For the first time in more than a decade (pretty much since I move here, 15 years ago), I need a new microwave. The current one is 20" wide and 13" tall. Sits on the counter, so I have wiggle room in both dimensions, but I'd like one of similar size.
I'm not really much for giving or getting gifts. Both occur at various times, but tend to be either when I find just the right present for someone, or on a special occasion when something I have in my Present Closet works. People give me gifts (mostly family), which is quite nice when they're appropriate and appreciated even if I can't use them.
This year is really the first time I've exchanged Significant Gifts with a Significant Other. Carole got me a watch. My previous watch chain died, and I was looking for a replacement. It's a nice watch, but nothing special.
We went shopping at Macy's big sale the week before Christmas. Big mistake, crowd-wending wise. Good choice, watch-buying wise. Macy's has a lot of watches, and clerks to help you out. I have a large wrist and practical tastes. Most watche bands are simply not big enough for me, which limits the selection. We found one that was a geek's dream: Radio controlled, with several dials and control stems. I looked at it and asked the clerk, "What time is it?" I eventually chose a Citizens Eco-Drive (with a white dial, unlike the picture), which never needs batteries, is good for 100M under water, shock resistant... and has the easiest dial to read. Has a date indicator, but nothing extra. It's easily the most expensive watch I have ever owned, largely because I always have owned cheap watches. The discounts got us down to some reasonable price, the clerk explained that the return warrantee would be voided if the tags were removed (!), and we left. It's a fine watch, and fits my wrist nicely, and tells the time.
The Post-Christmas sales started before Christmas, and got more salesy afterward. We had lunch in Albertville, MN (about 35 mi W), which is also the place where several malls worth of outlet stores were located. No camera stores. Still, Carole had been broadly hinting for a purse for some time, and she spotted a Coach outlet. What I know about purses could fit... every book ever written. Not my subject.
"I've always wanted a Coach," said Carole, so in we went. Or tried to. There was a line to get into the store! They had a HUGE sale, another 30% off that day. We picked a good time. Eventually getting in, Carole (on crutches) explored while I mainly hung out. She picked a leather purse/satchel that looked good, with the right kind of strap, and had a zipper pocket on the outside, but used only single stitching. Not good enough, so we asked a clerk, who brought her another. Fairly similar, by my unpracticed eye, but without the outside pocket. But it seemed to be thicker leather and was double stitched. That's the one we got. I realize that purses can scale into five figures, but, like for watches, even three figures seems a lot to me. So I'm glad my Shopping-Fu was working. A $$$ purse at nearly 70% off, so the Gifts of the Magi were complete.
(Geeky aside: By the definition Coach uses, a "purse" has a strap that allows you to sling it over your shoulder. A "satchel" has handle(s) so you can carry it in your hand. This purse allows you to do both: A longer over-the-shoulder strap that Carole prefers, but you can also tuck the long strap under the main body so it can be carried like a satchel. Now I know.)
Thence lunch at Space Aliens Grille & Bar. Not the most upscale place around, but interesting. (Part of the FB gallery, Holiday Season, which still has a day or so to have more added.
Hmm... what started as a simple request for advice on a microwave turned into a larger trip report. So I'll put most of this under a cut. But I still would like microwave advice.