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?