Friday, May 30, 2014

I think I might hate metal coat hangers

Hate is a strong word. I tend not to use it because it represents a serious emotion, and I just don’t think my dislike of Fanta warrants the use of such weighty words. But the feelings I have for aluminium or metal coat hangers are strong. In a bad way. I dislike them much more than I dislike Fanta.

A few years ago I went to a warehouse sale somewhere in the factories of west Melbourne. Don’t ask me where, I couldn’t find my way back there now if I tried, not that I’m likely to. Wasn’t that great the first time, bar the giant box of timber coat hangers I bought home. And everything kind of steamrolled from there.

Somehow the combination of the giant box of timber coat hangers and some odd realisation that metal coat hangers were the devil’s work, or at least the work of a close associate, spawned an emotional response to an inanimate object like I’ve never experienced before.

I replaced my wardrobe with timber hangers. I replaced my Mums too and even threw a few my sisters way. Giving away timber coat hangers - it’s like the sartorial version of a good deed. I collected the metal hangers and trashed them. The feeling of satisfaction when I dumped them into the bin and slammed the lid is one that has yet to be replicated in a way that has left a similar mark on my psyche.

Not long after the timber coat hangers entered my life, I found myself working in a retail establishment that actually solid the abominations. How I managed to stay working there when the companies list of products sold contradicted my strict self imposed principles on that which I hang my clothes from, I’ll never know. Maybe I do have willpower after all. Or maybe the need for a steady paycheck can override those principles - at least when it comes to coat hangers anyway.

One day, while working at said metal coat hanger selling establishment, a customer stopped me and asked me where they would find metal coat hangers. Do you ever get the feeling that the words that are forming in your head and about to come out your mouth have the potential to ruin not just your day but also your capacity to stay employed? I felt a strong desire to lecture this customer on the evil of metal coat hangers. But I didn’t recall lecturing the customers being a part of the companies induction, so instead I pointed towards the aisle where they could find the devil’s handiwork and watched them walk away.

I still think about that customer sometimes and wonder about the state of their wardrobe. I feel bad for their tshirts and denim shirts and bomber jackets, wiling away their time on such cold and lifeless implements that are leaving hard lines on their freshly laundered selves and possibly rust markets of the undesirable type. Assuming of course you can achieve desirable rust marks.

My fervent desire to avoid the devil’s work means I now steer clear of the dry cleaner. They say they care for your clothes, but then they go and stick them on a shabby twisted metal hanger. How can I possibly believe them? This avoidance means a return to ye olde days of hand washing, but frankly I’d much rather spend my time elbow deep in warm soapy water sloshing around my precious garments before placing them delicately on drying racks and then returning them to their rightful place - on a polished timber hanger, than pay someone else to do it and have them returned to me sullied by the metal.

I know all this is beyond ridiculous. It’s hashtag first world problems if there ever was. But I won’t apologise. I won’t repent. I won’t allow a metal hanger in my wardrobe to assuage some kind of first world coat hanger acceptance guilt. No freaking way.

Yes, hate is a strong word, one of the strongest. But I think I might hate metal coat hangers.

kb xx