Let’s start off with a riddle:
Q: How many home owners does it take to replace a light bulb? A: None.
None because this home owner refused to replace the burnt out light bulb in the oven when she learned it costs $25.00. That’s right, you read correctly. This particular light bulb in our particular oven cost $25.00 back in 2007. There are four altogether. I have decided to bake in the dark.
When I was house hunting and first laid eyes on the kitchen it took my breath away. The real estate agent knew what she was doing when she directed the open house traffic to the rear entrance. It makes a good first impression. Apparently, so I am told, when I stepped into the room, I gasped and said, “This is it.”
The previous owners added the room three years earlier and outfitted the kitchen to suit the homemaker who cooked and baked for her family of nine. This included a double built-in self-cleaning convection oven. Of course, all electronic bells and whistles.
In 2012, right on schedule, as warranties started to expire, so did the electronics. Over a period of weeks, the oven’s touch-screen control panel failed. I called Sears.
When the technician came by to perform the diagnostics, he concluded that the panel’s circuitry was fried, most likely because we live in an area that is prone to brown-outs. Electronic components don’t take kindly to frequent power outages and surges. For some reason (he told me, but I’ve forgotten) surge protection is not an option for this built-in unit.
As the tech was installing the new circuit board, he accidentally snapped off a piece as he was fixing it into place.
We set up another appointment. After a different tech came and went that day, I sent an email to Reiner.
The better part of $800.00 and one month later, the appliance works.
You can imagine that the oven was not the only “unit” to experience fried circuitry. I was beside myself with impotent anger about… what? The fact that I have a pretty kitchen that is equipped with such wonderful appliances?
Whose brilliant idea was it, I ask you, to design appliances so that it costs $25 to replace a light bulb? Or a good portion of a month’s salary to replace the critical element necessary to run the dang-blang thing? Whose brilliant idea was it to design something so vulnerable electronically that it is actually worthwhile considering a replacement unit rather than repair it?
I thought, let’s not replace the part. We can get by with the stove-top burners and the microwave. Who needs to bake a cake, anyway? You’re only going to eat it. I could use both ovens for storage that way, rather than just the lower one.
Then I considered ripping out the built-in unit and installing an old-fashioned used stove, efficiency standards be-damned. But that would mean, if not an entire kitchen makeover, at least one wall would need extensive remodeling.
Not in the cards.
I swallowed that bitter pill and paid the nice man.
I love this house. It’s sturdy, 130 years old, lots of hardwood trim. It’s within walking distance of most everything I might need, it sits on a wooded lot, we’ve got great neighbours, and live in a lovely, small town.
So why, therefore, if I love it to pieces, do I spend an inordinate amount of time complaining about the kitchen?
I was duped by razzle dazzle. I don’t like being duped.
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