Thought Tuesday

Living on the Edge… Is there Really Life Without a Microwave? 

Is There Life Without a Microwave?

Well of course the answer to that question is yes. My grandmother lived without one, my mother didn’t have one until I was in high school, I think, and there are millions of people around the world living today without a microwave. I could feed my family without a microwave. The real question is, do I want to?In this day and age, living without a microwave sounds at the least, very backwards, almost third-world-like, and at the most, totally crazy. With busy schedules, how does one live without one? They’re so very convenient for reheating food, cooking frozen meals, defrosting dinner at the last minute, and lots more. Why would anyone want to live without one?

Around Christmas my microwave fried. We’ve decided with all the craziness and of course expense of Christmas to hold off buying a new one until after the holidays… now it will have to wait until after the big wedding. Apparently Something Bad happened to it. Not sure what exactly, but it involved some sparking out of the thing as I attempted to nuke some frozen broccoli for the children to eat for dinner. And then some plain old the-lights-are-on-but-nothing-is-heating thereafter. So we unplugged the thing from the wall and pronounced it officially dead.  Even the microwave we borrowed started smoking.

I always thought that we didn’t really use the microwave that much, except for reheating water for oatmeal in the morning and microwaving frozen veggies. I was wrong. First off, with kids in the house, the reasonably wholesome and healthy frozen foods from the grocery store are something of a godsend, but it’s pretty tough to prepare many of them sans microwave.

The other difficult situation is with popcorn. Apparently most supermarkets believe that people only prepare microwave popcorn anymore. Personally, I would love to figure out how to make it the old fashioned way in a pot on the stove. Alas I only have microwave popcorn kicking around. I forgot that our microwave is pushing up daisies. Oops. Maybe I can rip open the bag and dump the contents into the pan and made it that way. Hmmm…

Now, I boil hot water in a ratty old tea kettle, and listen for the whistle. Don’t worry. I don’t stand around in crazy anticipation waiting for some buzzer to go off. I’ve got the time to take care of a little thing while I’m waiting for the whistle. I get the mail, I unload the top rack of the dishwasher, I water some plants. We’re not talking a big time differential here – the mug has water for tea within three minutes with a kettle. Yet that three minutes seems like an eternity compared to the few seconds a microwave made me wait.

Defrosting means thinking ahead or revising the dinner menu if I forget. That’s okay. I’ve found that over time, I’m not forgetting anymore – it’s like I’ve settled into something here.

I am forced to admit I’m addicted to the convenience of the microwave. Are there rehabs for that? A microwave is not a NEED. It is a high priority want in this house. One I apparently am not prepared to go without.

I have to admit it… I like living in the modern age. I found this online once. I think it sums it all up: You know you’re living in the 20th century when…

1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.

2. You haven’t played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 7.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you… not to mention the kids in the next room and the husband sitting behind you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don’t have e-mail addresses.

6. You make phone calls from home, you accidentally dial “9” to get an outside line.

7. You’ve sat at the same desk for four years and worked for three different companies.

8. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home.

9. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn’t have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

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