Giving off steam: a random rant



Do you like your kitchen gadgets? Do you see the chefs on TV whisk up a mouthwatering delight with the help of an amazing new electrical device and think ‘That looks useful, I might get one of those’? If so, and you can afford to indulge, then go ahead. I have no problem with your choices so long as you do not suggest that I buy one too. Whilst there are certain housework helpers that I value, I do not find them interesting. I am set in my ways and I am fine with how I am.

So, in case you were ever tempted to suggest that I would find one of these things useful, let me assure you of the following.

  • I do not want a juicer. I am happy to buy the juices that I wish to drink in a carton or bottle. If I wish to be healthier then I will drink water, eat less bread and exercise more.
  • I do not want a slow cooker. I know that plenty of people love these things, good for them. Please stop trying to change the way I cook.
  • I do not want a bread maker. When I make bread from scratch I do it as my mother did and this suits me fine.
  • I do not want a waffle maker, sandwich toaster, popcorn maker, oven that microwaves or microwave that ovens. I can manage to produce food the way I want without any of these devices.
  • I do not want to try out the new whizzy thing that you have just purchased and find amazing. I am somewhat in awe of your ability to store all the whizzy things that you have tried to make me coo over in the past, but I have no interest in filling up my own cupboards in this way.

I own plenty of electrical appliances that I value and would replace if they ceased to work: cooker, hob, fridge, freezer, microwave, kettle, toaster et al. I see no reason to add devices that I am unlikely to use after that first flush of enthusiasm. Believe me, I really wouldn’t use them, even if you think I would.

We live in a consumer society that flourishes because people are willing to try out each new shiny. They believe the hype and enjoy playing with their new toy. When it comes to the latest fad, I am typically curmudgeonly. I have seen too many ‘must have’s come and go, unmissed by those of us who chose not to indulge. If you can afford it, and will derive pleasure from trying these things, then go ahead. All I ask is that you don’t expect me to play along.

I have never understood the appeal of televised cookery programs, perhaps because I don’t enjoy cooking. Mind you, I have never seen the appeal of a large number of televised shows that seem hugely popular: talent shows, reality television, soap operas. I have no interest in antiques, looking inside others homes, tabloid style interview programs or televised sport. This probably explains why I no longer receive broadcast television. The films, dramas and documentaries that I choose to watch can be purchased on DVD.

If I desire background noise then I play music, although more often I enjoy silence. I read, I write, I keep up with current affairs on line.

I was raised in the heart of a stable and loving family who were always trying to turn me into something that I had no wish to be. They wanted me to be happy and believed that this would be achieved if I followed the accepted conventions of the time. It made me resentful, that they couldn’t fully accept me as I was. It made me stubborn, particularly when anyone now tries to tell me what to do.

I do not have a problem with how I am, please don’t try to change me. I do not need a new hobby or a new gadget or to alter the way I cook or clean. I may not be the world’s best housewife, but I get by. Enjoy your new shiny, and let me enjoy my life the way I choose to live it.