I had never turned on a self-cleaning oven before – and after I did it, Amanda was sick and I was trying to play it cool. Yes. Another tale of education through ignorance.
My best friend Alex got up to leave. He had spent most of the evening with us after a workout in our crowded gym.
“I’ll see you later. It’s time for me to go. I have a test tomorrow.” Alex said as he picked up his work clothes to take leave. He is tall, dark – a little loud- but all heart. He began to make his way from the kitchen to the door and said, “Your oven light is still on.” We had broiled chicken and shrimp earlier after we worked out. “Want me to cut it out?”
“Sure. Go ahead.” I responded.
Alex walked over to cut the light off. “Your oven self-cleans.” He said as he noticed the button
beside of the oven light switch.
“Really?” I questioned. “I haven’t ever used a self-cleaning oven. Have you?”
“Nope.” He replied.
“Well – we should clean the oven then.” I deduced. “Do I have to put any cleaner in it?”
“I don’t think so.” He said. “I think you just push the button.”
“Well – push it then.” I told him.
Amanda overhearing the conversation always being cautious jumped in. “No. Babe, don’t do it. I don’t want the oven on ’til one in the morning.”
I was just excited to clean the oven. ” Go ahead, Alex. If you don’t turn it on, I will.”
Alex said, “Alright then.” He pushed the button and walked out the door. The oven locked. It began to clean itself.
Putting it out of mind – I went to take a shower.
Over the sound of the shower – I began to hear a cough.
The cough grew louder and more consistent. It was soon accompanied by a concerned complaint.
“BABE! My throat and nose are burning. What’s going on? I think the oven is doing it.”
“Amanda, chill out. It’s fine, I’m sure.” I grab a towel and dry off.
When I open the bathroom door, steam fills our bedroom. It’s noticeably different. It smells of scorched fumes.
I think to myself that something might be wrong, but I try not to let on. Amanda keeps coughing.
“This is awful! What is it?” She keeps asking – her voice raspy from coughing. “It’s that oven cleaner!” I know it is.”
By this point – I won’t let on that I agree with her conclusion just because I was the one who insisted on turning it on. Like with all things she worries about – she did a Google search to find out about self-cleaning ovens.
She runs in the room and turns the oven off. “It’s the oven cleaner! You’re supposed to leave the house when you do it because it has toxins in it!”
So here we are – 35 degrees outside. I have every window in the house up, every fan on, and it’s frigidly cold in here.
Did I mention that it is pouring rain outside and it’s blowing in the windows?
Windows and doors wide open until 2 am.
Ignorance and pride – two things that do little to help your marriage, your job, or your relationships.
“It has killed pet birds! People says it has killed their birds, Ben! This is awful!” Amanda informs me. “I hope we don’t die!”
We didn’t – but I think my chances of self-cleaning the oven have – unless I clean it myself.