Several months ago I ran out of spray starch so when I was at the market, I headed towards the laundry detergent isle in pursuit of a new can. I scanned the shelves for spray starch and found the usual 50,000 different kinds of detergents, fabric softeners and bleach, but no spray starch!
This can't be, I thought. People still iron here don't they? I admit that in the past ironing has been one of the chores that I did on an "as needed only" basis, and only after all other wrinkle removing remedies had failed. Thus, my depleted can of spray starch was a tad on the old side.
Since my husband's promotion however, ironing was back on my weekly task list as he was now expected to show up in more presentable attire than the casual cool & crazy clothing that was the norm in his prior position. Which puts me back in the detergent isle, searching for the darn can of spray starch.
After about 10 minutes of reading every product name on the shelves, I happened to glance at the very bottom shelf. There I spied the familiar cylindrical cans of spray starch, looking rather bland and unassuming in the midst of all the brightly colored rainbow boxes of new and improved miracle powders, liquids and gels. Spray Starch! They even carried it in two types: Original and Heavy! (I bought a can of each).
Fast forward to my vacation in Germany this summer when I was in a German grocery store looking for detergent for our RV. The very first thing I saw, right at eye level, was an entire shelf dedicated to ironing and starch! They had far more than just two kinds, too! They had liquid starch, and spray starch in at least 4 different strengths, and starch to put in the wash, and starch for silks, starch for rainy days and starch for when you get the blues....(for a stiff upper lip??).
What does this mean? Are Americans running around wrinkled and creased? If they are, I had never noticed...Germans do seem to look well pressed, and my mother-in-law did seem to have a slight obsession with me ironing her son's shirts (or not ironing them to be exact)...But bottom shelf treatment in the US compared to the coveted eye level shelf placement in Germany?
Talk about cultural differences!
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