Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mourning My Toaster

I used to be the best toast maker ever. Not the kind of toast you give at a wedding. The kind you make in a toaster. But after about 15 years my toaster died. And my life changed.

Seriously, my Mom made the best potato salad ever. My siblings and I try to reproduce it, but nobody can ever make it the way she did. That's the way it was with my toast.

My kids used to be able to brag about my toast making skills. Morning conversations like this were common: "Mom, will you make my toast? It never is as good when I make it.",  "Mom, you make the best toast!", and "Dad, let Mom make my toast."

My toast was always toasted to perfection: golden brown, not too dark, never crunchy but toasted just enough to melt butter. Yes.

Then our toaster died.

I went to Target to get a new toaster and was completely overwhelmed at the selection. There were probably 20 different toaster types in stock, ranging in price from $8.99 to over $100.

Foolish me, I thought there were 2 features to a toaster: number of slices of bread it can hold and the color. Oh no, you can get toasters with variable controls, automatic shut-offs, even an adjustable rear foot. What?

Being the sharp consumer that I am, I decided to overlook the least expensive toaster, and instead go for quality. I selected the best looking 2-slice toaster I could find in the $20 range. I took it home, and have been using it ever since.

And I soon had pathetic realization that perhaps my late toaster (rest in peace) was a better toast maker than I was.

So when I saw the Mercedes Benz of all toasters in the 50% off display at the back of the Snoboma Williams store yesterday I stopped in my tracks. It was amazing. I'm not sure, but I believe it even had an adjustable rear foot. I picked it up carefully, looking for a price tag. My pulse began racing at the thought of regaining my reputation as ace toast maker.

When I asked an employee the cost, she told me that it was reduced to from $250 to $125. I laughed. "Wow," I said. "That's a lot of money for a toaster."

She paused, looked me up and down, and informed me that it was a very high quality toaster, made by hand in England and personally signed by the individual assemblers.

"Did Paul McCartney assemble that one?" I asked. "Or Elton John? If so, I'll take it."

She did not answer me. And I did not buy the toaster. And my toast making skills remain just average.

How I miss my late toaster.

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