It’s a good life without a microwave

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I have lived in a house without a microwave for years.

Truth be told, I’ve never been comfortable with microwave technology. Folks can tell me how safe and effective it is, how it doesn’t kill the nutritional value of food, but I find the power inside a microwave is frightening. Mine once mocked me by hissing and shooting sparks worthy of the Fourth of July when I put one of grandma’s old, gold-rimmed dishes in it. Another time, it melted a “microwave-safe” bowl. In addition to sparks and burning and melting, I’ve exploded food as well.

I know that I am one of the handful of people in the world who don’t like microwaves. But I’m OK with that. There’s just something about harnessing so much power in a cheap, metal box that frightens me.

The microwave was used mainly to heat Will’s baby bottles; 45 seconds on medium heated his milk to just the right temperature. But it took me just two minutes to produce the same results on the stove top. As I was heating milk in the middle of the night once, I started thinking, and I realized that while I was saving only about a minute using the microwave, I had so much more control over the heating process using the stove. And the spot the microwave occupied on the counter was an absolutely perfect place for my radio.

I sold the microwave at a yard sale, and I’ve not missed it one bit.

But not everyone in my house has been similarly happy about our microwave-free status.

Back when my kid was in elementary school, he once came home horrified.

“The teacher asked if anyone didn’t have a microwave at home,” he said. “I raised my hand. I am the only one — THE ONLY ONE — in the class who doesn’t have a microwave.”

I failed to see the horror.

“Mom! We are the only people IN THE WORLD who don’t have a microwave,” he said. “Why can’t we have a microwave.”

I explained that microwaves are a form of radiation, and there was nothing in the world — absolutely NOTHING — that I needed to heat up so fast to risk the radiation, let alone all the sparks and explosions.

“But what about popcorn?” The kid figured he had hit upon a winning reason to rush out and buy a microwave.

“You mean ‘death corn’? Do you know how unhealthy microwave popcorn is? All the chemicals in it, on top of radiating it?” I said. “When I was a kid we made popcorn in a pot on the stove. Now we have a popcorn popper that makes popcorn in, like, 10 minutes. And it’s good popcorn. What’s the problem with that?”

Our roughing it by living microwave-less has been a fact of life in our house (albeit a begrudged state for some), but today, thanks to Kellyanne Conway, I look like a genius.

Kellyanne has given me a reason far more important than avoiding radiation to be happy I got rid of that big, old box years ago.

To my husband and son, I say, “you’re welcome” for saving them from the horrors of radiation and exploding food, as well as of surveilling.

About Maria Stuart 81 Articles
Journalist Maria Stuart lives in Howell. She worked at The Livingston County Press/Livingston County Daily Press & Argus as reporter, editor and managing editor from 1990-2009. She is often spotted holding court at Uptown Coffeehouse.


  1. We also do not have a microwave. Visitors are surprised, shocked and otherwise dismayed (when they can’t reheat their coffee quickly). It’s very freeing!!

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