Friday, June 26, 2015

Oven Mitt Dare - My 24 hours wearing oven mitts.

The Face of Oven-Mitt Empathy

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wear oven mitts on your hands for 24 hours straight?  Yeah, neither had I.  Apparently @balski78 has wondered this (I’m currently concerned about her mental health), because she dared me to do just that.

Terms of the dare:  Wear oven mitts on your hands for 24 consecutive hours.  You may remove one mitt while in the bathroom.  After some brief negotiation, I convinced her that allowing me to remove two gloves would make for better overall hygiene.  She agreed to my revised terms, and the dare was set. 

Knowing that I was going to begin this dare at 8 am Thursday morning I did some planning on Wednesday that mostly consisted of me thinking through things that would be difficult with oven mitts and taking a trip to Target. 

Preparation Shopping List:
  • New oven mitts – I only have two.  One is completely disgusting and the other is made of silicon and the chaffing would have been epic.
  • A stylus – iPhones don’t play nice with oven mitts.
  • Spray sunscreen – My kids and I still intended to be outside, and sunburn isn’t cool…nor is wearing oven mitts saturated in lotion.  I can imagine greasy paw prints on everything I touched.

I never thought oven mitts would intimidate me, but when I closely examined the selection at Target, I started to get worried.  They were all massive and completely inflexible. I’m sure they would have completely protected my hands from heat, but it’s almost as if the manufacturers didn’t consider their continuous wearability factor in 80 degree heat. 

Like anyone looking for lower quality oven mitts, I made my way to the Dollar Tree.  It didn’t disappoint!  I walked away with two low quality oven mitts perfect for this challenge.

I woke up yesterday morning ready for this challenge.  I got myself ready and put the oven mitts on my hands at 8:09 am. 

It didn’t take me long to realize what I couldn’t do:
  • Online shopping – I couldn’t get my credit card out of my wallet
  • Cracking eggs – I’m confident that I could’ve done this, but I elected to ask for help rather than have raw eggs on my ‘hands’ for 23 hours
  • Cut strawberries – See Above
  • Open soda cans – There’s no chance I was going to risk breaking my teeth for a Diet Coke
  • Use the key remote for my car – Those buttons are smaller than you think!
  • Eat puff corn from a bag – I found a work around for this.  See video below.

My kids really got behind this dare.  They had their different reasons.  My oldest son and daughter made numerous attempts to get me to try to do things.  As any child of a prankster mom would be, they were totally bummed out when I succeed at anything and didn’t make a fool of myself.  My middle child, being the most empathetic person in our family, attempted to relate with my struggle by wearing potholders on his hands. He even played X-Box in them!  He gave up when he couldn’t turn the pages of his new book.  Nerd. 

I also decided to try and a hang poster in my daughter’s rooms.  Who would try to make tape balls while wearing oven mitts?  Here is a 3 part video series if you are interested. After the extremely successful poster hanging venture, I announced to my friend “I’m too good at wearing oven mitts!” so fair warning that the videos might not be as epic as one might hope. 

Before it got too hot outside for oven mitts (#ironicstatement), I took my daughter and her two friends to the park.  Yes, the friends’ parents did know I’d be wearing oven mitts and they still let me take their children (#questionableparentingchoice). 

This panda was begging for an oven-mitt-high-five

After setting up some American Ninja Warrior obstacles for the girls, I took a seat on a shaded park bench where I could feel a cool breeze blowing into my potholders. It was glorious.  All in all, it was a decent morning for oven mitts in a Minnesota summer.  Sadly, I realized I had left my stylus in the car, so I resorted to using my nose to swipe the screen and open my phone.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  It turns out that I have a surprising knack for nose to screen interaction!  However, my enthusiasm for this newfound talent died as I quickly succumbed to motion sickness due to keeping my face 2 inches from the phone. 

Sensing my frustration at not being able to use my phone at full speed, my ever-supportive husband joined my children in trying to sabotage my day by posting on Facebook that people should call and text to wish me a ‘Happy Oven Mitts Day!’  Who knew a post could be so effective?  My phone lit up like crazy before I ever saw the post.  Turns out there is a surprising lack of oven mitt emoji.  What’s up with that, Apple? 

Life goes on, regardless of whether you are wearing oven mitts or not.  Things on my calendar for the rest of the afternoon included:
  • Driving a friend to the airport
  • Coaching my daughter’s softball team 
  • Celebrating a friend’s birthday

Airport Run:  When I picked my friend up wearing oven mitts she just rolled her eyes at me.  It’s as if my friends expect this crap now!  I’m totally losing the element of surprise.  After I assured her that driving in oven mitts was just like driving in regular mittens she agreed to get in my car.  I mean, what was she going to do?  She could ride with me or miss her flight.  Rest assured, we arrived at the airport without incident. I did pass a state trooper and held my hands very, very low on the wheel so he wouldn't pull me over for being crazy. 

Oven mitts are hot no matter how cold the temperature in the car is.  I think this move made my passenger nervous. 

Softball Practice: Yes, we had practice... and yes, it was at the field directly adjacent to where our city carnival, Height's Jamboree, is being held.  I’m so glad that more people were around to witness the spectacle I made of myself attempting to throw a softball with oven mitt hands.  You wouldn’t expect it, but thankfully oven mitts are surprisingly similar to batting gloves. 

Excuses I devised for wearing oven mitts in public that are a total pack of lies:
  • I have a contagious skin condition.  It’s for your safety.
  • I’m a professional hand model and I just can’t risk an injury.  I have a huge gig tomorrow.
  • I hate your germs.  They frighten me.  (This one is kind of true, but fear has never driven me to wear gloves, much less potholders.)
  • You never know when someone might hand you a hot cookie sheet.  I want to be ready this time!

Birthday Dinner: I capped the night off by going out to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  Two words: People. Stare. 

When I got home my daughter was just climbing into bed.  She looked up at me and said, "Mommy, if you didn't have those oven mitts on I would fall asleep faster because you could scratch my back.”  #sad

Questions for readers:
  1.  If you had to wear something ridiculous for 24 hours, what would you choose?
  2. As always, if you have a good dare for me, post it in the comments, maybe I will give it a try… or maybe I will dare you back!

As with every good dare, there has to be a revenge dare, so here goes.  @balski78, I triple dog dare you to wear flippers on your feet for 24 consecutive hours.  Your one exception will be while driving.  Flippers can be removed for the sole purpose of safety, but must be placed back on your feet before exiting the vehicle. 


  1. Eye wuz told two right something stupid...

    Seriously, or not seriously, thanks to all for texting and calling Naty on Oven Mitt Day!

  2. Oven mitts are trending thanks to you!

    1. #ovenmitts All the big names are hashtagging it!

  3. i'm just thankful that no wayward line cooks stole your oven mitts from the restaurant bathroom. that would have been such a tragic ending to this post!