Once upon a time in Texas, there was a girl with an appetite and a dream...


I never thought it would, but it happened to me

Well, I've done it. I have entered a world where women iron underwear. Not being one to care if my undergarments are wrinkly, I thought it would never happen to me.

Now, here in Italy, if left unchecked, ironing can take over one's life. I really don't remember ironing so much in Texas. Did I just walk around a wrinkly mess? Who knows. All I know is that keeping within the normal realm of ironing duties (pants and shirts, if one is lucky), is a rather hefty task.

The women here in the south, though, they go beyooooond the call, people. And when I say beyond I mean something. must. be. done. to. stop. them. The list of things to iron would include pretty much everything but food, tampons, and shampoo.

So, in the spirit of giving and helping out with what needs to be done, the list of things that I have ironed in my lifetime has expanded to include sheets, bath towels, hand towels, napkins, underwear, panties, undershirts (male and female), and pajamas. But socks?! I won't do it, I just won't.

This, however, is neither rant, nor complaint. It is just my inner modern American woman's fascination and disbelief of the existence of this strange Italian act. While I look upon this cultural habit as something-I-would-never-do-in-my-own-house-even-if-I-could-give-crisply-pressed-dishtowels-in-exchange-for-world-peace, it is just a small favor, and I am happy to oblige.


Blogger Yael said...

oh no you've crumbled under the pressure...ironing underwear??? Pull yourself together girl!

2/21/2006 3:30 AM

Blogger Sicilian said...

Just letting you know that my Nonna ironed everything. My mother, a 3rd generation Italian, refused to iron my father's undies. When they all lived together, Nonna would sneak iron my father's stuff. I laugh at the story now, but it infuriated my mother.
Reading your blog, I realize that it is an old world Italian thing.

2/21/2006 4:04 AM

Blogger sarainitaly said...

This post cracked me up. My MIL irons everything also! Although, after living with them for 8 months, I grew rather fond of ironed clothes (since I never ironed much as a single). I am slowly however, eliminating the things I iron...such as sleep t-shirts. I never did panties or socks, or towels! That is just crazy! haha My MIL does however, but that is because she hangs everything to dry, and the clothes won't fold otherwise. hahah Also it is to save space. I would rather throw something away, then iron underwear.

2/21/2006 4:57 AM

Blogger Tracie P. said...

yes ladies, i know. i hang dry my towels too and i make 'em fold and fit where they fit, all without ever seeing an iron. but that's in my own house. when i have my own space again, i will use of all the free time i have gained by not ironing to go shop for a bigger armoir. you know, one that'll fit all of those wrinkly sheets and panties.

2/21/2006 3:06 PM

Blogger Sicilian said...

OK girls, it gets better. My mother hung clothes out, but she still rarely irons a thing. I have a clothes line that came from the east coast. My uncle keeps me supplied whenever I break it. It is one that you see in the big cities that connects from the house to a big tree outside. You stay still, and roll the clothes out. I've been hanging clothes all my life, and if I ever sell my house my east coast clothes line is coming with me. I don't iron a lot of stuff, and have found that I can take them from the clothes line to the hanger. The ironing thing is ingrained in the old women. Just cause you hang out those clothes does not mean they're going see an iron at my house.
Love both your blogs!

2/22/2006 3:56 AM

Blogger melusina said...

Greeks are just as bad about their ironing. And since I have never ironed anything in my life and don't do a good job, my mother in law has taken over.

Actually, MY mother used to iron most everything - sheets and towels included (I don't know about underwear). I would think ironing would be bad for my delicate undies, though!

2/25/2006 9:53 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do they starch the panties?


2/28/2006 8:21 AM

Blogger Ann said...

You have got to be joking, iroing the underwear? Man how I seriously miss having a dryer.....

3/04/2006 9:34 AM

Blogger Dayngr said...

This is why I married a man who irons!

4/16/2006 2:30 AM

Blogger viper said...

I can't understand why it is so crazy.. my american girlfriend just realized that in italy we iron everything (even underwear) and she is laughing like a mad girl.. but since i was born every thing I had was IRONED like in every italian family... what do you think?????

7/01/2007 8:23 PM


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