What would you choose to do on a day when the temperatures are soaring up to 104° with 85% humidity? Lying in a bathtub filled with ice cubes comes to mind. Relaxing on a Roman-style couch while your slaves fan you and feed you chilled grapes might be nice.
But no, I have to iron.
I know, I know, you're going to ask me "why bother?" You'll say "put it off for another day" or even "don't do it at all." I hear you.
It just doesn't work that way in this corner of southern Italy. Going around with wrinkly clothes is a guarantee of becoming a social pariah here. Sort of the southern Italian equivalent of being a total loser who doesn't care about . . . their appearance . . . gasp!
|A Puglian "don't"|
Appearances are super important in this conservative, provincial city. People who have money happily throw it away on designer clothes. People who don't have money, spend too much of their limited resources on the best possible clothes they can afford. And when you walk out of the house you have to be ready: clean, pressed, perfect hair and makeup . . . ready to be scrutinized, judged and commented on by every single person you pass on the street.
Who cares? Well, that's easy for you to say. I personally, don't really care about looking perfectly put together every time I go to the supermarket. But, my personal presentation reflects on my husband and my sons in this little fishbowl society. And I do care about not making life more complicated for them, so I make the effort to iron.
Send me cooling thoughts, please!