R.I.P. Panasonic Microwave (1990-2006)

My mom bought this microwave when she and I moved out of Tom’s house after their separation. As I recall, it was the first thing “we” bought — even before we bought our refrigerator from those Jehovahs who kept leaving The Watchtower in our screen door for years afterward… but I digress.

When I went off to college, Mom kept the microwave, obviously; I certainly couldn’t bring it into the dorm with me. Then she hooked up with Gary, who had his own microwave. The Panasonic got relegated to a back closet floor in their apartment.

Once I finally left the dorms and got my own place in 2001, I re-appropriated the microwave from its storage spot at Mom and Gary’s place. When Aaron and I moved in together, I believe he ended up performing a “social experiment” with his microwave (i.e. putting it on the dumpster and seeing how long it took someone to pick it up), and we used my microwave instead.

Finally, after 16 years in service, the old Panasonic started making a louder-than-usual hum. And just like that, it was dead. Sunday evening’s sauerkraut had to be warmed on the stove, and I cooked a week’s worth of morning oatmeal in old-school fashion.

Aaron went out and bought a new microwave on Monday afternoon. He bought another Panasonic, figuring that they must be pretty good if the old one lasted for 16 years. As he stood at the Best Buy checkout, the cashier asked if he’d like the five-year warranty, which he declined. Of course, she pressed him, reminding him that the manufacturer’s warranty only lasts for one year — and he informed her that our last microwave lasted 16 years before it finally died.

That shut her up.