The Tyranny of Choice or an Exemplum of the Obesity Crisis

Earlier today, I wandered out to buy a new cover from my ironing board.  Oh, yes I’m doing alright and living the rock-and-roll lifestyle to the max.  My ironing board is knocking on a bit, it could legally buy and consume alcohol in the US of A with a pretty generous safety margin, and its cover is pretty threadbare.  So, I thought it was about time to treat it, and my clothes, to some swanky new threads.

My plan was thwarted by the discovery that ironing board covers have a size: they can at least be Medium or Large (based on the evidence of my eyes) and I assume a Small may be lurking somwhere.  I had no idea of the size of my own board, but the 21st century boards on sale nearby all seemed much larger than mine.  I had assumed this was probably just an optical illusion or a failure of memory – but investigation on returning home suggests not.

The smallest cover available was intended for a board of 124 x 45 cm.  I have now measured my board and found it to be a svelte 108 x 30cm: so all the covers on offer will be decidedly baggy.  I suppose it may be possible that ironing boards are wearing their covers loose this season – but I’m not wholly convinced that the ironing board is having a 70s moment and a fashion for flares is to blame.  Over the last quarter-century, while homes have been growing smaller, it would seem that ironing boards have been swelling: much like the human population.  Have ironing boards been growing to ensure that the increasingly obese ironing public can keep their marquee-sized clothing smartly pressed?

Whatever the reason, I find myself at a loss when it comes to finding a snugly fitting cover for my ironing board.  Should I be searching antique shops for some relatively mint covers from the early 90s?  Is there a homeware equivalent of the craze for vintage clothing?  Or do I need to find a friendly local seamstress to knock-up a bespoke number for my ancient companion?  I am loath to replace my old friend (cheap though it was when new) and I don’t have the space to store one of its modern brethren, so my search for a solution continues…


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