Sunday, November 15, 2009

Renovating the Winter's Hut


I do not microwave.
I do not microwave because I think it is unsafe.
I do not microwave because I think it is unsafe and causes cancer.
Prior to this morning, I was the only person in the whole world who believed this to be the truth.
After this morning, there are now three people in the whole world who believe this to be the truth.


Every Thursday morning, Le Bruce, Rob and I meet in Scarajevo for a status meeting. This is when we are meant to bring out the SmartBuild spreadsheet and make sure that we are on time and on budget. Since we don’t have a SmartBuild spreadsheet, this exercise is moot. However, Rob prepares a list of items that he wants to raise with Le Bruce and this is how we spend an hour. An hour that once passed can never be retrieved. It is gone forever...

“It is gone forever, I guess. My dream of having a French door fridge.” Rob is trying to reconcile the fact that we don’t have space for a French door fridge. Apparently, we are about 4 inches short.
“Well not really.” Le Bruce said. “I have a French Door fridge at my place and we are a few inches short as well. All that happens is that you can’t open the bottom door all the way.”
“It seems a bit strange that for all this money that we are spending, we won’t have a functional fridge.” Rob and I said in unison.
“It will be functional. It just means you can’t keep a BBQ chicken in the bottom drawer.”
Oh my God. I’m starving.
Didn’t I just watch you eat an entire bowl of granola and yogurt?
“It’s low fat. My personal trainer....”
Le Bruce stops me mid-thought: “Oh, Princess Pee Pee has her own personal trainer now, does she?”
“Princess Pee Pee works full time and has two kids. Princess Pee Pee has no time to go to Spin Classes like you and your little slice of non-Kosher pie.”
“Her name is Tovah...she’s Israeli. And my mother raised four boys and has the Order of Canada for her contribution to medicine.”
“Really...that is interesting. What did she research?”
“The impact of microwaves on people’s health.”

I looked at Bruce. “Really?” I mouthed.
“Yes, you can’t keep a BBQ chicken in the bottom drawer.” Bruce answered and winked at me.
Not that, you beefcake, I mean the microwave.”
Oh that...well, she was investigating whether microwaves cause cancer.”
Oh my God. I believe that too. Rob thinks I’m nuts. What did your mom conclude?
She died before she could prove it definitively. But not of cancer, lupus.
“Well, I would like the flexibility of putting a BBQ chicken in the fridge.” Said Rob.
“You can, Rob, you can.” Le Bruce was getting edgy. “Just not in the bottom drawer.”
“What happens if we lose the microwave and give that space to the fridge?” I offered.
Rob looked at me. “Natalie, we have talked about this a billion times. We are getting a microwave. We have not had one in a decade. It is ridiculous. Everyone has a microwave. They are fantastic. Think about when we visit my mom in Winnipeg and we microwave hotdogs for the kids. They have lunch in 30 seconds. It’s a total time saver.
“And you don’t have any time, right Princess Pee Pee. So what’s it going to be: a microwave so you can attend Spin Class like the rest of us plebs?”
“It’s a plebe, you moron. From “plebeian” meaning “common people.”
“Why don’t you run up to your so-called office where you do your so-called work and check on your fancy lap top that your husband bought you so you could spend your days on Facebook with the friends that you met at your fancy Jewish day school and your fancy Jewish camp?”
I whipped out my iPhone and googled “Plebs.”
“What are you doing, Nat. We need to solve the problem of the fridge. We are short about 4 inches and I don’t know where they are going to come from?”
“Sorry, I’m just checking the standard sizing of a French Door Fridge to confirm the measurement.” I said without understanding a word of what I had just uttered.
Told you.
Ok. Plebs. Fine.
“Natalie. I know the measurement of the fridge. We have to find 4 inches. It’s that simple.” Said Rob.
“Well, I think we should forget about the microwave and use the extra space for the fridge.”
“Not happening.” Said Rob.
“Then I don’t know what to tell you. If you aren’t willing to trade off a cancer-causing instrument of death for fridge flexibility then we have a problem.”
We both looked at Le Bruce. Le Bruce looked at us. He opened his mouth to speak but just before a word came out, You owe me Princess Pee Pee drifted over.
“You know, Rob, she’s right. I don’t have a microwave and I raised a kid without one. My mother raised 4 kids and had the Order of Canada for medicine and didn’t have a microwave. She actually did research on the effects of microwaves on people’s health.”
“And what did she conclude?” asked Rob.
“She died before she could determine anything conclusive. But not of cancer, lupus.”
Rob sat down on the pumpkin that we had bought for Halloween and thought.
Can you hear what he is thinking?” Le Bruce asked.
“Nah. Sometime I think I can tell what Rob is thinking like right now, he is about to ask you what you think we should do.”
“So what would you do, Bruce. You’ve been doing this for a long time. You have seen plenty of kitchens.”
“I’d lose the microwave, Rob. Really I would. Food tastes like shit when its been microwaved. Those hotdogs turn into shrivelled mystery meat when they have been in the microwave and I always find that microwaved milk tastes metallic.....
Rob put his head in his hands: metallic milk....flexible fridge...metallic milk...flexible fridge.
Is he OK?”
Yeah, he’s fine. He just needs to say it a few more times and then he’ll agree with you.”
“OK. OK. Lose the microwave.” Rob said sadly.
YES!!! I jumped up. Bruce gave me a warning look.
“That was not an appropriate response.”

What you so excited about?” asked Rob.
“Oh nothing. Nothing at all. I’m just glad that we solved the problem and can return to marital bliss.”
You really need to get better at keeping your thoughts to yourself. Chided Le Bruce.
Rob, Le Bruce, and I left Scarajevo together with a fragile truce between us.

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