I am not a patient shopper. Nor am I necessarily a well researched shopper. Which is why any major purchases (anything, say, over $5 or so) should probably be run through my wife first.
She is one of these people who will spend time, you know, seeing if a product is good or not.
Me? Not so much.
Take, for example, our microwave. When we moved to our new home about six year ago, we had some time while I was at the new house while my wife was back in our old place across the state wrapping up last minute details.
I had a long list of things I needed to get done. One of those things was to procure a microwave. We did not bring our microwave from our previous house because XXXXXX.
Perhaps it was the blur of the move that allowed my wife to put that purchase in my camp.
So I did what was natural to me – I went to a retail store, found a microwave that was SUPER cheap, and headed for the exit.
When my wife got to the house a few days later, she saw the microwave and said, “Why is it so small?”
“Well, it was only like $25.”
“I think you got a microwave for a dorm.”
Well, we had a new home and kids starting school in a new town in a few days, so I think my wife just decided she’d live with the microwave that probably had once dreamed of making nothing but Ramen noodles for its career.
Well, life got in the way, and we never got around to replacing it. But o ver time, we found more and more things we disliked about the little microwave that couldn’t. It was indeed very small, and some of our bowls didn’t even fit in it. It took about 15 minutes to cook a single baked potato. And starting last year, it began making a weird grinding noise when the glass platter inside turned. That is, when it actually turned.
And then quarantine happened. And my wife said, “I’m going shopping for a microwave.” I said, “You’re going to the store?” She said, “Nope, as she settled into her chair with her laptop.”
Then, for the next, like, two days, she researched microwaves. She read comparisons. Took measurements. Like, actual research.
A few days later, a package arrived at the door. A package much larger than one that would be needed for our current microwave.
I opened it up. And there it was – a big, beautiful, fully functioning microwave.
I nestled it up on the counter, which had been occupied for years with a comically undersized shoebox of a microwave. It looked like what an actual grown-up would have in their kitchen.
And the first time I cooked with it? REALLY overcooked a microwave lunch pizza. Because I forgot you don’t have to like triple the time it says on the package, since this thing actually works.
The kids even remarked on how much they liked it, including the feature where they can press a button and it adds 30 seconds to their dish. Because that is the kind of hardships they have had to endure.
So I now feel as if we have a complete kitchen, and I am now cleared of my microwave sin. And most importantly, I think we’ve all learned an important lesson: Don’t leave me in charge of things like this.
Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.