Today marks the end of something wonderful and the beginning of something hopefully just as wonderful. A little too dramatic, some friends would declare. But hear me out. This afternoon my 12 year old microwave oven finally died. Just like that. Actually, it wasn’t just-like-that. Earlier this year the buttons along the right side of the panel stopped working. The 3, 6, and 9 were kaput, if you will. Astonishingly the start button was still operable. A few months after the right side had quit, the clock went dead after a local power outage. I hadn’t noticed until the days that followed how often I relied on that clock as my dominant source of timekeeping. I toyed with the idea of replacing it then. But against all odds it was still satisfying my microwave oven needs in the capacity of a microwave oven. Maybe not fulfilling all the amenities it once furnished, but still fulfilling the ultimate task that it was purchased for. Is it just me or is that deeply metaphorical? I digress.
So what’s the big deal that my microwave oven died? Nothing, it’s a replaceable appliance. The big deal is the massive amounts of history that flooded me…the years that since that purchase have brought me, showed me. My microwave and I can’t take all the credit though. In actuality, my mother bought me the microwave. I was 20 (or was I 19?) and had just moved to Los Angeles, California. A city and state where I knew not a single soul and my three roommates were just as unfamiliar. As was living in a high-rise building with 7 underground levels of parking, garbage shoots, and a lobby attendant to welcome you home.
Here’s the big deal: This microwave has seen me through 2 countries, 5 cities, 3 storage units, 9 apartments (or “apartments”), and 12 years of my life to include ALL of my twenties. It has [literally] seen me through friendships, roommates, relationships, and family members. Also college homework, movie nights, parties of all varieties, dates, holidays, sickness, and the most emotional roller coasters of my life, as if one’s twenties aren’t tumultuous enough. It’s astounding for an appliance such as this to rough it out for as many years as it has, after going through such change, physically, mechanically and otherwise, and to continue working, press-time, albeit some minor failures and glitches along the way. For my friends that would declare my sensitiveness here, I’d like to think of this metaphorically to the past 12 years of my life.
As one steadfast microwave oven salutes our connection with respected departure, a newer, lighter, more svelte and of-this-decade model enters the very same day. Only this time with every bit of appreciation, mindfulness, and wisdom (me, not the microwave). This Hamilton Beach has some pretty large shoes to fill!