AN OPEN LETTER to my oven. (Bear with me here, people; I am in pain.)
Today, as we finally take our leave of each other, I would like to thank you for five years of service. Wish I could say “faithful” service. Isn’t that what you do when congratulating longevity? But here is the problem, my ovenly friend: Where you come from, I shake my fist insisting, five years do not longevity constitute.
Now perhaps someone reading this might enlighten me to the fact that if I am to live at peace in our modern world, I should just accept that five years for an appliance is indeed an achievement. Perhaps he or she will tell me to be grateful you hung in there until just past the extended-warranty expiration date, which I didn’t take, so no bonus grief there.
But unless and until, I have no choice but to address you, an inanimate object that cannot read, because no one else seems to care, least of all the company that crafted you. I wrote to your maker, but my missives must have gotten lost in the mail and my emails eaten in cyberspace. One little automatic reply assured me my satisfaction is of great concern, then … crickets.
Dear Big Company, I asked, why, oh why did I spend so much of my hard-earned money on a special oven just a few short years ago only to have it go on the fritz once ($110 repair) and then die completely the following year?
I explained how you were “special” only insofar as you are called a “slide-in oven.” To me that means you come with fewer parts (no sides and no top-back panel) and should cost less, but to your makers that means you retail for twice as much. I don’t get it, but that’s not the point. The point is I winced as I paid your hefty premium because I had no choice. I only hoped you would shine in the performance department and that we would lead a long and happy life together.
Ha. We had a tough time, didn’t we? Despite your little “TruTemp” panel notation, for one thing, every time I put a manual thermometer into you at “375” I got a reading closer to 315 or 320. Oven-roasted potatoes in 25 minutes? Almost 60 minutes later, you still gave me rock-hard spuds. Remember that?
And oh how you liked to torture me when boiling water. Twenty minutes with nary a bubble sometimes was just mean.
Then, the oddest thing: I used your self-cleaning function, and your igniter died. Took me a while to make the connection, but Google turned you in. Turns out sometimes self-cleaning does do fatal harm — who knew? Highly likely is that, because of its location, your igniter could not withstand the intense heat and konked out. You’d think this would have been figured out and corrected before you went to market, eh?
The second time you went haywire, also, mysteriously, after self-cleaning, I called a second repair guy, who had to show up two times before even he threw in his expert’s towel. Declared you gone for good, apologized and even said he was mad at himself. Apparently this was only the second time in his career he couldn’t win a fight with an oven. Then he offered to pay me $20 to take you away to his workshop so he could do further study in his spare time.
I passed. Easier to have you removed when your replacement came.
Yeah, your replacement. Happy now? As I write, I’m staring him down and warning him. There better not be ANY nonsense this time, and I sure hope you two haven’t talked. Now I took that five-year warranty, but if Mr. New Oven knows what’s good for him, he’s going to hold himself to higher, longer standards.
As for you, Mr. Old Oven, rest in peace, I guess. We didn’t make it, you and I … (Stop me before I get on my what-is-this-world-coming-to rant.)
Hey, as you lounge around in that great appliance yard in the sky, maybe send down some love?
On second thought, wait, maybe just rest in peace.