1. Scoff every time a recipe calls for searing.
2. Test how hot the pan is by spitting on it.
3. Leave it on the stove overnight full of cooked-on gunk while you watch racy videos of air fryers at full volume, no headphones.
4. Introduce it to your friends as “this heavy bitch.”
5. Every few months, rub it tenderly with vegetable oil, promising you’ll be kinder to it, then shove it in a cold oven and forget about it.
6. Buy a nonstick skillet, comment loudly how much more you like the taste of food cooked on the new, younger skillet.
7. Use it as a bedpan.
8. Invite your skillet as your date to the senior prom. Rent a limousine with a specially installed pot rack, buy it a corsage for its handle, treat it to a fancy steak dinner in a corner booth at Giancarlo’s. Arrive at the cafetorium, have your photo taken together under a balloon arch. Share a special, lingering slow dance to “I Swear” by All-4-One, not breaking eye contact except to lean in and embrace each other even closer during the final chorus. Then, when the assistant principal gets on stage to announce the prom king and queen, feign complete shock as both you and your skillet are called up to the stage. But in reality, you know that you’ve been priming the student body for weeks to join in on your little rouse of voting the skillet into the prom court. As the skillet stands in stunned silence wearing a plastic tiara and satin sash, finally feeling a sense of acceptance from the vicious caste system that is high school, you give your buddy Colby the signal. A quick tug of an offstage rope tips a bucket perched in the rafters. A deluge of Dawn Ultra dish soap splatters onto the skillet, ruining its patina, its night, and quite possibly its entire life. The entire school laughs with adolescent cruelty as your cast iron skillet begins to break down in rust-inducing tears.
9. Turn vegan.