Does Breaking Things Mean I’m Dumb?
Broken lamp, food processer, plate, glass jars — and I’m the common denominator
I stood across the break room at work and chucked a fork into the sink. When it clanged in, I raised my arms in exultation — but immediately put them down when the fork bounced up against a jar and broke it.
After almost a week of breaking something every day, I started to wonder if perhaps something was wrong with me.
It started with the almond butter.
Just like the next person in line (love you, next person), I go through food phases. During a particularly fierce almond butter phase, I got the bright idea to make my own. I googled some articles, gathered the supplies, and got started.
I should have scrapped the whole idea and taken a walk instead. But I didn’t.
Most recipes recommend toasting the almonds then grinding them into butter in a food processer. The grinding process can take up to 25 minutes, maybe more. I compared recipes, chose one with high reviews, and toasted my almonds.
Once toasted, I let the almonds cool, then put them in the mini food processor we got as a wedding present. Somehow, I didn’t see any of the multiple warnings in the recipes to give the processor a rest, so I started it up and watched with delight as the almonds turned to crumbs, then slowly became paste. It wouldn’t be long before it turned into butter!
And that’s when my food processor started smoking.
Of course, a false sense of expertise set in. I unplugged it, waited maybe a minute, then plugged it in and resumed the process. It kept smoking, I kept processing . . . Sometimes it takes me a while to take a hint. Finally, when the smoke was billowing out of the processor, I stopped again, this time for the eternity of two minutes.
Tired of waiting, I turned it on again. This time, after puffing smoke and processing weakly for about a minute, the engine slowly whirred to a stop.
And that was the end of my food processor. Kitchen equipment experts everywhere are cringing at the experience. I tried to get it to work for a few days, but to no avail.
The day after the almond butter fiasco, I pulled a plate out of the cabinet and knocked it against a glass on the counter, making a dime-sized chip on the plate.
The next day, I was trying to switch out a lampshade on one of our lamps, and I got the shade stuck on the lamp. Hammering against the shade to get it off turned into a bad idea, as I not only broke the shade, but knocked the fixture and broke that too.
The day after that, I dropped a glass in our kitchen and broke it. The next day I threw the fork into the sink and broke the jar.
And that’s when I started seriously wondering if something was wrong with me. Maybe I was losing brain cells. Maybe I was getting dumber. Maybe this would be my new normal, and I’d go through life like a wrecking ball, destroying everything in my path.
Then, right as I was about to turn our bedroom into a padded cell and never come out, the truth swung back in and hit me, kind of like the wrecking ball I feared becoming.
I wasn’t becoming less smart just because I was breaking things — but the things I was doing weren’t exactly smart. Disregarding the strength (weakness) of my food processor, trying to fix a lamp with a hammer, throwing solid metal silverware into a sink full of glass jars . . . None of them were my best ideas ever.
I didn’t turn my bedroom in a padded cell. Instead, I resolved to be much, much more careful when making, fixing, or throwing anything.