The Gleeful Gourmand: Parting Ways

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Parting Ways

I had to have a serious conversation the other day with an old friend about the fact that we needed to part ways. Have you ever had a friend who, in the grand scheme of things, just brings you down? Hurts you again and again though you’ve done no wrong to them? This friend of mine is like that. They bring good, even great things to the table, but in the end, they simply hurt me. A lot. I’ve felt for a long time that she and I were simply coasting, with brief spurts of pain interjected along the way. Meaning that I have allowed myself to put up with her, and complain about her to other friends, but I never do anything about the situation.

So it was in my kitchen that I had the talk with this friend about needing to end our friendship. This is never an easy thing to do, especially when it’s a one-sided conversation. I talked and talked, and she just sat there and took it, never saying one word back to me. I don’t know what I expected – I didn’t expect her to apologize to me – I just wanted her to know that it was over. And all she did was sit there coldly, silently, unforgiving.

I don’t think it helped matters that I told her I was replacing her with another friend. A new friend, who probably won’t hurt me. I also explained how I had tried again and again to fix our friendship – even going so far as to fix her – with no real results. Still, nothing. Unfortunately, she and I will have to live with each other for another couple of months, and that’s going to get awkward. Relying on her, depending on her, all the while trying to suppress my glee at the thought of my new, better friend’s arrival.

What’s that? You think I’m being callous? Oh, I guess I forgot to mention that this friend is my stove.

Why are you laughing? This isn’t funny! This stove has slowly become the bane of my existence. It came with our house when we purchased it 5 ½ years ago. Back then I was only just starting to flex my muscles when it came to preparing meals. Nothing fancy. Just the meal equivalent of taking a stroll through a park. But over these past years, I’ve grown a lot. It started with the baking: I’ve enjoyed getting more elaborate with what I created, and that spilled over into mealtimes. At first there wasn’t much wrong with our relationship. We worked fine together, though I hated the gray grates on top of the gas burners because no matter what chemical I used, or how much elbow grease I put into it, I could never get them clean. But, who cares, right? If someone is staring at the grates on your stove hard enough to criticize then they’re probably not someone you want to share a meal with anyway.

But then, last year, right around this time, something horrible happened. I was lowering the oven door to slip something in when one of the hinges snapped off and disappeared into the oven. I know, that sounds crazy. How could I not know where the long, awkward hinge had gone? There were only so many places. But gone it was. Mr. Handyman informed me that I’d have to order a new hinge from GE, which I gladly did, for $90. Mr. Handyman installed said hinge, but because it’s such an old oven, the new hinge still makes the door hang too low. I’m constantly balancing it on my knee.

And then I noticed something else: The door was shutting, but apparently not all the way, because if I was cooking something in the oven, and also using the range on top, the dials in between the two were suddenly getting piping hot. So, if you can imagine, every time I use the two simultaneously, multiple times a week, I’m burning my fingers. Sounds delightful, doesn’t it? See what I mean about this friend hurting me over and over again?

Yet, through all of this pain and frustration, I know in my heart of hearts that my oven is doing its best. It’s still turning out flawless meals and baked goods. And if they are flawed, I know it’s the cook’s error, and not the oven’s. But even this fact is not enough to keep me from hating it. Anytime I talk about it, my tone is filled with scorn and distaste. It’s got to go…but not for another couple of months, because that’s when we’re going to be able to afford a new one. Until then, I just wanted to let my old friend know that it’s over. Really, truly over.

However, if she decides to stop working for me in the meantime, there will be no more talks. Things are going to get ugly. As ugly as her grease-stained grates.


Medifast Coupons said...

Too funny, I honestly thought at first you were talking about a person. Talking about your stove, hilarious, really enjoyed, thanks for the giggle first thing this morning.

Jenna said...

You're welcome for the laugh! Honestly, at this point it really is laughable how much I hate my stove. :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

Kirsten Oliphant said...

I got really scared when I started reading this, and then I saw that you talked with the person over the kitchen table and was like, "whew, I'm in Texas." Clever girl. Exciting about the new stove!! Photos when she comes, right?

Unknown said...

Lol,my grams went through the same thing, but couldnt bear to throw away her old oven for sentimental reasons :) She did get a new one though.

Merut said...

I totally understand the pains of living with a bad stove. It is the worst! You totally had me fooled though. I was thinking to myself, "how does she know she her new friend will be better? Why does she need to actually replace one friend with another?" Very clever.

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