When ’50s Socialization Butts Up Against 2018

My Drabble is up at The Drabble. Thank you’s go to Tom Haynes, editor!


By Sarah Russell

I’m teaching my granddaughters to iron shirts—collar, sleeves, right front, back, left front. I almost say, “You’ll impress some guy in college knowing this.”


Maybe that’s why my marriage (to that guy I impressed) ended after I read Friedan. Now women say, “Press your own damn shirt,” and men do. No wonder my granddaughters aren’t impressed with counting hangers of starched perfection.

End of lesson: “Always turn the iron off and unplug it to make sure,” I say.

“It turns itself off, Grandma.”

“But you can’t be too careful,” I say, and shit, I sound old.

Sarah Russell’s poetry and flash fiction have appeared in Kentucky Review, Misfit Magazine, Psaltery and Lyre, Rusty Truck, and many other journals and anthologies. She is a 2017 Pushcart Prize nominee.

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12 thoughts on “When ’50s Socialization Butts Up Against 2018

  1. Brilliant! Although I couldn’t ever interest by youngsters in ironing, I actually really enjoyed learning how to iron properly. I was taught by my mother and by my father, so it never occurred to me that a man wouldn’t be able to iron his own shirts or press his own trousers.


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