Tuesday, April 28, 2009

If I had a mangle:
A domestic lament

I'd mangle in the moooooorning
I'd mangle in the evening
All over my kitchennnnn (or dining room, or studiooo, or bedroom)
I'd mangle out rumples
I'd mangle out creases
I'd mangle out wriiiiinkles between my steamy roller and my other steamy roooooller
All over my kitchen (or dining room, or studio, or bedroom)


Ah, the humble mangle, staple of many a North American grandma's laundry room. Had I a grandma of my very own in this country, perhaps she'd have a mangle such as to make my eyes a-mist with memories of morning sheet mangling, Werthers proffering, and under-chin chucking. But alas, I do not.

I first heard tale of the mangle's existence in a Martha Stewart Living magazine article discussing the finer points of clothkeeping in Martha's laundry room at Skylands (n.b.: this link will not lead you to the article of memory, but you'll get the idea). Still a teenager, with a head full of boys and high school tragedy, I had little need for obfuscatory housekeeping apparati, but me being Me, I filed "Mangle" away somewhere in the tidy corners of my mind, giving no more thought to the subject until now.

Now, I have a home. Now, I have an event design business. Now, I have sheets and tablecloths and curtains and reams


and reams


and still more reams (and swaths, even!)


of similarly long and large expanses of fabric to press. Now, though I have the much lusted after Rowenta iron that my beloved and I asked for and received as a wedding present, and pressing shirts and pillowcases is truly the impressive irrepressible inexpressible insuppressible steamy joy I always knew it could be, ironing the fabric for the curtain panels I sewed for our living room and dining room took hours and hours and hours. And hours. And, though those curtains are beautiful


and were worth the occasional steam singe and foggy lens, leave it to Martha to show me the better way of doing things. Leave it to Martha to foster mangle envy.

Still, I'm not alone. Pilar Viladas and Alex Kuczynski of the New York Times, too, had secret mangle desires, as did Meredith of Like Merchant Ships (in this latter case, perhaps not of the Martha-variety, but mangle-lust nonetheless). In Meredith's case, whatever pumpkin you believe in saw fit to rain mangle from heaven for a mere $24!

Twenty-four dollars!

Oh Blessed Exchequer, allow these words to open your ears and hear this plea from your most humble event designer and planner extraordinaire: Though my warps be wonky and my wefts fraught with wrinkles, grant my bohemian boat the skill and grace to navigate the Great Material Continuum successfully and, if my heart truly wants it (and I believe it does), towards a long and happy career complete with many time-saving and not too space-gobbling miracle devices like a mangle.

I trust. Let the river provide. So let it be written. So let it be done.

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