Sunday, June 13, 2010


Most Kenyans seem to take a lot of pride in their clothing and their appearance. On the bus in the morning, the businessmen and businesswomen in their suits wear the crispest, most starched shirts I've ever seen. The women who live in the dorm with me iron their outfits every day.

Cut to me rummaging through my backpack yesterday and throwing on a white sun shirt whose wrinkles had wrinkles. When one of my dormmates, Cecilia, got a load of my ensemble, she looked horrified.

"Emily, do you want to use the iron?" she asked.

I looked down at my shirt. Ironing is not something that really ever enters into my consciousness, and I figured in an hour or so the worst of the wrinkles would start to sort themselves out anyway. I briefly considered launching into an explanation of the word "crunchy," but she seemed so distressed that I decided to try ironing, just this once.

I gave it my best shot, really I did. But there was some weird melty black stuff on the iron that started to get on the bright white shirt, and I was having issues with the settings and may have slightly singed one of the sleeves. I didn't want to do any more damage, so I decided that half done would have to be good enough. The back was more or less wrinkle-free, but the sleeves still looked like the skin of a Shar-Pei puppy. I told Cecilia, somewhat guiltily, of my difficulties, and she gave me a disappointed look. When I ran into her again later in the day, though, she smiled.

"Ah!" she said. "It has ironed itself!" (It didn't look perfectly pressed or anything, but the wrinkles had relaxed into the crumpled-casual look I go for most of the time anyway.)

I feel like I should extrapolate some deep meaning from this story. Take your pick: Some people just shouldn't iron! Embrace your wrinkles! Have faith that things will work themselves out! But only if you're wearing synthetic fabrics!

No comments:

Post a Comment