Friday, November 17, 2006


Three reasons for this blog:
1) Nicholas will have to start one of his own, and I'll no longer have to wonder what's going on in his life.
2) Most of my loved ones are over a day's journey away. The time we get together is precious, and I'd like to see what it's like to not spend those visits catching up on the little things.
3) When I pester my family and friends about letting their blogs stagnate, I won't be such a hypocrite. (Or maybe more of one. We'll see.)

There's much to catch up on.

Alexe and I have been married, traveled around the globe (Italy/India), built a cabin in VT, relocated from DC to Mississippi, had many adventures on the way, all in the past 14 months.

But I don't have the time or energy to go through all that.

Today I want to talk about starch.

I have always ironed my own clothes.

Though I toppled out of college into an absurdly well-payed job, I have yet to leave behind my starving-student fiscal policies.

At first the less-wrinkled look was achieved by hanging my wet laundry in my basement apt in DC and calling the dried shirts flat enough.

When Alexe and I were married we bought an iron (we used a gift card from my coworkers), and I started pairing the Sunday evening ironing sessions with movies or Scrubs re-runs. Pleasant enough, as I only had a few shirts to smooth out.

Then my darling wife instituted clothing allowances, a compromise between her allowance-ridden childhood and my NewEngland sensibility. Suddenly my work shirt count exploded to almost 10, and the ironing task became hours of steamy wasted time.

Which led to a decision a couple weeks ago, after 4 hours of ironing on a Sunday night: I don't want to do it anymore. (If you're asking, how in the world could 10 shirts take that much time to iron, let me tell you: I have very long arms, roughly equal to my inseam, and finding shirts that reach all the way down to my wrists is not a simple task. For fear of turning these precious finds into 3/4 length fashion items, I never dry them except by slowly forcing the water out with methodical applications of a hot iron.)

If I have a job that warrants ironing, and if Alexe can go to Pilates at the swank gym four days a week, I can spend 15 bucks (13 and change, actually) every two weeks on my shirts.

So, my darling wife both dropped off my shirts and picked them up from the cleaner.

And here's the thing: they're starched.
Stiff, flat, and soooo silky smooth. Yesterday was my first day at work in a professionally laundered shirt, and it was all I could do in meetings to stop from petting myself. The cuffs are so smooth. The gig line down my front, where the button holes are, is like a friction-free bobsled track. My pocket was actually glued shut, and it was endless fun to slowly unstick the deepest corners with my capped pen.

I don't know what they're using for starch nowadays. Apparently it was once potato peels, but however they put it in those spray cans, I think it's awesome.