Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Thing in the Corner

Today I had lunch with my cousin Sandy (Rosetta's brother Charlie's son) and gave him his copy of Can We Come In and Laugh, Too?. I showed him where his contribution is in Part II and then we reminisced about Rosetta.

Somehow we began to talk about modern appliances. My mother Rosetta was certainly all for keeping up with modern technology although she never learned to use a computer and didn't embrace some of the things we use every day to make life easier.

That brings me to the "thing in the corner."

My sister and I had decided to buy her a portable microwave oven  in the late 1980s. We figured it would make it easier for her to heat things up quickly instead of waiting for the oven. We put a big bow on it and presented her with our wonderful gift.

She said, "Honey, let's put it right in the corner. See that space on the counter?" That's where it went, and she was right. It was a perfect space. However, when I'd visit her, I noticed that she still turned on the oven and the protective clear covering was still on the door of the microwave. Finally one day about a year after we'd given it to her, I said, "How do you like using the microwave?"

"Well, I haven't actually used it yet." 

"Why not, Mom? Look at all the time it will save you."

"Honey, why would I want to save time? At my age, (she was around 80 then) I've got lots and lots of time on my hands. In fact, sometimes I have to figure out things to fill the days. What would I do to fill the time the thing in the corner would save me? Maybe I'll try to use it one of these days, but not right now."

She never did use the thing in the corner, but from that day on, that's what she called it. Eventually, after she had mini-strokes and had to move to an assisted living residence, I inherited the thing in the corner. In fact, that old thing in the corner, now about 23 years old, has rarely been used and sits on a cabinet in one corner of my guest casita in Las Vegas. And it still works.

Her dishwasher was rarely used for anything more than keeping dirty dishes out of the way until she could fill the sink with soapy water, then wash and dry them. One time we had a big dinner at her apartment and after I loaded the dishes I said, "Where do you keep the dishwasher soap? We might as well just run the load now."

She looked at me for a minute, then said, "Why, I don't have any."

"Did you run out?"

"No, I've never had any and don't even know if the darned thing works."

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