Ironing Lady

Many of my family and friends in Oklahoma have an ironing lady. You drop your clothes off on Monday in a trash bag or grocery bag and you pick them up on Thursday crisply ironed and on a hanger. Table cloths and napkins too. 

My mother once had an ironing lady who smoked. She disliked ironing so much she didn’t care the clothes smelled like an ashtray – or claimed not to notice.

Yesterday, as the Bubba-got-arrested-what-the-hell-are-we-going-to-do story was breaking, my mother said, “Dammit! He had my ironing in his pick-up. He was going to drop it off for me.” She had also mentioned it to my sister-in-law. 

I tried to ignore the ironing and talk about our next steps. As the day went on, she mentioned the ironing again to my sister-in-law and me. “Mother, lets worry about the ironing later,” I said.

It was her good tablecloths, you see. The ones that fit her table perfectly and four pair of jeans. She thinks she may never get them back. She might be right, but that’s what you get for ironing jeans.

At some point later in the day, I called with an update – Scott, a long-time family friend and lawyer, would bond him out. We hung up. She called right back and with no greeting said, “Ask Scott when they get the pick up back to get that trash bag with my ironing. Those are my good tablecloths.”

“No, mom. He probably wont even get his car today. We can’t worry about that now,” I said. 

I called her this morning to check in and give her an update on the evolving situation, as I understood it. Once he’s bonded out in Oklahoma County, Cleveland County will pick him up and take him to Norman where he owes $500 for back fines from previous cases. This may take days. If we pay the $500 cash, he will be released once in Norman. If not, he will wait for a court date. Either way, he will go back to court, and Scott will renegotiate his payments in Cleveland County. He will also have to deal with the charges in Oklahoma County.

Then she did again. “I really want my ironing. Those tablecloths fit my table perfectly. I may care more about those tablecloths than him right now.” 

I got it. I’m mad, too, but I told her not to say that out loud to anyone else.


Richmond, VA

Karen Kay is an expert online shopper and avid list maker. She is addicted to Valley's Life in 10 Minutes classes. She writes for herself, but she hopes you enjoy it.