My husband and I are not picky about the cars we drive. This has nothing to do with any sense of self-denial for the greater good (if so, we’d ride bikes everywhere, right?) — but everything to do with the fact that we’re cheap, stingy, sons-of-motherless-goats. Both of us. So, while I’ll admit to admiring my share of late-model Volvo wagons; will confess that I secretly, mildly curse every woman I watch open the hatch and both side doors of her minivan by pressing a sleek button from a distance of 100 feet as she balances a toddler and five bags of groceries on two shoulders; reveal that in-dash navigation systems make me tingly all over — I do hold tight to an advantage my stripped-down, used, pre-cool-model, blend-in gold Honda Odyssey has over all of these things: No one is breaking into it. (Knock on faux wood-grain interior.) We are just not flashy people (again, cross-reference the part above about our frugality, our miserliness, our motherless-goatness). We have a flat-screen tv, but stash it way up in our attic playroom so no potential ne’er-do-wells can see it from street view (we do live in a city , a city where most every neighborhood has its share of petty thievery, usually targeting flat-screen tvs). I take comfort, walking in my 7-year old Danskos, that nobody could possibly want what I have. Why should someone try to steal from me? This thought is so prevalent in my mind — this precious way I have, of balancing the scales of covetousness — that it was my first thought today as I wiped the splattered egg white and flour from my Kitchenaid stand mixer, like washing down a thoroughbred after a good race. I’ve had this tilt-head classic for almost 10 years, but by looking at it you would think I inherited it from my grandmother. Packing tape holds the hinge pin in place, and motor grease seeps out underneath. The butter, oil, flour, and eggs of countless loaves and cakes past has given the once-pristine white sheen a yellow haze, like teeth in need of cleaning. We once purchased a replacement — a Kitchenaid Professional, with larger capacity and improved dough hook — but it couldn’t whip a small amount of heavy cream, a task the least of which I felt I should ask my mixer to do with ease. So we returned it, and kept our Little Engine that Could. No, I will never be able to mix enough dough for 4 loaves of bread — and I fully expect one day for the hinge pin to break free from its cellophane binding, sending the mixer head crashing to its death on my cold tile floor. Until then, though, it’s safe in my kitchen, safe from would-be culinary thieves. No one will peer into my empty house one day, and break glass with eyes set on this mixer as misdemeanor prize.