Racing Microwaves

Yesterday I raced my microwave. I do this all the time and it is one of the few things I still do that makes me feel just a tiny bit crazy. I make up these situational prizes, like: If I can put all the dishes away before the microwave beeps, I’ll live happily ever after. Or sometimes I like to be super realistic and go for things like: If I can fold all the clothes that have been sitting in the dryer for two weeks before the washing machine stops, then I will win a million dollars. Oh, you didn’t know there was a magic laundry folding fairy that carried around millions? There is. Don’t you believe? You should.

But usually, it’s the microwave, and I think I started doing this around the time I was, oh, five. I probably couldn’t reach the microwave until I was 18, so maybe I’m exaggerating, but I do know that we had a stool. I say “had” because one day it broke when someone was standing on it. I called 911. It is the only time I’ve called 911, and I think we were all laughing by the time the paramedics left. Actually I think I was laughing a lot, but I knew I shouldn’t have been. I was probably 20. People falling down really makes me laugh. Don’t judge.

So when I was five, twelve, eighteen – racing microwaves – it was always a race to see if I could pee before it beeped. It wasn’t just that I had to pee to win, but I had to pee, flush, wash my hands, and be back in front of the microwave, all before it beeped. I did this often. Like every day. I wonder what I was making. Hopefully tea ... I really like tea. I thought I didn’t like Chamomile tea, but then I realized I just didn’t like the way the word “Chamomile” felt in my mouth. Something – perhaps the desperation of a sore throat? – made me try it, and it tastes like sweet fields and sunshine.

So when I was five, twelve, eighteen, twenty-four, my prizes were always the same. “I will be happy” and “I will fall in love” and “I will live happily ever after” and “I will win a million dollars”.

And sometimes I lose. Yesterday, I lost. But I finished putting my dishes away and enjoyed my steamed broccoli. The microwave will always be there, and so will the washing machine – there is always time for tea and there will always be clothes to fold. So, keep calm and carry on. Maybe my millions will come tomorrow.

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