spent on my parents house, and the rest usually were done by the 'pay-per-kilograms laundry' which were very cheap and can easily be found anywhere in Indonesia. With all due respect but the cost for ironing a kilogram of clothes usually goes around Rp. 2000-4000 (around 2 cents-5 cents per kilogram!) and my time is the most valuable treasure I have, since, you know, I go to college and I'm lazy, so paying around Rp. 5000 to Rp. 12.000 (from 5 cents to USD 1) I can have all my clothes perfectly ironed and pressed and folded.

After living alone, my mom kind of paying for an in-house maid to take care all my needs, including ironing the clothes, which at first I boldly refuse but I can't anymore since my mom loves to be in charge of everything (yes, now we know where my traits came from) including my very single and plain household life. So, yes, I'm spoiled and rotten when it comes to ironing my own clothes. And even when our maid is on the leave, I will just simply sort my clothes, throwing it into the washing machine, drying them, and leave a pile of dry, clean, and wrinkled clothes on a laundry basket until our maid came back.

image are taken from here


These kind of things changes when Alfa came around. Why?

First, Alfa is a highly organized, meticulous clothes folder, and an obsessive compulsive "laundry day" cleaner. He meticulously rack up his well-sorted dirty clothes before bringing them to the laundry. I am the "throw everything to the bin and sort it later" kind of person. Hell, he spent hours to clean and tidy the place around once he has the mood to do so and I'm the kind of person who clean and tidy everything everyday but not really meticulously (like I'll left strands of hairs or bits of debris here and there).

Second, coming from a humble and very independent background, he knows his way around household chores. Something which I never learn until I hastily left my childhood home to discover the world. Yes, everyone, I just knew how the washing machine works when I'm 16--not proud. 

Third, you know those people who watches and/or reads how to basic?? I'm them.

Alfa has no washing machine in his previous run-down rental house, and the cost of express-washing, even in the pay-per-kilos laundry were pretty expensive, so when he was at his clinical rotation, I was tasked with the hefty burden of washing his clothes. Yes. Hefty burden, indeed. But his work clothes require no sordid work of ironing, so I just dry them and the next morning, the guy will pick up his clothes and wear it. 

I was so safe for so long, until that day when he came back from Palembang a few weeks ago. 

As per his stay of course he rack up a ton of dirty clothes, and knowing he had to handwash them back in Palembang moved my heart (I hate knowing he woke up at 2 AM just to wash clothes because water is rationed from 4PM to 6AM only) So I sorted all of his clothes, wash it, dry it... and... Iron them. And here's where things got worse. 

I have no idea what I'm doing. First thing first, he pinpointed that I've been using our drying machine wrong all of this time. I recently bought a top load washing & drying machine, something which I wasn't accustomed to. So, instead of lining up all the clothes with the dryer tube, I just put all of our clothes in there (like you do in front-loading washing machine with built in dryer). So, 1 for Alfa and 0 for me. 

I was standing there in the laundry room alone because my maid were taking her leave before I collected all my guts and run into Alfa in the kitchen (he was robbing our refrigerator) and asked, "baby, how did you Iron and fold these?" which he answer with burst of laughter. He teach me how to fold clothes properly and pressed them with the iron. Well, for the first time homegirl doesn't have to log in to youtube and watches how to basic to do things. While I was dazed and dumbfounded by the fact I just ironed a piece of clothing properly that isn't mine to begin with, he then asked, "you never do this before?"

"do what before?"

"folding and ironing your clothes"

"well if i can fold and iron properly, I wouldn't feel the need of having this much of clothes hanger am I?"

And he laughed as if it was something really funny. For me, it wasn't. I'm ashamed that eventhough I'm a holier-than-thou feminist, a mere task like ironing some clothes has brought me to my knees. 

Some (extreme) feminist might said, because of equalities, women should not worry if they can't do basic household chores like this perfectly because it's not women's job anymore. Well, in this matter I disagree. I felt so small than when I have an equal position with a man, I still can't do something that a man could do perfectly. I felt like I'm just this pseudo-feminist who is actually a spoiled brat who just flatly refused to learn how to handle household chores, but even worse, I felt like I'm the loser, and I lose to a man, in terms of ironing and folding the clothes. And losing was the last thing I want to feel. I hate losing. 

So right now, the first step that I will challenge on our gender equality roles on our wedding is that I, who was born spoiled and rotten, will do every household chores perfectly. Including ironing our clothes. Because a feminist should be a strong woman who can handle everything, even a simple task like folding the clothes. And being a feminist is where i'll be.

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