Monday, December 29, 2014

For Derek's Birthday I Didn't Buy a Useless Antique

Yesterday was Derek's birthday.  The Vikings were gracious enough to grant him a birthday win, I made him a giant birthday cookie, and my mom and Mark, since they were in town, offered to watch the kids while the birthday boy and I went on a date.

We enjoyed a nice dinner out and Derek tortured himself at a golf store, but in between those two we went to the Brass Armadillo, antique mall extraordinaire.  (If you click on that link back there, brace yourselves:  There are painful spelling and grammatical errors galore on their website.  Hear me now, friends:  "Isles" DOES NOT equal "Aisles."  When they write "Stroll through isles of..." I, naturally, picture hopping from island to island of antiques and quirky vintage treasures, not, as I can only assume they mean, walking through aisles of the same.)

The thing is, I love the Brass Armadillo.  It's where I adopted Hermione.  I almost always find super creepy dolls and marionettes to snap pictures of and send to my traumatized sisters.  I found a beautifully illustrated old hardcover copy of one of my favorite books there for two dollars.  (Just like this one, actually.)  When I visit that place, I like to take my time, examining any items that catch my eye (read:  half the things there, taking upwards of two hours.  I recognize that this is crazy.).

But when Derek and I went yesterday, he had a stern talk with me before entering, reminding me that we were on a mission, that we were looking for a specific item, that I needed to focus.  I did spectacularly well the first three steps in the door, until I saw a Christmas tree full of truly tacky old ornaments.  I faltered for a few seconds before muttering "Get behind me, Satan!"  (I couldn't tell if the lady manning the welcome station by the front door heard me or not; interpreting her facial expression was rather difficult due to the bold decision to paint her eyebrows on her forehead.)

Thereafter I was a model shopper, whipping up and down aisles in search of a coat tree, pausing only once in a moment of weakness caused by an antique bed warmer.  This is precisely the kind of thing that calls out to me at antique stores, begging to be taken to its forever home.  I knew Derek would ask ridiculous questions like, "What exactly are you going to do with it?  Where are you going to put it?"  Because "Smile at it," pretty much never satisfies him, I tried to frame some kind of persuasive response.  I mentally appealed to his logical side:  "Use it for its original purpose!"  Unfortunately we don't have a ready supply of coal and I had a sneaking suspicion that Derek would veto potentially burning our children alive, anyway.

Still in search of a loving home.

So it was with great sadness that I moved past the bed warmer, sending out psychological messages of "It's not you but it's also not me, it's my husband," which is probably a common refrain in there; rational spouses ruin all the fun but also save lives.

Thankfully I had this fun little trinket to console me when I got home:

My mom ferried this up to me from my grandma.  If you don't have a grandma who buys you random old stuff at auctions, I feel sorry for you.

It's a small tin grease pot that's a little dusty on the outside but immaculate inside.  It makes me wonder if it was ever used, given its purpose.

Actually, what is its purpose?

There's a removable strainer that sits just under the lid, then another at the inner entrance to the spout.  I'm assuming you pour the grease from your bacon or beef or whatever into the top, through the first sieve, then it gets strained a second time when you go to pour that same grease... where?  All over your food?  (retch)  I don't really understand the need to strain and then pour grease onto anything.  I pour our excess grease straight from the pan into an empty can and keep it in the freezer until it's full and ready to toss.  

Still, I like the look of it, and every time I walk by it I find myself singing "Grease is the word, have you heard, it's the word..."  Plus I just found the exact same thing on an ebay auction; it sold for $26 + $10 shipping, and I can promise you my grandma didn't pay that much.

I've also been throwing lots of smiles in its direction, although I've yet to find a good place for it.  I've had it in the kitchen windowsill, but that's a dangerous location as it's right in Derek's line of sight.  It'll probably end up where everything else does: on one of the piles of books scattered throughout the house.  Hey, it's smaller than a bed warmer, right?


  1. Anybody want to buy said grease pot? We're asking $26...

  2. Huh --Rob and Derek share a birthday. Probably not a birth year, though :-)

    If you went back 150 years, I'll bet saving and re-using grease would have been important during the winters, when food was scarce. I'm thinking of that Laura Ingalls Wilder book where they were eating one small potato as a meal, and braiding straw to burn in the fireplace. Give me smart phones and imported oranges any day :-)

  3. That's a very cute grease pot! But I'm sorry, Derek, I am not in the market for a grease pot.

    Tying in the grease pot and Cassi's comment:

    Last night my daughter went to band practice, and brought me back a small potato (but no grease pot). Without grease, I don't know what I would do with the potato. Potato pancake season is OVER in this household. I am still trying to figure out what a potato has to do with band practice.

    You haven't divulged whether or not you found the coat tree. Perhaps in the near future you will be showing us a photo montage of a new/old coat tree next to your new/new washer?

  4. Here's an idea for Derek for your birthday: accompany you for a leisurely browse through the store (and perhaps finance a few purchases??)

    1. That is precisely what we did for her birthday


Studies show that that people who leave comments are kind, intelligent, generous, creative, and have really nice hair.