In-laws and their quirks: on steaming vs. ironing clothes

Every time Chris’s parents come visit, I can inevitably expect the same usual exchanges and things to happen: Chris’s dad will do a full recount of their entire journey to get to us, including details about the lounges (and alcohol) they enjoyed, the food in flight and overall inflight service, movies he had watched, and how comfortable his seat/bed were. He will talk about the ride to our apartment from the airport and whether he had any chit chat with the Uber or taxi driver.

Chris’s mom will marvel over any food I had prepared for them and eagerly ask if she can help with the food or cleanup. She will then try her best to wash and clean up as many things as possible. And eventually, she will ask me if I have an iron… to which my answer is always… “No, but we have a steamer!”

Then, she will say her usual comments about how a steamer is okay, but it’s not enough. While a steamer is able to get out wrinkles, it isn’t able to iron on those nice lines/pleats that she likes on her pants (to which my Gen Y brain would immediately think, “Who cares or even sees your dumb lines on your pants? DO YOU EVEN SEE THEM WHEN YOU WALK?”

When we moved into this building, somehow, I could not locate where my iron went. So I discovered the magic of a small travel-sized steamer and have never gone back. It is quick to heat up, it de-wrinkles in seconds, and it’s light and easy to clean up and put away. I realized that none of my clothes ever required an iron or any “lines,” and all my summer clothes that required heat would be cured by a steamer. So I’m fully in Camp Steamer over Camp Iron.

So, every year, I chuckle to myself whenever Chris’s mom asks me about an iron. Because I always know the face she will make when I offer my steamer…

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