Must Be Nice

crispydoc Uncategorized 5 Comments

A few years ago, our daughter befriended a girl who spoke no English. The girl’s father, a Michelin-rated chef from Tuscany, had been recruited to run a high concept Italian restaurant in LA. For the record, at the restaurants I frequent, Michelin means tires, not food.

My daughter’s first language is Spanish, which was similar enough to Italian that the two became fast friends. Despite having similar levels of executive leadership potential (they can be bossy), the girls hit it off and we grew close with her parents, sharing occasional bottles of red wine over leisurely weekend afternoons while the kids played unsupervised.

Yes, over the course of our friendship we were invited to a meal at their apartment, and yes, it was amazing.

During one playdate at our home, my wife placed some leftovers in the microwave to zap up a quick snack. The girls happened to be nearby, and the young Italian child could not look away for the full minute that the microwave worked its magic.

As my wife opened the door to remove the dish from the microwave, the girl inquired, “What kind of computer is that?”

It slowly dawned on us that this girl, having been raised in the household of an Italian chef, had presumably never seen a microwave oven, and none of the adults in her life used one.

Comments 5

  1. We were in Italy a couple times in the past year and I don’t recall seeing a microwave. What I saw were some 1500 year old buildings still in use amazingly crafted. Some canals used for transport and commerce. What I saw were magnificent churches, houses of worship with worshippers and amazing histories of design. What I saw was amazing artizen and craftsmanship. If you bought a leather bag for example it was capable of sustaining a lifetime of utility. It was not just an accessory headed for the second hand store. So what kind of computer was that?

    1. Post


      Allow me to completely digress as your comments created an amusing random chain of thoughts that led me down this hole:

      Although we have yet to watch the films together as a family, I’ve inadvertently taught my son a few of the more memorable lines from the Austin Powers movies. When he encounters a new infant while meeting family friends, he’ll turn to me with a glint in his eye and ask the infant’s parent(s):

      I like your baby. Can I eat ‘im? Get in my belly!

      Come to think of it, those families have not invited us on subsequent family playdates…

  2. Really? I thought microwaves would be common in Italy. We use our microwave every day for warming up drinks and leftovers. It’s so much more convenient than turning on a stove.
    Here is a data point – microwave is common in Thailand now.

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      My sample size is admittedly miniscule, and could be totally inaccurate. My apologies if I am misrepresenting reality.

      The bigger shock to my system was the idea that an elementary school age child could live a life where a microwave is a novelty.
      Video games are ubiquitous, and my kids know all the latest fads by name even though we don’t play them in our home. So this kid must not have seen a microwave either in her home or in her grandparents’ homes back in Italy – multigenerational obliviousness!

      At the risk of appearing sanctimonious, my wife and I embraced the idea of becoming selective Luddites – of trying to reject a convenience/technology in favor of an additional skill, or of avoiding a lower priority entertainment (video games) in order to favor our preferred entertainment (reading). This experiment is still ongoing, and while I can tell you we are pleased that our kids are voracious readers, it’s unclear whether the inability to talk Fortnite with their friends will adversely affect them down the road.

      Just trying to screw up my kids in the best way I know how.

      Appreciate your visit to these netherparts,


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