In digging through my cluttered appliance cabinet the other morning to reach the crumb-covered blender to make Dash a smoothie, I gave a little “hey there” nod to the pile of other crumb-covered appliances I thought were absolute kitchen necessities back when I was establishing myself as a homemaker, in the great homemaker-establishing ritual of creating a wedding registry. At the time, I considered toast, crackers & cheese and Ramen noodles perfectly good meals, but put a wedding registration barcode scanning gun in my hand, and suddenly I’m Martha Stewart. I need a panini maker and a fruit spiralizer and a really good bread maker because I’m going to bake bread every day. In fact, I’m going to grind my own wheat. I’m going to make my own ravioli noodles and definitely serve soup in those little mini cocottes because I’m going to be married and then I’m going to be a mom, and married moms serve soup in cocottes (no they don’t). My entire wedding registration is a perfect representation of the domestic idealism that has tripped me up sometimes, but I’m not necessarily mad about it. Domestic dreaming triggers a euphoric little burst of dopamine for me, as perusing through a Williams Sonoma catalogue will demonstrate–even if I never actually get to making that cinnamon-dusted, 3-tiered cake in the shape of a sand castle. I find comfort in the idea of my domestic possibilities.
Perhaps there’s no greater representation of my homemaker dream ridiculousness though than The Embosser. I came across it in the glossy catalogue pages for a fancy stationery company shortly after our wedding, and when I saw it I knew–screw the bread machine, The Embosser was the thing that was going to take me to a new level of Homemaker. The Embosser was a heavy silver handheld press that was custom designed with your last name initial and whatever phrase you chose to set you apart as a family; and with a simple squeeze of its handles, you could turn paper, foil labels–anything into a personalized seal. I couldn’t order it fast enough, and in my true impulsive no-time-to-think-this-through urgency, I typed the first thing I could think of for the phrase that was going to encircle our initial and represent us a family. You ready for this? LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH. What can I say, it was the year of the framed plaque, and my truths came from the aisles of Homegoods, But here’s the best part. I couldn’t even get the phrase right. I ordered it to say LAUGH, LOVE, LIVE.
So I patiently waited two weeks for The Embosser to arrive, ordering gold foil labels and making plans for all that I would emboss in the meantime. And that’s when the idea came…an epiphany I was sure was my greatest one yet.
I was going to emboss…our toilet paper. That’s right, toilet paper. I was going to learn how to fold the end of our toilet paper roll into one of those fancy little origami triangles like the Ritz Carlton, and then I was going to take it up a notch by embossing the triangle with the Hampton Homemaker seal.
Our parties would never be the same. Our guests were going to feel so pampered when they stepped into our bathroom, sat down on our toilet and reached to wipe only to pause with recognition at our hospitable detail and the oh so important reminder to LAUGH! LOVE! LIVE!
Do I really need to tell you about the result of this purchase? The sustainability of this great idea? The Embosser dream lasted all of one party when I realized that after someone used the restroom, I had to run in to refold and emboss the toilet paper again for the next guest. And that was the end of The Embosser.
I found it recently–tucked in a drawer with a stack of thank you notes I never sent and the attachment tool likely to some kitchen appliance I thought I needed but never use. There will always be a little Martha Stewart inside of me, and I’ll never stop tearing out pages of intricately braided pie crusts in her magazine for inspiration. But I know where I comfortably stand when it comes to making my house a home, and it doesn’t involve embossed toilet paper.
Do you know what my most used kitchen tools are? Two small things I never thought I’d need but use almost every day…this counter scraper and these herb scissors. There you go, wedding registry women. You’re welcome. And three things I never purchased but are still on my list…a huge dutch oven (are the LeCreuset really worth it?), a KitchenAid mixer and a cordless Dyson Animal because so many people have told me it’s life changing when it comes to keeping your car clean.
Have any household tools you thought you couldn’t live without that are now covered in dust? An unexpected household item that became your favorite thing? Do tell.