We were recently having one of those in-depth and deeply philosophical discussions of the sort that are our wont in our continued striving to render the world a happier and better place for ourselves and all others on the planet.
That understood, I should like to share the wisdom of our findings with you. What I opted for was the microwave oven, whereas Wendy favored the kitchen range, either electric or gas – she wavers between the two since in our forthcoming kitchen reno we are moving from. electicity to gas. The reason for that decision was simple. Gas is more efficient and direct, and you can still cook a meal when the electricity is out. Adm also, and this is important, I have for many years wanted to be able to legitimately say: “Now we’re cookin’ with gas!” If you don’t get what that means you are too young and I am not about to explain the whimsy in it.
What we did was stroll through the heaven that is the modern day appliance usage and pondered what we could do without and what would be essential for continued happiness and good will within the household.
I think in any such discussion how our lives compare with that of my grandmother in the 1930s. Poor as churchmice and while they did have a pot to piss in, they hadn’t much more than that. In that, she raised seven children and her only appliance ‘conveniences’ were a wood stove and an old-fashioned boiler for hot water. No washing machine, certainly no dishwasher, an old Eureka vacuum cleaner that she used until the day she died. Each day she prepared meager meals and baked all her own bread. Her life was, in a word, ‘wretched’ and not to be wished on anybody. But her tale was repeated in households throughout North America. Only the stinkin’ rich bastards had life free from a lot of backbreaking labor.
But today it’s different. A household’s modernity makes life my more bearable than in granny’s day. And that was how we got into the discussion on those elements that brought about transformation.
When I was a very little child I was transfixed when Mother boiled a pot simply by turning a little knob on the stove. Nothing to be stoked; no wait time; no disgustingly hot kitchens on a summer’s day. And that was just the beginning in a domestic transformation.
As I said, my nod goes to the microwave oven. Brilliant innovation. I use it all the time, mainly to heat up stuff. It’s brilliant for everything from oatmeal to hot chocolate to soup to leftovers and with the modern ones you no longer have to wear a lead apron to use them. I merely cover my crotch with my hand.
As I mentioned, Wendy’s nod goes to the kitchen range due to its convenience, with a secondary acknowledgement to the automatic washer.
And this weekend there was a little ironic twist to the stove thing. We had decided we’d sell our old range since it is still fully operational, so if we can get a few bucks for it, why not? A reasonable sale would enable us to pay off 1/100000th of the kitchen reno. Every bit counts. So, she decided that if somebody was going to look at it, it should be spotless. So she would do the self-cleaning oven thing. Brilliant. In so doing she burned out the oven element part way through the process.
The best-laid schemes o’ mice and men.