First-world problems

Recently, I experienced the utmost of inconveniences when our microwave went kaput. This sad occurrence took place midway through reheating leftovers for dinner on a Sunday. I had heated Carebear and Mickey’s bowls of pasta, and then I put in Josh’s. I hit the 2 minute button and… nothing. Well, not entirely nothing. The microwave diligently began the countdown and the interior light was on. But there was no rotating of the glass turntable inside, no noise, no HEAT.

I took a video for the landlady and texted it to her. I have a feeling she thinks I’ve cursed her appliances as this is not our first appliance issue. The day we moved in, I excitedly began doing laundry (as anyone who has been on a week-long road trip across the United States with three kids, two dogs and one husband is apt to do) and during the rinse cycle smoke began to fill the laundry room. Not a good sign. Turns out one of the thingies that held the washing drum was cracked and so the drum was hitting something it shouldn’t have been hitting and creating friction and of course smoke. We seriously could have burned the house down.

Oh and once we got the washer taken care of, the dryer quit drying. It would run for cycle after cycle and things would not dry. We had to start hanging things to dry while we waited for it to get fixed. The guy came, fixed the heating element that had blown out, but while things were kind of drying, they weren’t really drying to my satisfaction. I did a major cleaning of the interior of the machine and the dryer vent to make sure the sensors were working and that it wasn’t clogged. No improvement. So a dude had to come out and crawl under the house and replace alllllll the ductwork from the dryer to the exterior of the house (which, because of the location of the laundry room in this house, was not a quick job). Then, miracle of miracles, I could do laundry without cursing! Not that I would curse. I mean thinking bad thoughts. Oh how I wished we had just loaded up our washer and dryer and brought them with us. Cheap top loaders ROCK. These HE machines? Stoopid.

So of course it only makes sense that once things were happy in Laundry Land that something would come up elsewhere. I don’t think the average person realizes how much a microwave simplifies his or her life. Forgot to defrost the chicken stock that you need for tonight’s recipe? NUKE IT. Need to warm a bottle? NUKE IT. Need to steam veggies, bake potatoes, bake a chicken, heat the leftovers, melt some butter for a recipe, re-heat the coffee you didn’t manage to drink before it got cold? NUKE IT. Well, let me tell you how long I didn’t get to nuke anything. Four weeks and two days. (Not that I was counting. Except that I so totally was.)

I truly thought once the repair guy came and determined the problem, we’d be nuke-ready within days. Nope. The microwave went out on a Sunday, the guy came on a Tuesday, and then it was three weeks before they even had the part! (A magnetron, if you must know. Evidently quite important in the operation of a microwave. It’s like, the nukinator. Or something.)

Then the day came. The day the guy was coming to actually fix it. He arrived and I was giddy with happiness. He probably wondered if I had come unhinged, what with living without my microwave and all. I welcomed him in, showed him to the kitchen, and tried not to hover as he did his work. I was standing by the front door watching all the kids playing outside when I heard it: the familiar hum of a microwave nuking. Sweeeeeeeet! I played it cool, and waited for him to re-install it in the kitchen. He asked me for a mug of water. I complied. We hit the button for 30 seconds and…. NOTHING.  Well, not nothing, but see my first paragraph for a synopsis of what nothing is in this case.

WHAT?!?! &#*!#$&^@(#*!)@#)$@^*$%(*!@!@#&*!@#  I held it together. I was calm. I inquired as to why we were not nuke-ready. Turns out whatever was wrong with the machine was not just the magnetron. And thus it shorted out again when water was put in for heating. So. Sad. The only fix would be a new microwave. I made the call to the landlady to let her know, and continued about my non-microwaving life for another week. It was hard, but sadly, I was getting used to it. 

Last week, my doorbell rang unexpectedly and, wonder of wonders, it was my new microwave! It’s a totally different model, and the digital read-out is blue and makes my eyes hurt to look at it, but I’m not complaining. We are nuke-ready, baby. Order has been restored. 

Please ignore the smudges on the stainless steel. Not only did the the install guy smell like stale cigarette smoke, he didn’t wipe down the machine when he was done. Today is kitchen cleaning day, so it will sparkle and shine when I’m done with it…

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