Microwave Meltdown: Lessons in Gratitude

Halfway through microwaving a potato last night, our senior microwave oven retired.

For the past few weeks, she had been sending us signs that her time of service was over, and we should start looking for her replacement.

It began one morning when I closed the door, and the microwave continued to function. After a Google search assured me that we were not going to die of radiation poisoning, I learned that the issue was quite common.

A $2.95 purchase on Amazon and a few minutes of my time later, I fixed the problem.

Soon after, however, we began noticing a “weird sound” every few times we used the oven. It sounded like the turntable was off center. It was intermittent, so we ignored it.

Last night’s potato incident, made it clear a microwave meltdown was imminent.

“Is the potato burning?” my life’s traveling companion asked.

“No,” I replied. “It’s not the potato.”

It was time to face the reality that our old microwave’s working life was over.

But how do you thank something that has taken you from popcorn to souffles?

You go shopping, of course.

Alexa, There’s an App for That!

My life traveling companion, who is the world’s greatest and most efficient shopper, immediately went into research mode and narrowed down our next microwave purchase to two brands: GE (our former brand that had lasted about 15 years) vs. LG (for reasons that I’ll soon explain).

After much Googling and YouTubing, the LG was the clear winner.

It all came down to two features … both of which scared the living daylights out of me. As the one who “does technology” in our household, I often long for the days of rotary phones and pen and paper.

“Oh, look, it has an app,” she said with a little too much enthusiasm.

Me: “Does that mean the next time we’re out of the house, I can use the app to ask the microwave to cook a meal, and it will be ready when we get home?”

“It also integrates with Alexa,” she said, ignoring my smart-ass question.

Me: “Don’t you keep Alexa busy enough with all your requests?”

Traveling Companion, once again ignoring my question, to explain the benefits that I was overlooking: “We can leave my tea cup with water and teabag in the microwave overnight, and the next morning, I can just ask Alexa to start it.”

Me: “Great. I am now one step closer to obsolecence. Isn’t technology great?”

“Be quiet,” she said, as she continued to read up on the marvelous features of our soon-to-be new housemate.

At this point we both broke into hysterical laughter at the absurdity of it all.

Thank You For Being a Friend

It will be a few days before our new microwave is delivered and installed.

In the meantime, our retired microwave sits there idle, as we ask questions that until yesterday, we had never even considered.

Important questions like:

  • How do you reheat a cup of cold tea on a stovetop when the smallest pot you have can hold enough spaghetti for a family of five?
  • How do you heat leftovers without having to wait 10 whole minutes! to reheat them in the toaster oven?
  • How do you microwave microwave-only popcorn without a microwave?

It didn’t take long for us to appreciate all the things our old microwave had done for us throughout the years. Sadly, it was too late to thank her now.

Maybe it’s time we started being grateful for the things we take for granted.

The things that make our lives easier just by being there when we need them …

The things we miss the most when they’re gone …

The things that can be replaced, but may never be there for us as long as the ones we once had …

Maybe it’s time we realized that it’s not just things we’re taking for granted.

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