Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hot Pad Gazing

I've decided that you can usually tell how long someone has been living on their own by taking a look at their hot pads and oven mitts. Mine are showing the wear and tear of twelve-and-eleven-twelfths years of marriage. Actually, "wear and tear" is not as accurate as, say, "discoloration and random crusty bits."

I've become hyper-focused on my hot pads recently. It's like they were invisible to me until now, performing their function, never asking to be noticed. But now that they've been noticed--yowza! It's time for hot pad intervention. But how? I've carried on an internal debate about what to do with them. Do I simply run them through a wash cycle? Or do I replace them with new, less embarrassing hot pads? Is there something significant and symbolic about them, the number of hot meals they've carried for us? Is it possible that my current hot pads, like shoulder pads, will come back in style? Is there a current style for hot pads? And how would one know?

You're probably thinking this is ridiculous, but that is only because you're not looking at my hot pads everyday like I am. I would feature a picture of them here, but I am too embarrassed by their ugliness. And also, I am lazy. You're going to have to take my word for it.

One set is pink, handmade by who-knows-who, and crocheted in tight, perfect lines. They are thick and effective, but rather ugly. Other than a shirt in my closet, they are the only pink item in my house. The other pair are the thin, quilted, mass-produced variety. They have a cheesy country-kitchen theme (tan, burgundy, and navy blue) featuring a teddy bear wearing a neckerchief and the inspiring, immortal words, "Home Is Where Your Honey Is."

I realize that a hot pad is a hot pad is a hot pad, and why should vanity invade the drawer where these are kept? But, still...

I'm feeling like there should be a third set of hot pads, not unlike the set of plush bath towels reserved for guests, that would stay in the back of the drawer and be used only when entertaining company. You know, a classy set of hot pads. I like the idea of shouting to Ryan from across the kitchen as he reaches to remove a macaroni casserole, "No, honey, not the good hot pads! Those are for special occasions."

I like the idea of setting a beautiful table for Thanksgiving, complete with fine china, linen napkins, and glistening hot pads to cradle our feast. In fact, it will be the pristine hot pads that will push the entire scene over the edge and into euphoria, making us all feel like we're celebrating the holiday inside a Pottery Barn catalog.

I like the idea of my kids growing up and carrying on this family tradition, getting in fights with their future newlywed wives over which of their gifted hot pads will be used everyday and which will be the ones they pull out when Ryan and I come for dinner. You mean, your family didn't have a set of nice hot pads when you were growing up? That is so weird. And WRONG! Because, if she doesn't realize the importance of a nice set of hot pads, I'll have to seriously question her ability to raise my grandchildren.

Yes, now that I really think about it, a classy set of hot pads is definitely in order. I won't be able to call myself a decent mother-in-law someday without them.

What about you? What is the state of your hot pads?

28 comments:

Artax said...

Actually, "wear and tear" is not as accurate as, say, "discoloration and random crusty bits."

Ha ha ha. Have you been snooping in my hot pad drawer lately? Because I can't think of a better description for my hot pads....

Soul-Fusion said...

definitely past my bedtime since I was more than a paragraph in when I realized you were talking about hot pads and not heating pads. You know, the kind you plug in and get when you're sick or have cramps.
And by some strange default I kind of have good hot pads and an every day one because one is always in the linen closet and the other gets tossed around the kitchen all the time and I get frustrated that the crusty stains don't come out when washed.

Kari said...

Ha ha! I was thinking of heating pads at first too.
I think some "company hot pads" are in order at my house. Mine are pretty bad.

Kami said...

We should have an ugly hot pad contest...You v. My Mom. I think she might win. Hers are Baaaad!

This is what you do...you buy wood or metal hot pads aka trivets and then you get two nice matching oven mits. Bitch Bath & Beyond have some great ones. :)

Hannah said...

My hot pad were disgusting. I now own silicone hot pads and stick them in the dishwasher when I am done.

Miranda said...

No...I GET what you're talking about. I used to just have the crocheted ones. I loved them. I left them on burners that were on more than once. I never washed them. My hands NEVER got burned.

Then, my SIL gave me a set of hot pads that she sells in her shop. They are gorgeous. They are clean. They are ONLY FOR COMPANY.

You will never regret owning a nice set of hot pads.

Brittany said...

oh. no. I was just checkin' out my hot pads TODAY cuz as I went to pull something out of the oven I thought, "This hot pad is in such bad shape... there could easily be a hole and I may just put my finger right onto the oven rack."

We have 4- one is my favorite- a square one from William Sonoma, one is a super-poufy green and red plaid Christmas one given to me by my grandma as a "decoration"... (she's a little bit country), one has a lovely tropical-island-palm-tree-horizon in sage green, and finally, the poor dollar store one that is ugly blue. the last three are all glove-style, and they are all burny, dirty, and the stuffing seems to have shifted so as to leave some fingers more protected than others.

definitely time for us to buy some new ones. lovely, matching, stylish hot pads that will carry our meals with love. or just ones that match. i loved this post !

CSIowa said...

The "cheesy country-kitchen theme" hot pads I got from an aunt at our wedding had a Holly Hobby-like girl in front of a woodstove with a caption reading "To the sweetest cookie in the batch." 19 years later the crocheted pads still work, but Holly Hobby has long since gone. The oven mitts seem to wear out first, right where you need them most, between the thumb and index finger.

Andria said...

I have the craptastic hotpads that were given to us when we got married 7+ years ago. Those are for everyday use. Then I had some hotpads custom made (I know, that sounds kind of crazy) by some lady on Etsy to match what I wanted my kitchen to look like when we moved into our new house. Currently, I can only find one of the hotpads and it is not looking so special anymore.

Becky said...

lol! ours are still okay as we've only been married three years. Plus we go for the rubber type ones which clean really easily but are by no means attractive.

Christy said...

My hot pads are still invisible to me & now I'm afraid to look at them.

Fun post!

katie said...

I actually requested a new oven mitt for Christmas because the former mitt had been lit on fire. Sadly, the thumb of the mitt was a casualty. However, i just can't bring myself to throw away the charred mitt. The new bright red mitt sits on top in the drawer, but the burnt one is used just as often. Perhaps I'm holding on to something in my past? Maybe I like the smell of burned fabric? Maybe I'm just lazy, too. Not sure. But I'll take the bright red and burned mitts over the hideous orange and black Halloween alternatives in the drawer.

Jesse C said...

Natalie asked for some new hot pads for Christmas, and we never use them. Probably because they feel so fancy compared to our old scruffy ones. One day, we will find occasion to use them.

Becky said...

SO funny! I was just thinking about my hot pads the other day and how gross they looked. I've had them for as long as I've been married. It had never occurred to me to wash them. But I did, and wow! They are good to go now for another 18 years!

Lindy-Lou said...

I think Pam Goff may have made those pink crocheted hot pads. I have a black and white one she made for me that I actually do prefer over the gastly every-day ones when we have guests. Or it may have been Susan Clark who made those for you.

Lorrie said...

I have a whole drawer of hot pads and oven mitts. Some are very disqusting and some are quite nice. It never occurs to me to use the nice ones. I don't think I have ever thrown a single hot pad away!! I believe my oldest sets must be around 35-36 years old. I believe this is the first time I've ever given any thought to them. Interesting.

Jodi said...

I went through the same introspective hot pad moment a few years back and bought some more pleasing ones at Williams Sonoma. Unfortunately a thin, cheap, green oven mitt with holly berry on it made it's way into the mix a couple Christmases ago and THAT's the one that keeps popping up each time I reach in the drawer. Too lazy to remove it.

Curse you cheap neighborhood gift!

littlegypsy. said...

that's hilarious! actually, i just had the same dilemma and i invested in a nice orla kiely hot pad at target. it changed my life for about two weeks, until it got all crusty with spilled butternut squash. oh well.

jennie w. said...

My MIL totally judges people on the state of their hot pads. No lie. I just barely found this out last year, so I have been trying to keep mine nice and tidy, but I use them a lot. I hate when I get hang up about something dumb.

Jenny said...

My hot pad has a hole in the thumb. I have been burned several times with that hot pad...but I have had it for so long that I can't part with it. I think you are right hot pads carry memories. Some I would like to forget like the whole reason there is a whole burned in it in the fist place. But it has also assisted me in many tasty breakfast lunches and dinners. Half of my life is spent eating and sleeping. I think the same goes for blankets.

buddens said...

Believe it or not I like mine! Except the old factor. But we have a set of pads, and a set of mits, both from the same line apparently because it's the exact same nice thick red fabric. And I DO think of mine often! I hate when they get crusty so they make it into the wash about 3 times a year. Sadly, some of the crusty never goes away. And no, I don't have a set for company but it's such a good idea!

autumn said...

This post is so true. Every year I go through my mom's kitchen to see what needs replaced. Last year I gave them new hot pads as they've had their old ones since before I was born...same thing with measuring cups...toaster...and the list goes on.

MiaKatia said...

So funny, I thought you were talking about heating pads too! Then I realized I was a dork. Mine get washed all the time. My husband has issues with dirty hot pads. I hardly notice. But those silicone ones sound interesting.

Angie said...

Yes, go buy some new hot pads.

I have a weird tendency to feel sentimental about things, even though I know deep down that things don't have feelings like you or I. Still, I wouldn't be able to throw out hot pads that I'd used my entire married life. They're a part of the family. But, getting new ones is always ok :).

soveryvicki said...

Lordy! Did you just write about crusty hot pads? Too funny. No need to put out the special company hot pads when I visit. That would probably just crush my self-esteem. I already know you're waaay better at cutting a watermellon than I am. : )

tiburon said...

I have these nifty little silicone oven mitts. And a set of silicone hot pads as well. They still look as good today as the day I bought them.

They really are the only way to go.

I will say that this is the most I have ever thought about hot pads in my whole life.

Kelly S. (hot pad stealer) said...

I actually HAVE one of your hot pads from when you made some cheesy rice dish for the Christmas party 3 years ago. It's black and terry cloth. There were no crusty bits attached. At least there weren't back then. I obviously belong to the school of finders-keepers-losers-weepers. At least when it comes to hot pads. Would you like me to send it to you? I could remove all crusty bits that have accumulated since it took up residence in my home.

alex dumas said...

You're lazy? And you gave us a step by step on how to make grilled burritos?

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