Does Life Exist Without A Microwave?

I believe it does. I've been campaigning for a life without a microwave for a long time.

I planted the seed many moons ago when it became clear that the microwave did not work so well anymore. Lee was not so fond of the idea when I mentioned it and I let it rest. Every fews weeks one of us would mention we need a new microwave and we'd look at prices. We'd then decide that we could wait a little bit longer. Between those times, every now and then I'd mention that we could just try living without a microwave. I mean we don't really need one, right? He scoffed but I wore Lee down bit by bit and then on Tuesday I sent him an email with my crazy idea, that we'd get rid of the microwave on garbage day (I am not donating it as it really does not work well) and we wouldn't buy another one. If we decide, after an indeterminate length of time, that we need a microwave we can get one. Lee thinks this indeterminate length of time is a month. I think it's when we buy a house, at which point we'll need to buy a bunch of other stuff, such as a lawnmover, and we will decide we can live without one for a while longer. (Oh wait, he reads this. Um... Surprise!!!)


This is my microwave. It's not so big as far as microwaves go, and I've had it for over 10 years, just a few weeks longer than I've had Piper (a.k.a. the fake cat). I bought it when I got my first apartment -- well, my first apartment that was just my own and that I didn't have to share with roommates. My mother came to Montreal to help me get settled. I didn't need much really. I already had dishes. I had a bed. I had a desk and computer. I had a couch and an armchair. The former tenant had kindly left crappy barstools for the island so I didn't need a table. I had picked up a secondhand 13-inch television for $10 (I was thrifty). The only things I didn't have were a VCR and a microwave. My mother declared she would buy me a VCR and I bought myself this microwave. I carried it home on the subway the few blocks to my new place, the whole time it getting heavier and heavier and the box dug bruises into my skin.

This microwaved moved with me to four different apartments in Montreal, two apartments in Toronto, back to an apartment in Montreal and is going to its death here in Ottawa. This microwave has seen more of the world than your average microwave. I probably should have given it a name.

About once a month I'll be doing something in the kitchen and I'll screech that I hate our kitchen. The most common reason is that there's no counter space and what little we do have is crammed with stuff - like the microwave. While I can banish the toaster to hidden depths of the corner cupboard the microwave does not lend itself well to being hidden. It's rather big and bulky and trust me, we do not have a close to hide it in.

Counter space is prime real estate. We could surely live without a microwave. I mean sure, every place I've lived has had one since my eldest brother gave my mother one in 1988 for Christmas but I don't really need one do I? It's all about convenience isn't it? What do you really use the microwave for? Softening butter. There are other ways to do that. Melting chocolate. There are other ways to do that. Reheating food. Well, people reheated food someway before they had microwaves didn't they? I can figure out how to reheat the leftover General Tso chicken or Thai green curry some other way. Popcorn? We're air-popped devotees already. Defrosting? We never defrost stuff in the microwave.

I inquired on Twitter and you know what, plenty of people don't have a microwave. Chris didn't have one for years and she has many children, like as many children as my mother had many children (that's a lot of children). The only reason she has one now is because it came with her house and she declares she doesn't know what to with it. Capital Mom doesn't have a microwave. Another mom on Twitter said she has one but she keeps in the basement and uses it only for "microwave emergencies," which if you were wondering mostly involve heating up a Magic Bag.

Clearly we do not need a microwave.

So the microwave is now sitting on our floor, waiting to go to the big trash heap in the sky (or you know, on the outskirts of the city). And I have this:



Counter space. Beautiful, wonderful counter space. Room to knead bread. Room to put out more than one bowl when baking. Room to put out two cutting boards. At once!

Yes, I do believe there is life after a microwave. Or at least I will, just as soon as I figure out how to reheat the green curry chicken.