before it’s too late

toaster

After nearly losing you in the flaming crumb incident, I’ve realized just how much I love you. And I had to tell you before you’re gone. What good is “thank you” when you’re not there to thank?

I remember when I first picked you up, twelve years ago. I was going back to school and living all by my lonesome for the first time. No roommate but the kitten. Every meal was a meal for one. Even if my oven weren’t some scary, ancient beast I still wouldn’t want to waste the energy on a veggie burger. But you were perfect. Breadsticks, fries—practically everything that would feed me for $20 a week—you handled it efficiently and reliably.

You’ve followed me around the country, your handle getting a little wonky, your trays getting a little blackened and battered, and your door fogging up in that mysterious permanent grease fog. But you still cook my burgers, potato-y things, apple turnovers, and biscuits perfectly, all while keeping my kitchen cool. And you’re not above toasting a simple piece of bread. Even if it takes a few atempts to push your toast lever down, eventually it works. And as long as you’re still willing and able I will stand by you.

I know I could ditch you for a newer, flashier model for as little as $25 during back-to-school season—or upgrade to a larger model with all kinds of special features—but we’re a team. I know what to expect from you and I still appreciate all you do for me.

What you showed me the other night, when you set those crumbs alight, is that I need to not take you for granted. I have to do some work in this relationship too. You do so much for me and ask nothing in return. I have to remember my responsibility to you. And I promise here and now to try. I will try.

One more thing. It hadn’t occurred to me before, but you share our home with a lot of appliances I’ve named. You’re neighbors with Food Ninja, Orange Whip, Smartybox, and Rockmacher. I  can see how that would cause you to question your place in my heart. Well, if I may be so bold, I’d like to call you Feuermeister from now on. Do you like it? Oh, I just knew you would. Thank you, dear Feuermeister. I will always love you.

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