The directions were there. Twenty-three pages of them. In both English and, with the book turned upside down, Spanish. And my husband actually read them. The English version.
So on Wednesday morning, he was ready to go with the changing of the microwaves. While I would have preferred he’d paid extra to have it installed, or at least had enlisted a helper, he insisted he could do it himself, so I stood by to assist in any way possible – even if only in the capacity of “gopher.”
Getting the new microwave out of the box was easy. We had to remove all of the extra pieces that weren’t attached or on the inside, then turn the heavy box upside down and lift it off the Styrofoam covered microwave. Voilá! It was then right side up! Moving right along...
First, the range had to be moved out into the middle of the kitchen. He didn’t want to take a chance on dropping the microwave on the stovetop, thus, making the purchase of a new range necessary. Then he made a trip to the garage, came back with two paint cans, some blocks of wood, and a long board. On each side of the range opening, on the countertop, he placed a paint can with a block of wood on top. On those, he balanced the long board. This was so that when he got the 50 pound microwave loose from the wall, he could rest it on the board until he felt comfortable enough to pick it up and put it in the box where the new one had been. I’m always amazed at my husband’s ingenuity, even if his once extraordinary strength is waning a bit with age.
Screwdriver in hand, he stood on a small stool and went to work removing the old appliance. In no time, he had the screws out and was ready to lift it off the wall bracket on which it rested. I held my breath as he tilted it forward, then lifted it and deposited it on the make-shift scaffold. Now he must carry it about six feet to the box, bend down and place it inside. But it didn’t go quite like that. He managed to carry it about five feet, and instead of bending over, he pretty much dropped it into the box with a thud! No harm done. We both breathed a sigh of relief and, feeling good that the job was half done, we took a brief rest.
At this point, I suggested it might be a good idea to plug the new microwave in and make sure everything works before going to all the trouble of installing it. “Good idea,” he said. He plugged it in and everything checked out: clock, light, turntable, and timer. Thankful, we were ready to proceed.
Starting again made me nervous because now, there was no room for error; this was the brand new microwave! But Mr. “I can do it myself,” confidently picked up the new one, took one step, lost his balance and fell forward bouncing the microwave off the corner of a kitchen cabinet. “Are you okay?” I asked. “Yes,” he said. He did seem to be, but I was sure our nice new purchase was destroyed. But fortunately, it was the back that tangled with the cabinet and no damage was done to the microwave, though the cabinet needs some repairing.
Regaining his composure, he got up and, looking very determined, grabbed the microwave as if it were a naughty child and headed quickly for the opening, pausing long enough to rest the 50 pound monster on the scaffold. At this point, I was a nervous wreck, the house was a mess and I just wanted this ordeal to be over!
He rested for a minute or two, picked it up again and quickly shoved it into the opening between the cabinets. Then, with a couple of lifts and grunts on his part, it was securely dropped into the wall bracket. Now it was just a matter of putting some long screws down through the cabinet into the top of the microwave. I held onto it, although he said it wasn’t necessary, while he put the screws in. Valiantly, as if he’d just single-handedly won a war, he finally announced. “That’s it! It’s all done!”
However, I wasn’t ready to call it a victory yet. Things had gone too badly! So I started pushing buttons. First, I had to set the clock before anything else would work. After that, I checked the light. That worked. And last, but not least, I pressed the button marked “Cook.”
To say that didn’t go well would be a gross understatement! Without using profanity, there’s no description intense enough for what happened. There was arcing that reminded me of Fourth of July fireworks, noises that sounded like an angry rooster, then more arcing before I yelled, “Turn it off!”
But of course, just like a man, he had to try it again just to see if he heard and saw it correctly the first time. This time, it was even worse! I literally screamed, “Turn it off! Take it down and take it back! I don’t want it!”
So that’s what we did. The whole installation process was reversed. In no time, the defective appliance was down, the old one back on the wall and we were cleaning up the mess. What else could we do? We had company coming in two days; there was no time to get another microwave and go through this whole nightmare again.
The next day, he returned it to the store and shocked me by ordering the very same model. Guess he didn’t want to go looking for another white one. At this point, I’d take any color.
The new one will be in next Wednesday.
Check in Next Week for: Installation Number Two