Maladjusted Mondays, Week 6

NOT Linda.

Greetings! I’m Janice Johnson. Thanks for joining the fun here on Maladjusted Mondays. This series is a collection of scathing exposés in which I rat out my uncooperative appliances. (Thanks to Linda for hosting me!) I originally published these posts on my blog, Joywriting: Everybody Has a Story, where I do occasionally write about something besides my appliances. You can visit me there any time by clicking here.

Without further ado, here is the sixth post in the series, which first appeared on my blog June 10, 2013.

How Coffee Put Me On Edge (It Ain’t the Caffeine)

For years, coffee made me crazy, and not because of the caffeine.

It was that underhanded coffeemaker of mine.

SunbeamYes, I know:
“Another appliance? Seriously?”

You have every right to ask, after the mishaps I’ve already described here. But hear me out.

I bought Mr. Sunbeam umpteen years ago when we lived in Arizona. That was back when I hated coffee. The only reason I got Sunbeam was so my parents and Brent’s, all coffee enthusiasts, could make their morning brew when any of them were visiting. They would fly or drive clear across the desert to see us. For my part, I’d unearth Mr. Sunbeam, dust him off and set him out on the counter. Oh, and run out to buy the smallest can of coffee I could find.

Years later when we lived in Texas and I worked in our church office, I started drinking coffee myself. Sometimes I even made a little at home on weekends. Sunbeam migrated out of the back of the pantry and into a place of honor on the kitchen counter.

And speaking of “counter,” Mr. Sunbeam had the most counter-intuitive on/off switch I have ever seen. Sure, it sounds insignificant… but with no automatic shutoff, you couldn’t just go away and leave him on all day. Not unless you wanted the aroma of scorched coffee wafting through the house when you got back.

So you’d go to turn him off. The bright-red switch has no light, only a black dot on the top. The black dot was firmly associated in my mind with a hot curling iron. My logic ran something like:

Black dot = hot = ON.

But Sunbeam was too tricky for that. No, the black dot only showed when the switch was turned OFF. For some reason it was a monumental chore to retrain my brain to read:

Black dot = OFF = not hot.

A tiny thing, to cause so much cognitive dissonance.

Fortunately, I was slightly smarter than my coffeemaker. I just unplugged it after pouring the last cup. Problem solved.

Then, our sons started drinking coffee too. When they came to visit I would make extra. Whoever took the last cup would decide the power was already turned OFF since the switch wasn’t lighted, and go on about their business. Hours later, the aroma of scorched coffee wafting through the house would alert me to the truth.

Well played, Mr. Sunbeam.

I got the last laugh, though–starting with a routine trip to Target one fateful day.

Meet Mr. Coffee: tall, dark and handsome. Not only that, he communicates with me. Notice the little green light that announces to the whole world: Mr. Coffee is ON. He’s practically my soul mate, though no one could ever really take Brent’s place.

But you know, I’m beginning to wonder whether Sunbeam really did make me crazy. Because now I sort of miss the aroma of scorched coffee wafting through the house.

Well… I almost miss it.

Thanks for reading,