I closed my online costume shop last summer. I donated 500 dresses to a charity for third world girls and sorted through my aprons, pulling out all the hostess ones, the sheer ones not for cooking. I had 150 of them. I gave them to my local thrift store, the one that knows vintage stuff. A volunteer named Karen took them home, washed them, and ironed them. It was a lot or work, but her thrift store managed to sell 120 of them for $6.00 each. Twenty of them sold for $4.00 each, and the last ten sold for $2.00 each.
Then I read that people watch videos of women folding laundry and ironing so they can fall asleep. Watching the repetitive motion is relaxing to stressed-out people in a 24/7 world. The videos trigger ASMR – Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It is a calming and meditative feeling, according to Ask Amy, the advice columnist.
I told Karen at the thrift store about it.
“You mean I could’ve made a video of myself ironing those aprons?” she said.
“Laundry porn,” I said.
We both had a good laugh, since we don’t have any trouble getting to sleep. While others watch the videos of ironing or folding towels, we are doing it for real.
Ironing is a pleasant pastime since it is brainless, once you’ve been doing it for decades. Your mind wanders while you press those clothes. You forget about everything else and concentrate on getting that sleeve done right. Sewing is similar. If you are doing something easy that you’ve done one hundred times before, your mind wanders. It’s like a mini vacation from the hectic world.
People do hobbies to get that feeling. Golfing, running, swimming, painting, gardening — all of these things can take you away from the stresses of the real world.
But ironing or folding laundry? Not hobbies, more like mindless chores. If anyone wants to really relax, come on over and get going on the aprons I didn’t donate. They all need to be washed and pressed. You can get your chill on, and you can save my neck and shoulders for dancing.
I am serious. I’ll get the ironing board set up and the iron plugged in. The dryer just beeped, and the towels are fluffy and warm. They are all the same color and size. Think how relaxing it will be to fold them identically and to stack them in an orderly laundry basket.
I have weeds to pull and doggie doo doo to pick up. Painting the house can also be relaxing. You could sweep my driveway and sidewalks, change the sheets and make all the beds. The toilets could use a swish, and you could mop the floors. Oh, and the gutters, let’s not forget them.
If you do just a few of these repetitive tasks, I guarantee you will sleep like a baby tonight, no need for relaxation videos.
Or you could get a job at the Gap.