Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ironing and me

When I was young, my mum and uncle offered me a certain amount of money for a certain number of clothes ironed. Pretty good money if you ask me these days. S$1 for 1 shirt. That's like more than S$6/hr at my present speed (more than what MacDonald's part-time staff are getting), but in those days my productivity was more like 2 shirts/hr... I gave it a go and decided it was too little money for too much work and continued playing basketball throughout the holidays...

Anyway, fast forward to yesterday. As I spent 2 hours ironing my working clothes for the next 2 weeks, I recalled that summer job offer. From the time I was a boy (mum did the ironing) till I was enlisted into the army (uncle did my ironing when I return every weekend, nearly starched my uniform!) I never had to do ironing. They told me back then that I would need to know how to iron if I were to live on my own and work overseas (among many household chores which I never got down to doing... I was a bum...).

Of course I never really understand why the job offer was ironing and not toilet cleaning or mopping the floor. Only a few years ago did I find out that my mum's entire family used to work in some laundry role to help with the household finances. They would wash, sew, iron for other people... nearly anything to earn a few cents to keep the family with 10+ children going. They were professional ironers, mighty with the needle and thread, and could play music with the washing board. They

And me? Coming from such a family with so much to do with ironing, I was dumbfounded when S wanted me to iron a dress for her. Straightforward dress, it's ok. That dress was so special my mum didn't even know how to wear it... In the end I did my mum and uncle proud because I got it all the creases ironed out~

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