Just because it says “Permanent Press — Never needs ironing” does not necessarily make it so. It’s an empty promise much like political speeches. That shirt still looks better if it gets a little touch-up.

One time when we were checking out at the grocery store, the cashier said to my husband: “Your wife must really love you.”



When asked why she made that assumption, she replied, “Because I can see she still irons your shirts.”

Although it is not one of my favorite tasks, I always ironed my own garments. So I could hardly neglect to iron his even though he told me it was not necessary.

Ironing gives me an opportunity to think deep thoughts (at least they seem that way until I sit down at the computer).

Besides the myth about permanent press, there are many others we learned as children.

There are those about the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

I think of “double-your-money-back guarantee.”

What do you do if the firm goes out of business?

Another myth.

Show me the money.

“Free shipping and handling” in bold print in a mail-order catalog, while the fine print says “on minimum orders of $50.”

My mind wanders to when I bought these jeans. “Guaranteed to make you look slimmer.” How do you fit 10 pounds of flab into a 5-pound sack? Labels lie.

I have been a great admirer of our pioneer women who traveled west with their husbands in Conestoga wagons. They had to do the laundry at a river, pounding garments on the rocks. But at least they did not have to iron.

And then in one of life’s strange coincidences, as I was writing this piece, I heard a familiar “bling” from my computer, indicating I had an email from a friend. I am not making this up. It was about a 1934 Ward catalog. Among the bargains listed was a gasoline-powered iron for $2.69 (makes its own heat and lights instantly; weighs 6 pounds). I wonder how many housewives snatched up this bargain.

And yet another coincidence. After writing the above, I saw an interview with the Romneys on television and learned that Mitt Romney irons his own shirts.

Maybe he writes his speeches in his head while he does it. How down to Earth can you get?