Garbage Disposal Dreams
I grew up without a garbage disposal. As an adult, my first homes had no garbage disposals. I really never saw the need, although some people swear by them. To me, it just seemed like an unnecessary convenience, and a waste of electricity. Not to mention ~ they just seemed scary. I mean, fingers are flesh and blood, and I reasoned they’d cut a lot easier than carrots. Resisting all jokes about finger foods.
Then, I rented an apartment that had one. Hmmm. Do I use it, or not? One rainy evening, after dinner, I realized that the trash can was relatively clean, minus a few paper scraps, and if I scraped my leftovers into the can, it would smell like a restaurant dumpster by morning. Since it was pouring out, I decided I’d try the disposal. Fat from the steak and peel from the baked potato be gone! It really was easy. I got accustomed to using it, but I did wreck several spoons that slipped down past the laughable thing they called a disposal guard. My least favorite thing in the world was checking the thing before I turned it on. I held my breath every time, as I swished my hand down into the scary hole, until I was sure the thing was empty. I did my best to remember to put any small items and utensils in the side of the sink that didn’t house the disposal. I referred to the right side of the sink as the “safe side.”
When I started dating my husband, he lived in an old house, in the sunset neighborhood of San Francisco. It had been left to him by his parents. It had pink tile and a pink pedestal sink in the bathroom, but the parquet wood floors to die for, made up for that pink tile. In the kitchen, there was one of those big farmhouse sinks. Not the kind like you see today, rather an old cast iron sink in which you could bathe a baby, or two. And there was a garbage disposal with a hole big enough to fit a softball through. There was no “safe side” to deposit the utensils and other small items. I avoided using the thing because every time I tried, I’d wake up with a horrible nightmare. Yes, I know that the design is such that the accidentally chopping off of fingers is unlikely. Didn’t matter.
After we got married, we bought a house as married people are inclined to do. And you guessed it ~ the house had a garbage disposal. Out of fear, I decided I just wouldn’t use it. I did my best to keep small items and utensils away from it. For the past several years, I would sometimes forget and drop utensils and other items down the black hole. When that happened, it would be months before it happened again. Except when we had guests. It happened most often when we had guests. Even though I’d asked guests to leave their items on the sink, obviously they had great mothers that made them clean up, which included rinsing their plates, and dropping their utensils down the disposal hole. Didn’t really matter how, when, or why it happened ~ I didn’t even have to turn the thing on to be scared. Retrieving items from the hole of doom was enough to cause hyperventilation.
Recently, we decided to put in a new sink and new countertops. Our contractor suggested we replace the garbage disposal as it was an older, cheap, builder grade model that would take some retrofitting. Since we had replaced every other appliance in the kitchen, thus far, this just made sense. While researching faucets, sinks, and garbage disposals, I came across the very thing that would make my nightmares go away. It is called a disposal genie. I didn’t even have to find and rub an old lamp to get one. It allows me to use the disposal without fear. It does not allow utensils to pass through the hole, but it allows water to pass. It stays in place until I decide to remove it. If I choose to use the disposal, I check the sink for utensils and small items and remove them. Then, I scrape whatever needs to go down the drain, down the drain. It gave me my three wishes without me even asking. No more sticking my hand down the black hole. No more hyperventilating over it. No more nightmares over it. Where has this thing been all my life?