Friday, June 17, 2011

Don't Get The Stove Dirty

Don’t Get The Stove Dirty

“We need a new stove”, my wife said.

“Why?” I asked, “It works fine and is hardly used.”

“It’s old and dangerous”, she informed me.

“What are you talking about” I asked?

“The pilot light goes out (we have a gas stove) and we could be killed by a gas explosion,” she answered.

“It doesn’t go out unless you pour water on the pilot (which the cleaning lady sometimes does), and even if it does, our sliding glass doors are not leak proof so there is no dangerous build up of gas” I tried to reason with her.

“I smell the gas and it’s dangerous”, she said trying to be logical. “Besides, it’s more than 30 years old and we need a new one”.

“We never use the damn thing.  It’s practically brand new if you consider how often we use it.  You don’t cook, we use the oven maybe 4 times a year, and I don’t even boil water for coffee on it anymore since Ronni (our daughter) got me the one-cup coffee maker.  So why do we need a new stove?” I tried to counter.

On a weekly basis, the stove is used maybe once.

Monday and Wednesday nights we have been eating with my daughter-in-law and the youngest of our grandchildren while my son takes Spanish lessons for his job. Tuesdays and Thursday’s Barbara works with me, so she says she has no time to cook, and Friday, Saturday and Sunday is the weekend and she expects to go out to dinner.  If my math is correct, there are no other days in the week to cook.  Ergo, the pristine condition of our stove.

Barbara kept insisting we needed a new stove because it was dangerous and old.

“It costs too much money and we don’t use the damn thing anyway.  Tell the cleaning lady to be more careful (in my defense the pilot had only been blown out 4 or 5 times with no ill effects, and always caused by the cleaning lady or water from a boiling pot of pasta, the only meal we ever eat at home.  It was quickly relit)".

That argument had no effect.

I resorted to my most logical and effective counter argument, “I don’t want a new stove”

Barbara would continue to bring up the new stove idea over the next few months and I would do my best to ignore her.  I find “selective deafness” to be the key to a good marriage.

We went to visit our daughter and her family.  She has a new almost professional grade gas stove. 

Barbara sought to bolster her argument with support from my daughter and her husband. 

My daughter, probably not wishing to offend her mother agreed with her.  Her husband, having lived with us for several months and knowing the condition of the stove and its use history, initially sided with me.

I’m not sure what prompted him to change his mind (I suspect my daughter threatened him) but he threw his support to Barbara.  A change reminiscent of a certain American Colonial General at West Point.

We returned home and the pleas for a new stove, bolstered by our daughter’s and son-in-law's support continued.

At that point, we received a $1500 rebate from the State of Florida for buying a new energy efficient air conditioner that fall.  It came in the form of an American Express Debit card.

Barbara now made the argument that “we” wouldn’t be paying for the stove, the State of Florida would.  This of course ignores the other USEFUL things we could use the money for.

Barbara was determined, and despite my very logical, objective reasoning, she persisted.

More to shut her up than anything else, I agreed to look at stoves.

I went on the Internet and looked up gas stoves and their rating. 

Armed with some knowledge, we went to the store.

A friend of ours worked at the store and helped to explain the various features available on different models and the manufacturers reputations.

Barbara had now promised to cook more, and to take some cooking lessons (a bald faced lie as it turned out, she says marketing technique)).  In light of that promise, I figured we should get a model with decent features.  I wanted a double oven and one that had a griddle top feature.

We chose a GE Profile.  I won’t tell you the price since it will make you nauseous considering the use it has seen. 
The store had no floor model for it so we picked it out of the catalogue and ordered it, having first checked the measurements listed to see if it would fit in our space.

Two weeks later the stove arrived.

It fit in the space exactly, except for one unforeseen detail.  Our top and bottom drawers would not open.  They hit the handle.  The measurement did not include the handles, which stick out about 2 inches.  In order to open the drawers, we would have to open the oven.

To her credit, Barbara came up with the idea of switching the top and second drawers (we don’t use it often) so the former top drawer would open.

This I know is a stopgap measure, as we constantly forget to use the “second drawer” instead of the new top one.

I feel like the man with the new vest.  Eventually I, like the man with the vest, will have to replace everything to match the new acquisition.  An expensive and messy proposition.

Barbara has been biding her time about it but I know, like the Sword of Damocles,  it’s coming.

Since getting the stove, approximately a month and a half ago, we have used the stove exactly no times.

I view it as an expensive kitchen decoration and people (usually husbands) have been very sympathetic.

The other night I proposed to make French Toast, using the griddle feature.  Of course, the idea of actually using the stove was met with stiff opposition if not downright horror.

“You can’t use the stove, you’ll get it dirty” Barbara said, ignoring the fact that whatever I used would get dirty.

“Why did we buy the stove then?” I asked innocently.

“Not for this, you’ll get it dirty” she retorted.

I rest my case.

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