Tag Archives: sears

Burning Fear

It smelled my fear.

I took a step closer, tentatively reaching our my hand toward it. Slowly. Slowly. Closer and closer.

It hissed, steam spraying from a previously hidden vent.

I jerked my hand back, barely controlling the urge to begin sucking on my fingers, dead certain they’d been parboiled by the vicious iron smirking on its board, so eager to take down a neophyte such as me.

I’ve begun to iron my clothing, you see. And, dudes. . . It is scary.

It wasn’t always this way. I mean, what’s the call for ironing when all you have are jeans, unnatural-fabric Hawaiian shirts, t-shirts, and the occasional polo shirt for when you’ve got to dress up?

Which, for the most part, was the entirety of my wardrobe through college and right up until I had to go out and buy a suit to interview at the various newspapers who would consider my application for an internship. So, of course, I went to the one place that was guaranteed to have a great suit: the Sears catalog.

Don’t look at me like that. I was young. And poor. And more than a little bit stupid.

Over the years, as I continued to have to go into work and didn’t win the lottery, I began to accumulate non-jean pants (nothing I’d call trousers, though), button-down dress(ish) shirts and many, many novelty ties (mostly with things like the molecular structure of caffeine, dinosaurs, wildlife and the like) (mostly because I figured if I had to wear a tie, I’d at least have one that would make me smile when I looked down). Things got worse, style wise, when I began staying home to raise the three young dudes, Sarcasmo, Zippy the Monkey Boy, and Hyper Lad.

Over the last couple of years, though, I’ve begun to not only purchase nicer clothing, but actually want to wear them when I didn’t have to do so. I think mostly it was due to my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Seen To Be Believed. She’s a sharp dresser and looks very, very nice most days. I think I got tired of being next to her and shoving into the faces of anyone who glanced our way that I married up in a big way.

I realized the extent of my sartorial change yesterday when I took several shirts and trousers out of the dryer, saw they were wrinkled and immediately began to iron them.

Iron them.


I mean, I didn’t even know how to iron. Anything. I thought about ignoring the wrinkles and putting the clothing away despite them, but just couldn’t do it.

Besides, I thought, how hard could ironing be. You just press a scalding-hot piece of metal that occasionally shoots out jets of steam onto an item of clothing. Eh. Dead simple.

Ironing is easy, was my thought.

Turns out, not so much, dudes.

I was right about one thing. Ironing is easy. Ironing well. . . That’s a lot harder than I thought it would be.

I can’t tell you the number of times I had to start over, resettling the shirt onto the ironing board so I could remove an appallingly large crease that I’d just pressed into the front of the shirt where there should be no crease. Or the times I made the collar stand up sideways.

And let’s really not talk about the number of scalded fingers I’m currently nursing. (It’s a significant non-zero number. Let’s leave it at that.)

Eventually, I had to just take a deep breath, let it out gently and realize that I didn’t have to get it perfect the first time. Or the second. Just take my time. Iron a little bit at a time and realize that no shirt is composed of infinite amounts of fabric. I’d get it right. At some point.

Which I did. Much later than when I started, but I now have clothing I can wear without being completely embarrassed about because of them looking like I’d crumpled them up, washed them and then let them dry while crumpled in a corner.

Someone remind me, please: Why, exactly, did I decide I’d like to dress more nicely again?

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First-World Problems

by Richard

I’m going to call what I just went through for the last couple of weeks a major first-world problem. All right with you dudes? Sure it is. You know what I’m talking about.

For those of you who don’t, a first-world problem is something that’s really — in the grand scheme of things — only something to worry about because we’ve got so much else buffering us from the harsh realities of life that so many other people have to struggle with every day just to survive. For instance, having your favorite nail polish stop making the color you’ve been using for the last year or so and it was just the right color and now you don’t have anything to match it. Or, the hi-def channels aren’t working and you’ve already got all the beer cooled and the snack foods left out and all the dudes over and the game’s about to start.

These things are annoying, sure. But they’re not something we should be making a big deal over.

Neither, of course, is not having access to your own personal washing machine for more than two weeks. But I still just about had a hissy fit until we got it back, let me tell you.

The washing machine started to go bad a couple of days before the apocalyptic ending in which it spun and shook and spun and shook and made more noise than the last Kiss concert. Although, to be fair, it was slightly more rhythmic. It was toast.

So I called the Sears repairfolk and they sent someone over. He looked it over and said, “Hmmmm.” Then he printed out a receipt, said he had to order some parts and would be back in a week. Before the week was up, I got another call that the parts were backordered and it would be a while longer.

Finally, this week, it got fixed. I just about fell to my knees in thanks.

I’d been having to make these long trips to the local coin laundry, lugging heavy suitcases of clothing along with soap and fabric softener and lots and lots of quarters. Sure it was fun, in that I got to sit there and watch some TV talk to the other folks haunting the waiting area until we heard our ding and all that. The thing is, though, it made it so I couldn’t do anything else but wash. Stuff got put off. Which meant I put off doing the laundry. Until it was a huge mess. Which made it more difficult to do. Which meant I put it off. . .

You get the point. Definitely a first-world problem. At least I had clean clothing, and a place to wash them that wasn’t filled with swimming, eating and pooping fishy creatures. And nothing wanted to eat me while at the watering hole.

Yes, I’m probably spoiled. Just like you dudes, but I gotta tell you, I like it. I like being able to do laundry any time and however much I want.

Thank you Sears repairfolk for finally getting the job done. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to do go some laundry.

And, of course, I’ve run out of the liquid soap so I’ll have to use that dry powder and it’s all messy and I’ll have to have one of the young dudes vacuum it up. Ugh. It’s just going to be terrible.

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