A Strongly Worded Letter to My Smoke Detector

Dear Smoke Detector,

Hey, it’s me, Rachel. We haven’t been officially introduced, but I’m the newest tenant in the home in which you guard from fires.

You seem, um – nice. Hope things are … going well up there on the ceiling.

Alright, enough of the pleasantries.

I think you know what this letter is about.

No, it’s not about last night when I was trying to make dinner and you went off. It’s not about the night before when I was trying to make dinner and you went off. It’s not even about the night last week when I made popcorn in the microwave and you went off.

This letter is in reference to the fact that every single time I cook you find it necessary to go off.

Whenever I so much as brush by the stove top, you instantly perk up and notify everyone in the near vicinity that there’s DEFINITELY A FIRE AND EVERYONE NEEDS TO EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY.

I may not be the most skilled in the kitchen, but I’m certainly not at the set-the-smoke-alarm-off-every-time-I-cook level.

Not anymore, at least.

You know, I’m just going to say it: you take your job too seriously.

I understand that you don’t really have a lot to do up there most of the time. Especially after those fresh set of batteries that you just got, you must be feeling particularly sharp and alert (thank you, by the way, for being so vocal about needing replacement batteries, that wasn’t disruptive at all).

And maybe you feel a little underappreciated up there all alone, with your one very specific and very rarely utilized job. And I do understand that whenever you do go off, your efforts are immediately met with bad words and yelling.

In my opinion, and I apologize if this seems a little harsh, but I feel that you are completely overreacting. Perhaps your behavior is merely a cry for attention, but I need you to know that this is NOT the way to go about it.

If this behavior continues, I fear that my upstairs landlord will in turn write me a strongly-worded letter about the consistent disruption between the hours of 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., because this undoubtedly seems like my fault. He will then inevitably point out the obvious: if I can’t prepare a basic meal without setting off the smoke detector, I’ll never be able to learn how to cook, maintain a healthy lifestyle, own a home, sustain a successful career, support a long-lasting relationship, raise a family, achieve any amount of personal growth, and have any sort of overall success in life at all.

So, please take the advice that the elderly have been giving young children for years: it’s better to be seen than heard, especially when there’s not a fire.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go write a letter to my shower about its infuriating hesitancy to warm up in a reasonable amount of time.

I’m starting to think I should find a new apartment.

Uh – anyway. I hope you are well.

Best regards,

Rachel D. Marsh

P.S. Please don’t do the passive aggressive thing where if there’s a real fire you don’t alert me because you’re upset about this letter. That’s just mean, and I guarantee you’ll feel guilty about it later.


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