August 3, 2006

Out With the Old

Several weeks back, my mother said to Wendy and me, "I want to do something nice for you girls. You've done so much for me. I've decided I'm going to buy you a new microwave."

My first thought was, "But we have a microwave." Never mind that it is a dinosaur taking up a huge amount of space on the kitchen counter. Never mind that it was purchased before The Boy was born. Never mind that it has a broken door latch that evidently can cause operational difficulties for people with long fingernails. Never mind any of that. It worked fine and I felt no strong desire to replace it.

But once my mom makes a decision, argument is futile. She had decided we needed a new microwave and that it should be of the over-the-stove variety. Preferably with a turntable. My mom has very strong feelings about the need for a microwave turntable. Mother knows best.

A quick aside about our kitchen. When we purchased this house, there were no upper cabinets. Yes that's right. Just bare walls, stark white tile, countertops to ceiling. There is a story there, an almost reasonable and logical explanation for the cabinet deficiency. Yet we had equally as reasonable and logical explanations for why we needed them. We filled those bare walls with cabinets all the way to the ceiling.

The cabinets look great. Except for over the stove. It looked unfinished, like something was missing. The stove exhaust vents through the floor, so we had no hood. Once the idea was planted, the desire to fill that void with a sleek modern microwave was compelling. I decided yes yes yes! Such an appliance would be a wonderful thing indeed!

My mother came to visit and we went shopping. It didn't take long for us to choose the new appliance. She insisted on paying for installation also. "It's a gift, Suzanne. A gift shouldn't create more work for you two." I caved in easily. We do have enough work to do around here.

I had two concerns I shared with the salesperson.

"Our kitchen walls are tiled."
"No problem," she assured me.

"There is no outlet in the cabinet above, but there is one near the stove."
"No problem," she said.

I took off from work to meet the installers at our house.

"We can't install it," said the short one. "The walls are tiled and there is no outlet in the cabinet."

I just shook my head and sighed. His supervisor explained via telephone that they couldn't accept the responsibility of drilling holes in tile. He was very apologetic. "If you have someone drill the holes, we'll come back and install it." Yeesh. I was reminded why I tend to mistrust what salespeople tell me.

After I hung up, the short one started talking again. He said, "Hey lady, I can go ahead and install this for you. The outlet and tile are no problem. I'll do it for you right now, on the side. You can pay me the same amount you would have paid the company I work for."

Oh lovely. Just lovely.
I showed him the door.

I hesitated to share the installation debacle with my mom. But the subject could only be avoided for so long. I had to spill it. By then I had read the instructions and knew it was an easy job. I have no qualms about accepting responsibility for drilling through tile. Wendy and I had also decided we'd be happier with a new circuit run for a cabinet outlet. After a visit from the electrician, the installation itself took us all of an hour to complete.

In an odd coincidence, our old microwave, the one that had been plugging along for over 21 years? It died about a week before we installed the new one. Almost like it knew it was no longer needed.

Kismet. Or something like that.
Mother did know best.



nina said...

Nice job! It looks terrific!

Anonymous said...

A Thing of beauty!

Middle Girl said...

Yes, absolutely gorgeous.

I must go now to find myself a Suzanne & Wendy--or find a way to turn myself into some reasonable facsimile thereof.


Anonymous said...

Lovely! I'll have to similarly document what I hope will be the imminent replacement of our refrigerator.

Gina said...

I agree, the turntable is important!

weese said...

nice job!
and i have to agree about running the new outlet. good idea.

KMae said...

That looks fabulous!!
What a beautiful kitchen!

SassyFemme said...

That looks fabulous!!!

Estelle said...

It's a lovely microwave.
I bought one for my grandmother 2 years ago because hers was probably one of the first 100 to roll of the Sears Roebuck production line and it really didn't work. She argued with me ad nauseum about taking such an expensive gift (really, it was only about $150) and insisted that WE keep it and she take our old one. Eventually we convinced her that her black microwave really would look better in her black kitchen than our white microwave from our white kitchen would.
2 weeks later she sent me a check. For half of the cost. Oh well.
Love the new microwave.

sporksforall said...

Not all mothers know best. That said, yours seems peachy. I'd have paid the guy on the side. And then regretted it later. So, another lesson is that you know better than me.

Teresa said...

I'm concerned. Are your counters always so immaculate? If so, you can never, ever visit us.

Anonymous said...

Tres chic! Fexing, tho... now that The Boy has moved on, what do you cook in it? I have been (coquettishly) threatening to remove ours as soon as Ferris takes off.

Suzanne said...

Thanks y'all. :) I am already quite enamoured with the turntable. Not surprisingly, technology has improved in 21 years... this new one works much faster.

weese--the new circuit was a good decision. The newer appliances draw more current. We'd have probably been tripping breakers left and right had we not gone that route.

Estelle--grandparents boggle ones mind at times, don't they?

sporks--I briefly considered letting him do it, but I was irritated and it just felt wrong.

scout--not always, but usually. But we don't judge others who may choose to live with cluttered countertops. To each their own!

wbw--our microwave is primarily used for reheating leftovers and steaming vegetables. Nothing beats a microwave for that! :)

Geeky Dragon Girl said...

It was probably thinking, "Oh it's about time! I've been awaiting retirement for yeeeeaaars! Do you realize I'm 127 years old in microwave years??"

Career Guy said...

Sleek! I'll have to post a picture of our re-done kitchen, even if it's not completely finished yet. We got the curtains up today, so we are close.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh. I had that exact same microwave. I believe my ex still uses it. We bought it almost 20 years ago. Ha! (And the renovation looks great!)