cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
Lucy ([personal profile] cereta) wrote in [community profile] agonyaunt2017-06-08 07:04 am

Dear Prudence: Stolen Kitchen Dreams

Q. Stolen kitchen dreams: I’ve always loved cooking and design, so when I told my best friend about my dream stove, she must have known I really had a special place in my heart for it. Imagine my surprise when I found out SHE had bought my dream stove before I could save up for it! Needless to say, I felt incredibly betrayed. I’ve basically been giving her the silent treatment for the better part of a year. To make matters worse, she acts like she has no idea why I’m so mad at her! My anger and hurt have gotten so bad that our friends called a meeting for us to talk it out, but I don’t want to hear anything from her unless it’s an apology. What should I do?

A: I don’t often find myself wishing that a letter were fake, but I sure hope you’re just some bored internet denizen inventing dramatic stove-related scenarios to entertain yourself. I’m not surprised your friend has no idea why you’ve grown so cold and distant. If one of my best friends suddenly gave me the silent treatment for almost an entire year, the type of stove I had recently purchased would not even make the top 100 possible reasons why. It would fall below “She has been possessed by the evil spirit Aku from Cartoon Network’s Samurai Jack” in terms of plausibility.

Your friend has purchased a stove. That is the only thing that has happened in this story. She has not deprived you of your ability to purchase an identical stove in the future. She has not taken the stove that is currently in your kitchen out of your home. You are still able to cook and design things to your heart’s content and have not been harmed in any way. This is straight-up Dr. Zoidberg “this is bad and you should feel bad” territory. You are being extremely unkind for extremely silly reasons and should immediately apologize and amend your behavior. If she forgives you, count yourself extremely lucky.
lilysea: (Indignant)

[personal profile] lilysea 2017-06-08 12:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, unless the stove in question is an incredibly hard to find vintage/antique item that took the letter writer 5/10/15 years to track down... this is a massive over reaction.
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-06-08 02:09 pm (UTC)(link)
I was wondering if it was some sort of hand crafted one of a kind thing because otherwise... Do people even make hand crafted one of a kind stoves that can be used for actual cooking?
watersword: Keira Knightley, in Pride and Prejudice (2007), turning her head away from the viewer, the word "elizabeth" written near (Default)

[personal profile] watersword 2017-06-08 02:32 pm (UTC)(link)
This question interested me, so I went poking around. (The obvious answer is, if you are willing to pay enough money, you can get anything custom made.) Etsy has a few items: a vintage (1905) gas stove that's supposed to be in working condition, which is probably unique at this point, and various custom range hoods. Elmira Stove Works, in Ontario, make gorgeous, incredibly expensive antique-inspired modern kitchen appliances, including custom colors, and I am virtually certain I've heard of custom Viking-brand installs. I bet if you tried hard you could find someone who doesn't have a website and makes hand-forged copper-trimmed whatsits, but I wasn't that curious.

I'm willing to bet this LW is not talking about a 10K+ kitchen suite, though.
xenacryst: Agatha Heterodyne and her amazing little clank (Heart bang clank)

[personal profile] xenacryst 2017-06-08 05:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Damn you. I have now frittered away far too long window shopping at elmirastoveworks.com. Now if only I had an exceedingly rich friend who could beat me to the punch (because who am I kidding - I didn't even look at the price lists), I could get to feel the righteous indignation of not having been the first on the block to own those gorgeous cooking machines.
tielan: (SGA - what?)

[personal profile] tielan 2017-06-08 10:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, she definitely has to say it.

Sounds like there's a lot of nuance that's being lost in the letter; but my first instinct is "wait, is there a limit to the number of stoves they sell per friendgroup?" And my second was, "Uh, wow."
moem: A computer drawing that looks like me. (Default)

[personal profile] moem 2017-06-08 12:33 pm (UTC)(link)
This would only make sense to me if the stove were one-of-a-kind or at least extremely rare. If this is a normally available, commercially mass-produced product, the OP is being petty and childish and doesn't even know it. Apparently they mainly wanted that particular stove because in their mind, it would make people think of them in a certain way and the effect won't be as strong if they are not the only/first in their peer group to own such a stove?
I don't even know. I don't think I want to know.

This is my own personal dream stove. It was not expensive, but it's old and rare and I was lucky to find one. I would certainly be mad if someone had bought it before I could, but then I'd have shrugged and searched for another one.

misbegotten: Agent Cameron Chase pinching her nose, with the text "Ugh" (DC Chase Ugh)

[personal profile] misbegotten 2017-06-08 12:39 pm (UTC)(link)
My anger and hurt have gotten so bad that our friends called a meeting for us to talk it out

Which suggests that she's told everyone else why she's pissed, but nobody has told the stove buyer? Interesting. I suppose that a "Wow, that *is* a great stove! I'm going to get one too!" might have smoothed things over last year, but I doubt it.

In a way, I feel a little for LW -- it's no fun when a friend can afford your dream house/car/furniture/speck of dust and you can't. I think the heart of the letter is envy, not betrayal. But I doubt LW will ever acknowledge that.
watersword: Keira Knightley, in Pride and Prejudice (2007), turning her head away from the viewer, the word "elizabeth" written near (Default)

[personal profile] watersword 2017-06-08 02:13 pm (UTC)(link)
......what. No, really, WHAT.

Edit: On further thought, I would also point out that a reaction to "my friend bought this thing that I love and can't afford now, anytime soon, or possibly ever" (or whatever the LW's reasons are for having a "dream" stove) is "OMG yay I don't have to keep wistfully gazing at this in the shop window, I can go over to Bestie's and we can hang out in the kitchen and make brunch and coo over her beautiful stove!" There are ways to respond to other people that are not sulking and the silent treatment.
Edited (further thoughts) 2017-06-08 17:40 (UTC)
madripoor_rose: milkweed beetle on a leaf (Default)

[personal profile] madripoor_rose 2017-06-08 02:25 pm (UTC)(link)
I think the letter writer is overreacting a little, especially if their friends have noticed the fight enough to stage an intervention.....

But really. What kind of friend listens to you rave about something you love and can't afford to get for yourself and turns around and buys it for themselves? If they both thought it was the Best Stove In The World, that'd be one thing. But without a little more information this certainly looks like some 'keeping up with the Joneses' bs right here.
eleanorjane: The one, the only, Harley Quinn. (Default)

[personal profile] eleanorjane 2017-06-08 03:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I'm with you.

I mean, if the LW and Former Best Friend are *both* avid cooks and *both* design aficionados, then sure (although still a bit of a dick move of the FBF to beat the LW to the punch on something the LW is jonesing for and did all the research work on).

But if I had showed my research of The Thing I Want Most In All The World to my best friend, who would presumably know how much I was saving for it and how much it would mean to me... if they then went out and bought it for themselves like it was no big deal? I can't help but feel that it's super insensitive on the part of FBF. Sure, they're allowed to do it, but it's... unkind. And life's too short to give parts of it to people who are unkind, if you don't have to.

I do think the LW is overreacting, because they're trying to punish FBF with the "silent treatment" and all. Just ... accept that FBF is an insensitive jerk, your friendship was presumably at least a bit toxic, and find new friends.

(I do think the LW's letter does their case no favours, too.)
madripoor_rose: milkweed beetle on a leaf (Default)

[personal profile] madripoor_rose 2017-06-08 05:19 pm (UTC)(link)
YMMV. I'm reading this as the friend possibly rubbing her nose in a class difference, just buying off-hand what the OP desperately wants and has been struggling to save for.

But I think that's the problem with these advice letters, it's not even getting one side of the story, we're getting a keyhole look at the situation.
kiezh: Tree and birds reflected in water (Default)

[personal profile] kiezh 2017-06-08 06:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, that was my thought too - she was buying a stove, and Stove Enthusiast Friend said this was the best one, so that was the one she got? I mean, I would take any of my friends/family holding forth on the Best in Category of something they cared about as a recommendation, not a warning to keep my hands off. I would be absolutely baffled to find out that enthusiastic babble about an appliance was meant to be interpreted as "DON'T get this thing!"

Also, who the hell pulls out the silent treatment for their "best friend" (for most of a year!) without ever actually explaining why they were angry/hurt? Poor confused friend. I hope she has other, less terrible friends, and can ditch the one who plays weird mind games with stoves.
deird1: Fred looking pretty and thoughful (Default)

[personal profile] deird1 2017-06-08 09:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Agreed on all counts.
eleanorjane: The one, the only, Harley Quinn. (Default)

[personal profile] eleanorjane 2017-06-08 10:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I think it's a really different situation depending on whether LW was all "this stove is the best there is!" or whether she was all "omg I found this stove that will be perfect for my kitchen, check it out, I can't wait til I can afford it".

The thing that gets me is that from the letter, it seems like Best Friend's stove purchase was out of the blue, and 'behind LW's back'. (Season that with eyerolls to taste.) If the conversation was such that Best Friend took LW's enthusiasm about the stove as a recommendation, I can't imagine Best Friend not saying "hey, and I've been needing a new stove, too, I should get one of these!" or some equivalent.

I dunno; the LW's letter does them no favours, but I can definitely see possible ways the Stove Affair went down in which Best Friend's actions were kind of a dick move.
kiezh: Tree and birds reflected in water (Default)

[personal profile] kiezh 2017-06-08 10:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I think there are definitely communication issues in that relationship. They weren't on the same page about SOMETHING, or several somethings. With a more reasonable LW, I'd advise actually having a conversation with their friend to figure out who was making what assumptions and what went wrong.

Unfortunately this LW has no interest in what their (former) friend was thinking, or how communication might have broken down: "I don’t want to hear anything from her unless it’s an apology." Plus silent treatment, etc. Whether the friend stepped in a minefield without realizing or was passive-aggressing all over the place, I don't think the friendship is salvageable. LW should break it off and stop splashing their Stove Rage all over their other friends. Also maybe work on some introspection on why the stove triggered a months-long obsessive seething thing.
jadelennox: Judith Martin/Miss Manners looking ladylike: it's not about forks  (judith martin:forks)

[personal profile] jadelennox 2017-06-08 10:50 pm (UTC)(link)
I dunno. I've been in situations where a friend said "I love those chairs, I'll buy them one day if I can afford them," and I look at the link and say, "wow, yeah, those chairs are fabulous." I think I'd think twice if it was a party dress or something we use to brand ourselves in public, but not something simply practical.