When I was a kid, I desperately wanted an Easy Bake Oven.
I’m not even sure how I discovered that they exist. We didn’t watch much television; we had what I, later in life, lovingly referred to as “PeasantVision” – the 3 channels you could pick up with rabbit ears. One of which was in French.
We were allowed to watch some Saturday morning cartoons, if CBC chose to show some. They were often pre-empted by hockey, or the Olympics, or news about farming, or Stompin’ Tom Conners. You know, whatever the CBC thought was important at the time. I don’t remember Saturday morning cartoons as any kind of reliable feature of my childhood landscape.
Sunday evenings, however, we religiously tuned in to watch The Wonderful World of Disney, and the Beachcombers. Then it was bath and bed and start our week back at the one-room log schoolhouse with our spinster schoolteacher.
(Or that’s how I just realized I was making it sound.)
Anyway, I’m pretty sure there was never any advertisements for Easy Bake Ovens, so for once television is not to blame.
And I know that I didn’t have any friends that had Easy Bake Ovens, because I wasn’t sure exactly how they operated. I didn’t realize that in actuality they used a crappy 40-watt light bulb to harden chemically powders into something resembling brownies. In my head, an Easy Bake Oven would sit in the corner of my room, and I could close the door to my room and it would produce wonderful-smelling, sugary baked treats on demand that were mine, all mine.
It’s possible that I was a bit deprived of sugar as a child, too.
Now that I’m thinking about it, I think the culprit was the Consumers Distributing catalog, or possibly the Sears catalog. I wasted many pleasurable hours flipping through those two bibles of childhood, coveting things that had no real purpose and were probably cheap plastic but were wondrous to me.
(Also, wondering what the hell a Personal Massager was, why it was shaped like a cucumber and why the lady in the picture was holding it against her face and looking agonized.)
The Easy Bake Oven was at the top of my wish list, followed closely by a Cabbage Patch Doll (a girl, not a boy, and when I got her I would send away my certificate to rename her Sally Rainbow). The Cabbage Patch Doll never materialized because they were insanely hard to get, but the Easy Bake Oven never became mine either. In retrospect I’m sure it had to do with not encouraging traditionally ‘female’ roles, not filling me with unauthorized sugar/chemicals, and the fact that I’d probably lose interest in it in about 3 minutes, blah blah. Parenting logic that I now, sadly, understand.
But oh…how I wanted that oven.
I wonder if they still make them?
(Edit: Oh. My. God.)
(AND NOT IN A GOOD WAY.)