“What happened to your shirt?” Layce asked.
We were standing in line at Starbucks awaiting coffee. I was standing in front of her and blissfully pretending the whole thing had never happened—the power of magical thinking.
I sighed, looked around, and whispered, “I had an ironing mishap.” I didn’t want to go into the gory details. It was a brand new shirt. Much to my chagrin it wrinkled after washing. This new shirt was going to be a problem. I could tell already.
“It looks all burnt and melted,” Layce said.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” I said, keeping my voice low. We were three people from the front. If I could keep her distracted, the ironing discussion could be waylaid. “Look at that nice dog sitting under that woman’s table.”
Layce glanced at the dog and then went on again about the shirt. “How’d you melt it?”
“I didn’t melt it. The fabric is just like that.”
She kept staring at it. “Okay, it was wrinkled, so I ironed it. The iron was E-V-I-D-E-N-T-L-Y too hot and melted the shirt. I really think we have a defective iron. The dial is really sketchy. I mean why can’t it just say this is too hot for this shirt.”
“It’s still wrinkled.”
“I stopped ironing after I melted it.”
“It’s like a perfect triangle.”
“I’m aware of that.” It was our turn. “I’ll have a cappuccino.” I was never so glad to talk to a barista in my life. Layce ordered a latte and we sat down awaiting our order.
“I’ve never known anyone who melted a shirt before.”
“I do not come from a family of ironers. We do not iron in the Bennett household. If your shirt is wrinkled that’s just the way it is. I didn’t even know we had an iron until I was twenty-two. My first girlfriend tried to teach me how to iron and I broke a Waterford glass. And I don’t want to go into the details.”
Our order was ready. I went up and got it. Or should I say we, me and my melted shirt, went to get the coffees.
“Why are you wearing the shirt if you don’t want to talk about how you melted it?” Layce asked as I set the coffees down.
“I felt I had to own my mistake and warn other non-ironers that irons are evil. Some are defective, and some have confusing dials, and that you should get other more skilled people to iron your wrinkled shirts. That’s why.”
“That’s very considerate of you.”
“I feel it’s my social responsibility to warn people of the vagaries of ironing.”
“It’s still a nice shirt…if you don’t look at the back of it.”
“Thank you. Now can we stop talking about it?”
It’s almost time to get your laugh on!