August 24, 2012 by thesoapalchemist
It was inevitable, really.
Everyone and everything dies at some point. But I wasn’t ready for this latest casualty in my natural soap adventures.
Ms. Stick Blender died.
Ms. Blender and I have been together for quite a while. I remember the day we first met. I had been looking for a business partner to manage my handmade soap production line for quite some time. After combing the county for suitable candidates, I spotted her; not flashy, rather outdated, really- especially when compared to the newer models. But, she had the skills I was looking for, and her salary requirements were in line with what I was willing to pay, so I decided to give her a try.
When I did, I knew she was the only one I’d ever need. Since the day she came home with me, in that slightly translucent, dove-gray Walmart bag, she’s been by my side.
Within only days, she became my right-hand girl (happily sharing the spotlight with my left hand guy, Mr. Spatula). She’s been with me on every one of my great soaping adventures, from incorporating only natural colors, to ensuring the perfect blend of essential oils and all natural scents. Not that she hasn’t had her moments, mind you. She never tired of stirring things up, but this caused my creative energy to flow with reckless abandon. The two of us were really quite a team.
But then Christmas came. My husband, unaware of the excellent relationship I had with Ms. Blender, thought I might appreciate some new help for my soap business. But, instead of interviewing likely candidates, he was swayed instead, by the flashy dress of the latest trendy model; shiny stainless steel, with a bright red finish that just screamed “easy.”
True, the single speed electronic pad was more simple to operate than Ms. Blender’s older-styled multi-speed selector button. And, that stainless shaft, in addition to being sleek and stylish, was dishwasher safe, promising minutes of saved time during clean-up.
Still, Ms. Blender and I had a relationship. It was my hand that comforted her when she was really in the thick of it, and it was she who was the true genius behind my perfectly blended batches of natural soap. Additionally, Red was somewhat of a prude. Her atrocious price gave the impression that she considered herself too good for the menial and undistinguished task of soap mixing. I decided to reserve Red for preparing food, and allow Ms. Blender to continue on as Head of Soap Production.
Unfortunately, Ms. Blender seemed unnerved by Red’s presence in the kitchen. Although out of sight, Red presented an obvious threat. She was at the ready, just waiting for Ms. Blender to fail.
The first hint that Ms. Blender was coming unwound happened a few months back. She had been mixing a particularly complicated batter with numerous add-ins, and just couldn’t seem to keep herself together. Her blades spun unevenly, clogging with oatmeal, and hesitating. I gently reassured her, rinsed her blades, and tried again. But this time, she lost it; a piece of her plastic collar cracked off and disappeared into the batter.
I was quite upset with her outburst. “Really?” I asked her. “Are you overworked? Under-appreciated?” Fearing I had been insensitive, I vowed from that point on, to take extra special care of her. I used a toothbrush to be sure her washers were impeccably clean, and even took special care to be sure her blade was able to spin freely and unencumbered by soap film build-up. But, she did it again. In the middle of mixing a beer batter, she cracked up! Literally. A crack all the way up her shaft. This couldn’t be good. “She’s really falling apart,” I thought.
Knowing the inevitable was coming, I began a recruitment drive, and was able to find numerous applicants, but felt uneasy taking on a new employee with Ms. Blender still hanging on.
Her work had been suffering for quite some time, and she was having a hard time keeping up with increased production demands. I think she knew the end was near. She gave one final burst of power, and then “crack!” Several pieces of the collar that supports her main mixing shaft shattered and flew in all directions. Without the collar to hold her blade steady, she was unable to control herself, and finally succumbed to her fate.
That left me with Red. Call me crazy, but Red just has an attitude that I don’t think I could work well with. She’s all wrapped up in herself and her beauty. She could never be the utilitarian mixer than Ms. Blender was. No, Red would need constant stroking and attention, and those are two things I’m just not willing to give to a stick blender that makes soap.
So, this morning, I got into my car and headed back to the place that initially offered Ms. Blender’s services to me. And there, on the shelf where Ms. Blender had been only 5 years before, was a new model, named Hamilton Beech, and he was in need of a job.
I’m looking forward to the adventures that Hamilton and I are going to share. Sure, I’ll tell him all about Ms. Blender, but I think I’ll keep easy Ms. Red a secret for now.