Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Boiling Teapot of Doom

This teapot occupies a special place in my memory. A place...of despair:

My parents had this teapot probably since before I was born. I believe it had once belonged to my grandmother (who is still alive, by the way - Grandma, if you are reading this, feel free to post a comment and verify whether my theory about this teapot's origins is true!). I liked this teapot because, as you can see, it had a small ding in its spout. Since I assign a truly unhealthy amount of personality to inanimate objects, I always thought this ding was endearing, even cute - like a snaggle-toothed cat, or a little kid with a few lost baby-teeth. Even when the pot splashed scaling hot water onto my hand every time I made a cup of tea, I didn't mind, because the crooked spout seemed to be smiling at me apologetically whenever it happened.

Eventually, this teapot disappeared. Most likely, my parents, who I apparently did not inherit my animist mania from, tossed it in the trash when they realized they could buy a new teapot that didn't scald them every time they wanted a cup of Earl Grey. However, to this day its absence from my parents' kitchen stings me with guilt. I can all-to-easily imagine it sitting in a landfill somewhere, stoically smiling its crooked-spout smile as garbage men bury it in heaps of eggshells and broken TVs.* In my less mournful fantasies, a thoughtful garbage man salvages it and gives it a special place on the mantle in his home - maybe on top of a doily he has embroidered - bringing it out for occasional evenings of sipping hot chamomile in silent contemplation. Maybe he lives in Seaford or Wantaugh (both towns close to where I grew up on Long Island), and if I wanted I could track him down for tea-time with my old friend.

Before I start weeping, I am going to stop writing, go sit on my 100 year old sofa, and put on those socks I've had since kindergarten that I never threw away (or washed), because they look too much like Beagle puppies. See you at the movies!

* Note about my parents: despite my depressing day-dreams, they would have put the teapot in the recycling bin, not the trash. They are environmentally conscious.


  1. Noah,
    Great representation of our old teapot. So sorry to have traumatized you by throwing it out. In my defense, the tea pot was not the best quality and eventually it started to rust and that is why I replaced it.

  2. It's okay. I got over it, with therapy.

    Though if it was rusting, I do greatly appreciate your not allowing us to drink rust.

  3. don't remember if it was my teapot but thanks for mentioning me. Sorry it took me so long to read this.