>Back in the late ‘80s, when I was in junior high, I became sick of being a member of the only middle class family in the US that did not have a microwave.  I decided to take matters into my own hands and remedy the situation.  My sister agreed that a microwave would be a good thing to have, and we scraped up our feeble savings to surprise our mom with a microwave for Mother’s Day.  (Don’t you love gifts that the whole family can enjoy?  Once, at my mom’s request, we bought her several new trash cans as a Mother’s Day gift, but I digress.)  

Of course, as we lived in the suburbs and did not drive due to our youthful states, we did not have access to many stores.  We walked to whatever shops we could, but quickly acknowledged that we needed help and brought our dad in on the plan.  Once my dad was contributing towards the gift, our budget also changed considerably.  We were able to purchase a decent, middle of the line microwave perfect for our quirky middle of the line family.  That microwave is still proudly in use today, at least 16 years after it was purchased.

The old age of the microwave freaks my mom out, as she worries that it could be leaking dangerous, well, microwaves and radiation and whatnot when she nukes anything.  My logical solution is to get a new microwave and not risk it.  Prices have certainly dropped significantly on the technology that was new-fangled at least 20 years ago.  My mother, however, sees no reason not to use it until it is determined to be unsafe.  How pray tell, might one find that out, short of discovering that my parents are glowing green?  It seems that my mom read in some town newsletter that it is possible to have an inspector of some sort visit your home out a few times a year and test the radiation from your microwave for free.  I’m sure that the town is offering this service because they assumed that no one in their right mind would use it, as normal people who can afford it would rather just buy a new microwave for $60.  Obviously, they were wrong, and while I was talking to my mom recently about the inspector’s most recent visit to my parents’ house, she told me how much she enjoyed using such a valuable free service.  (Fortunately, the microwave is OK.)

Perhaps this Mother’s Day, I should just buy my mom a new microwave.