I finally broke down and bought a new oven mitt and pot holder.
I figured it was about time.
Isn't it funny how we hold on to things? I'm pretty sure I got these at my bridal shower over fourteen years ago. The colors were perfect -- they matched my dishes, my wallpaper border, my youthful, blushing cheeks. I don't recall having another set. I just used them and used them and used them.
Over the years they were slopped on and burned. Finally, they became so threadbare that they weren't functioning as they should. The oven mitt developed a hole right between the thumb and mitten part. I could no longer shove my hand all the way into the mitt and grab the cookie sheet. I had to partially put my hand in and gingerly scoot the tray out of the oven.
I wore a hole clean through the middle of the pot holder. You would think that I would have considered getting a new one. But no. I folded it into a wad, avoided the gaping hole, and used it anyway. I even thought of repairing it. But getting a new one? The thought didn't even enter my mind.
One day, it occurred to me that I might just make a new pot holder. That would be so frugal and earthy of me. I thought about it for many days. Many, many days. Then I forgot all about it. And I kept on using those pathetic rags.
Well, I'm not sure when it finally hit me. Maybe it had to do with the kids starting to use the oven. What kind of mother hands her child a holey rag and says, "Grab that hot pan, please"? Not I.
Now, did I run out and grab the first set I found? Of course not. I started the search. I'm a bit like my mother in this respect. A purchase takes time. We must consider all the options, you see. I didn't find anything that really grabbed me, so I kept on using the rags.
The other day I was at Wal-Mart. On a whim I suggested to Bethie that we go look at the pot holders. I didn't expect to find the perfect set, but figured maybe I could find something to tide me over and save my poor children from being burned.
I stood in that aisle for a really, really long time. You would have thought I was making the most important decision of my life. Suddenly, the hilarity of it all struck me. They were three dollars each. Three dollars, people. It wasn't like I was about to sign my life away. No one was going to force me to use these -- and only these -- for the next fourteen years. If I found something I liked better in a month or a year, I could get them!
Into my cart went the olive pattern. They matched my kitchen and felt kind of Italian. Not a bad combo. But most importantly, they were well padded and completely whole!
I brought them home and placed them on the counter. They looked very stiff and clean. I was afraid to use them. But I cast one last glance at my trusty old pair and realized that it was time to move on. So I did. And guess what? I love my new pot holders.