Last year I found a beautiful vintage tablecloth for my large dining room table.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you likely know I cherish my finds of “gently used” old items.
When I sit in my small antique rocker, I consider the many babies who likely have been lulled to sleep by its subtle to and fro movement.
I picture my secondhand serving bowls and platters gracing the tables of families long gone from this earth. It’s OK that I spend time hand-washing these dishes that were created prior to the moment when “dishwasher safe” imprinting was a reality.
And so I imagined that my long vintage tablecloth would also add the same type of ambiance to the gatherings at our home.
But there is one serious drawback I hadn’t considered. Vintage cloth translates to the situation of that behemoth of a covering needing to be ironed.
Ugh. I can’t stand to iron. I’ve avoided ironing my entire life. Full disclosure: When I was a cheerleader in high school, I didn’t see the need to iron my whole blouse since 98% of it was covered by a pullover sweater.
So I took a shortcut and ironed just the collar and the cuffs on the sleeves.
My mother was appalled.
Alas, there are no ironing shortcuts with a tablecloth.
I lugged the ironing board up from the basement and begrudgingly began the task. I stopped to write a note: “Buy wrinkle-free large Christmas tablecloth.”
Because ironing provides time (in this case, LOTS of time) to think, I thought, you know, I have some friendships that fall in similar categories as tablecloths.
Some are no-iron/wrinkle-free that require little work on my part to maintain in excellent condition. Others are a little more fragile…vintage-ish and require some tending to maintain.
My wrinkle-free friendships are just that…I feel super comfortable in them without worrying I’m going to say something that might be taken the wrong way. These no-iron women and I truly understand each other.
The requires-tending friendships are also meaningful to me, and I need to adjust my attitude regarding the care they require. I can’t begrudge the time they take; I want to honor the time they take.
We knew the truth when we were kids; we knew it as young adults. It’s good to remind ourselves of it as we grow older. Not everyone can be our best friend or even be included in a group we consider our closest friends. AND…it’s still wonderfully fulfilling to have friends outside that circle.
And I have great news! For $12 my local dry cleaner will wash and iron my vintage tablecloth for me.
I found an ironing shortcut after all.