RIP Whirlpool microwave. Yup, our microwave started ailing about 6 months ago when the fan and the light would turn on by itself. In hindsight, it could have been a Poltergeist, but it’s too late now for an exorcism. We decided to put it to sleep. On March 18, 2013 we disconnected our old microwave from its own dedicated life support.
Out of respect to our old friend, we did not rush out and buy a new one. Instead, we let it rest there, in darkness for about a week. But then, it became too painful to look up from the breakfast counter, expecting to see its bright light, telling us the time, only to have a dark black square in front of us. We laid it to rest on the deck until we could figure out who can take it to its final resting place.
Now we had a great big rectangular gap in our hearts — and over the stove — which we needed to fill. Two weeks later we were ready for a new addition to the family, especially after many days of having to wait over five minutes for our food to be lukewarm. We went to Sears and there were so many shiny microwaves sparkling for our attention. The sales person could sense our eagerness and practically put one in our arms. How could we say no? The color was right and 30 inches made the perfect bundle. It even had the same name as our previous microwave…Whirlpool, aaaww! My husband and I looked at each other and at our new appliance and said YES, we’ll take it.
We had to wait a few days. Oh, the agony, now that we knew what it looked like we just could not wait to have it with us. We ran for the phone if it rang or to see if the message light was blinking as soon as we came home. Finally, on a Wednesday, they called to say it was ready. We picked it up right away and gently set it in our dining room so it could acclimate to its new surroundings and because we didn’t have time to install it until the weekend.
We unpacked every little piece and marveled at how many little pieces it had – 10 screws and bolts, and how it smelled! Feeling the weight of our responsibility as new owners, we read every line of the installation manual – twice! We were so caring and methodical I almost felt guilty about our old microwave sitting out there decomposing in the rain.
It was difficult from the very beginning. The holes to hold the new bracket did not coincide with the studs behind the wall. We had to get additional screws. Then, the framing of the cabinet was difficult to measure because of the angle so using the template to mark where the screws would go was challenging. We drilled the holes and then mounted our new microwave. It looked all wrong. This microwave was a bit taller than the old one yet it seemed to overpower our stove. It also jutted out from the wall about an extra two inches – enough to obscure the precious and small cooking area. Still, we tried to make it fit. We drilled more holes, tried once more to make it look like it belonged. It didn’t. We had picked out the wrong microwave.
So, on this rainy afternoon, we drove to Sears to return our new microwave. We were all silent, each reflecting about where we had gone wrong. We admit that we rushed into our decision, not giving enough thought to fit. To fill the void left by an old friend, the next microwave we bring into our family has to be the right size, and also bring the right attitude and feel to our space. It has to play well with our stove, cabinets and tall cooking pots. The new microwave has some big shoes to fill (and by big I mean it has to be smaller in height and depth).
Our search continues…