Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Waffle repair waffling

About a year ago, we had three waffle irons.  We make a lot of waffles in our family, but three waffle irons is a lot, even for our family.  A friend told me she needed a waffle iron, so I loaned her one of mine.

And then there were two.  We used our two waffle irons happily for a long while, but this summer the heating element burned out on one of the irons mid-waffle.  (Icky mess).

And then there was one.  About a month ago, the plastic pieces holding the hinges broke.  We were in the rush of early-morning school preparation, so I broke up some spare chopsticks to stuff in the hinge holes as a temporary fix.

Still one, sort of . . .

Most of my previous waffle irons were gifts or hand-me-downs, but I don't have a birthday coming up soon.  I haven't seen used waffle irons at yard sales or in thrift shops, either.  So it looks like the only option for is to buy a new one, from a store, which would run me about $40 or $50.

And here's where the Miser Mom anguish starts.  Because, on the one hand, a chopstick-repaired waffle iron leads down the path to the kind of life where miserliness overwhelms quality of life.  I've seen that kind of thing before:  a lamp that the owner warns you you have to turn on just-so, or it will shock you.  Chairs you can't sit in because they're not sturdy, that the owner is going to fix "some day".  Doors you're not supposed to close all the way, because the doorknob doesn't work so you couldn't get the door back open.  And maybe, chopstick-waffle-irons.  Is $50 really so much for an appliance we use several times each week?

On the other hand, there are a lot of things I could spend $50 on, most of them the things that I have gotten so used to I don't see until guests come over.  Doorknobs, faucets, area rugs, book shelves, garden tools, . . . the list, if I sit down and start to write it out, seems to go on for page after page.  I could go into debt quickly with that kind of thinking.  So I decided to live with the tackiness of my chopstick-infested waffle iron.

It turns out, in this one case, that what the repair actually bought me was time to think.  It took a week or two, but I finally looked up the name and telephone number of the maker of my appliance.  I spent a bit of time pushing telephone buttons; I finally got through to Keith at Black-and-Decker.  I described my problem to him, and he offered to send me two new hinge caps through the mail, for free.  Thanks, Keith!

So, now that the hinge caps have arrived, I have a waffle maker that works well and looks normal, too.  This is exactly the happy ending I had hoped for.  But I'll also be putting out the word:  if anyone has a waffle iron that doesn't see much use, I'd be happy to give it a good home.

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