The Suitcase Lady


November 10, 2009, 10:49 pm

One of my all time favorite movies is “The Brave Little Toaster” (1987). I generally shy away from animated feature films, but this particular toaster won my heart. The story line is simplicity itself: Five appliances find themselves abandoned in their family’s summer cabin. Led by the courageous toaster, they set out on a difficult journey to find their boy in the big city.

I have owned two very admirable toasters in my lifetime. The first was a wedding gift from my brother-in-law. It produced perfect toast for twenty-eight years.

When it finally sprang its last piece, I sadly went out to replace it. The new toaster burnt the top of the bread and left the bottom “raw”. After two months, it refused to toast at all. This was not a noble, faithful appliance. And I was not about to replace it with another of the same ilk.

I bought our next toaster at an antique store. It’s a streamlined, chrome beauty. After seventeen years with us, it’s still making lovely toast. Heaven only knows how much toast it made for its first family. Sometimes its mechanical timer stops ticking for a few mornings, but it always magically heals itself.

A few years ago, we were in a small Chicago antique store. My husband spotted a vintage toaster, still in its original box. “We should buy it,” he urged. He was right: it would have been the prudent thing to do. But I’m a very loyal person. I couldn’t hurt our brave little toaster’s feelings while it’s still popping up beautiful toast.


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