To the five-speed Rival handmixer I purchased for three dollars ($3.oo) at Walmart on Black Friday in 2010:

For what you were, you served me well. Seven cheese braids, countless cakes, the occasional sauce, even though your robust power was far too strong for me to take advantage of more than the first speed setting. We had some good times together, often involving me swearing in the middle of the night or at early hours of the morning. You were no KitchenAid, but you got the job done.

We were never supposed to have you so long, actually. I just remember thinking to myself, “How will I make Christmas things if I don’t have a mixer?” and thought that grabbing one for $3.00 would be a nice way to make sure I had a plan. A backup plan, really. You were supposed to be replaced after a couple of months, but as those months turned into years I found myself asking, “Why should I replace this? It works perfectly fine.”

Work perfectly fine you did, through dozens of cookies, the days when I was too lazy to stir up the brownie mix by hand. You formed a thin layer of flour and grease on one side that we could never be bothered to wipe off, for reasons I cannot understand. I don’t think this contributed to your eventual demise, but I like to think that we could have treated you better. I’m sorry we didn’t.

A week or two ago, you started making a strange noise while my roommate was baking up a batch of chocolate chip and almond cookies (which were great) and I foolishly thought the clicking was due to your being overworked, that perhaps there was too much flour in the dough. But this Christmas, as I submerged your worn beaters into the globs of filling for my annual cheese braid, as is family tradition, I knew that the clunking and clattering was a death rattle, and that you were not long for this world.

It has been six years or so, seven Christmases, but you were good to me. It was a a $3.00 well spent, and you will be tough to replace. I fought for you, I braved the crowds, and though I underestimated you I am sad to see you go, and sad for all of the things you’ll never mix. I thank you, discount Black Friday mixer, for standing up to the test of time far better than any of us planned or imagined.

Go forth and be recycled, and you will not be forgotten.