Smell of Paranoia?

Two nights ago, I was woken up by a very nasty burning smell in our apartment. When we investigated, it turned out that our oven hadn’t turned off. The dial was off, but it was still as hot as it had been when Josh had used it to cook something a few hours earlier. So obviously we unplugged it.

Had it been gas, I’d have immediately insisted we leave but it and everything else in the house is electric. So we just opened doors and windows and waited for the smell to leave. Today it’s finally clearing out (I should say that yesterday it was only the pregnant woman who noticed the faint scent of charred toast). Of course in the morning I started to worry.

The maintenance guys assured me there’s nothing to worry about – it couldn’t have introduced anything dangerous into the air. They’re right, aren’t they? Anything out of the ordinary only increases my terror that even if my body cooperates this time, something else crazy is going to go wrong. I made the mistake of watching about 5 minutes of Oprah the other day and it was an episode about “household dangers.” I never watch daytime TV and those short minutes told me I shouldn’t start.

The good news, though, is that we’re getting a brand new oven. We were worried we’d have to argue – but Josh told them straight out that we don’t trust that oven now – new dial or not – and it’s not worth the risk. They didn’t even argue and just came to measure and are off to Home Depot. It’ll be my first new oven ever. Even in Israel where you have to buy your own appliances for apartments we simply bought the old one off the old tenants and then sold it to the new tenants. I have grand fantasies of setting the temp to 375 and trusting it’s at least closer to that than 450. And of setting a teapot on a burner that heats up every inch of coil and doesn’t tip slightly to the left. I hope I won’t be disappointed.


10 responses to “Smell of Paranoia?

  1. Congrats on the new oven 🙂

  2. That is so scary. We do have gas and I am so paranoid about it, especially as the puppy has turned on the gas trying to get something off the stove (how this is possible, is beyond me!)

    I am sure there is nothing to worry about, but I’ll tell you what Aurelia would say and that is to call Motherisk (I think their site is or net) and they will tell you. I have called about a few different medications, but they also have the info on all kinds of chemicals. My therapist told me that she called them when she was pregnant, because a bird was stuck in their stove vent and the guys had come and started spraying without telling her what they sprayed. She was freaking out, but Motherisk has so much info, on everything that they were able to reassure her. It’s free too.

    Enjoy the new oven. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed one bit!

  3. New oven yumminess! Enjoy!

    Sorry about the fright, though. I am pretty sure it’s harmless except for wasted electricity, but if you are still freaked out, Meg is probably right– ask Motherisk. Good luck.

  4. Dropping in to say hi and thanks for the blog comment. That would scare me, too — The smell of something burning just goes straight to the primal fear part of the brain, and if an odor sticks around a long time it just messes with you more, especially when you have a suped-up nose because of pregnancy. I hope you can celebrate the arrival of the new oven by baking something with a GOOD smell that lingers a long time, though!

    Also, I read your birth story and what you went through was just so harrowing, tragic, and traumatic. I’m terribly sorry for the loss of your firstborn son. And I am awed that you survived and are somehow finding the strength to go on.

  5. When you said that you’d never had a new oven, I realized that I’ve never had one either. Now, I think I want one.

    I’m glad you’re getting rid of the scary old one, though it’s hard to imagine that it created any risk by, essentially, failing to turn off. (Or maybe I don’t understand what went wrong with it)

  6. I miss my old-new oven that I gave up when I moved in with Hank. Enjoy!!

  7. “Anonymous” – I’m sure everyone’s right that there was no risk from it. I’m just easily distressed these days. It’s hard to trust the world these days.

    Geez Thrice. What did you get out of moving in with Hank? I’m kidding. You got three wonderful boys, but in all other aspects you got a super raw deal.

  8. I’m sure it was pretty harmless. I embarrassed to tell you how many things I’ve burned. However I totally get your fear, and I don’t think it’s paranoia. It’s not paranoia if they really are after you right? In the same way, you’ve suffered a great loss, so it’s pretty normal to fear something. My biggest fear is driving. I’m constantly worried I’ll be in a wreck. I sit as far back from the wheel as possible AND it tilt the wheel up to the highest position so the air bag will go off in my face and not my belly. Oh crap. Did I just give you something extra to worry about? I agree, put that new oven to good use baking something nice. Like with chocolate.

  9. No worries Monica – I already have that concern too! Fortunately I rarely drive. I’m in the car once a week at most.

  10. Thanks, Beruriah. I love my three princes. I love my three princes. I love my three princes. I love my three princes. I love my three princes. I love my three princes.

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