Long before the Internet of Things became a thing, I had my own Net of Things, my personal web of carefully curated appliances and gadgets from all over the world. An added bonus; we do not need wi-fi to speak to each other, instead we have our own Ethernet of telepathy and intense communion. Being materially entangled is how I deal with the age of extremes that I live in. One lot of people I know is investing in wearable technology that directly plugs them into the matrix comprising their microwave oven and rain-water shower jets. The other bunch is turning minimalist, selling their microwave, disavowing their television, disowning Tupperware and growing organic vegetables/rain forests in their bathrooms. Entering, as a ray of warm sunshine into the plethora of choices, is the comfort of my label maker.
A few years ago, SG and I moved town and jobs – and settled in Bangalore, where the weather is perfect and one can wear flip flops all the year around and to the local drinking joint to enjoy a pint or two of hand crafted beer. In short, my life was complete – except for acute deprivation of not owning a label maker. One cannot over-emphasize the importance of this device in my life. I dreamt of neatly labeled shelves in the various cupboards, delicately titled storage containers and jars all neatly lined up in the kitchen cabinets. In my head, I drew up mood boards, story boards and wrote entire novels starring the label maker. After several months of research and day dreaming, I convinced SG that if he loved me enough, he would buy me a label maker for our wedding anniversary. And indeed, I spent exactly one day labelling EVERYTHING at home, happily bouncing off walls pretending to be a super organized Monica Geller Bing. I was terribly upset that SG refused to understand the difference between guest towels – new and home towels –second bathroom and other finer distinctions. A few days later the label maker ran out of labels and I ran out of steam. It now nestles in my stationery drawer – with a neat label under it which says – no prizes for guessing – “label maker”. I still get misty eyed thinking of the happy day we spent together.
Let’s shift focus to the various kitchen appliances I own. You know how people would rescue their puppy dogs, photo albums and other valuables when escaping from a fire. Well, I would take my toaster and perhaps the jaffa sandwich maker to keep it company. When I first set up house, my mother (knowing the full extent of my cooking skills) tearfully gifted me the toaster. After ten years of togetherness, my toaster popped it one day, right before – you guessed it – SG and my wedding anniversary. I make this entire process of giving so easy for him. I even picked out the model, complete with chrome plating, that I wanted on-line. The most epic anniversary gift, though, has been my kitchen aid stand mixer. So excited I was at the prospect of the purchase, that I dispensed with the pretense that SG was buying it for me and placed the order on his behalf. It is one of the most used appliances I have closely at the heels of my air fryer. I ‘borrowed’ the air fryer from my mom, along with her juicer. Each time I sit down to a plateful of potato fries, I say a silent prayer for the juicer, still in its cardboard carton. Some day we shall have the beetroot carrot juice I have been meaning to make. Right after I make biscuits using the special biscuit maker, and top it with boiled eggs using the egg-slicer and corn kernels removed using the corn shucker. Right after I locate these gadgets and rescue them from their original packaging.
I agree, the egg-slicer was a tad unnecessary. It was voted in the top ten most useless inventions of the year that I bought it in. After I bought it. I am a trend setter, I cannot help it.
For our most recent anniversary, I pretended that SG gifted me a Martha Stewart Score Board and Envelope Maker. To clarify, that it came from him was the pretense, the board itself is real enough as my credit card bill can prove. To further clarify, am not starting an envelope making business, as a so called friend politely and sarcastically enquired. If you have not experienced the joy of the perfect crease and the even more perfect fold, you, my friend, have not lived. The Score Board is feeling a bit lonesome, so am considering getting a paper trimmer for all those origami squares I need to get exactly right. The next anniversary is a bit far off – let me see what excuse I can drum up. Is the start of February reason enough?
For the next big day, I have picked out the perfect gift. A cuttlebug or sizzix die cutting machine with several dies it can be friends with. Or maybe a salad spinner. The same friend who sneered at my envelope maker is thinking of getting a crock pot and a soup maker. I am wildly jealous. Perhaps I should get those. Or maybe a spiralizer. Or maybe a barbeque grill. Or a panini maker.
Or I could simply buy a new house to store all this stuff in.