On Needing More Chill.

If we were playing the “I Have Never” game, until last week I could easily say “I have never bought a refrigerator.”

I am nearly 36 years old. Chris and I have been married for 16.5 years and have lived in three different dwellings. And we have never bought a refrigerator. Each house came with a fridge, and each fridge was old and “fine.”

We’re not the type of people to replace things that are “fine”, even if we don’t like them. We nearly vomit at people on House Hunters who flippantly say “I don’t like that shade of marble countertops but we can always rip them out and get a shade darker.”

So, in our minds, just because we never had a fridge that we felt any fondness toward did not mean that we should go out and buy a new one.

But we’ve now been in this house for over a decade, using a fridge that someone else bought. Somewhere in that fridge, there are decade-old germs that don’t belong to us. And, the fridge is pitiful. The veggie drawers are broken and melded shut, the light bulb, if barely shaken, decides not to work, and anything left in the freezer for longer than a fortnight can be guaranteed to have freezer burn. Oh and when you close the fridge door, be sure to pull the door in an upwards fashion or it will not seal.

So I wasn’t exactly sad when our fridge got continence issues and began peeing water on the shelves. I’m sure it could be fixed with a new dehumidifier core or some-odd piece like that, but DANGIT I am nearly middle-aged and I deserve my first new fridge.

Chris came home from work one day and I confronted him in front of the naughty fridge itself.

“I’m putting my foot down. I don’t care what your reservations or worries or logical reasons are. This is a ten to me*. WE NEED A NEW FRIDGE.”

He said, “Ummm…”

…then he decided to play with me.

“I don’t know…But getting a new fridge leads to…”

“NO IT WON’T. I know that’s what you said that one other time. We will not get new cabinets or new appliances or new countertops or an all new kitchen. I JUST WANT A FRIDGE.”

“Okay then.”

I said, “Thank you. I’ve already been shopping. I’ve picked out three options depending on how far you’re willing to let me change the status quo.”

He kindly obliged my most severely changed choice, wondering I’m sure why I felt the need to be so forceful in my fridge militiawoman presentation.

(I mean that fridge had been urinating on my blueberries – you’d have anger issues too.)

But then came measuring of the fridge hole. And depth and width, all of which I tackled all by myself. Like the adult I was convinced I was.

I measured and re-measured and re-measured again. I panicked in the middle of the night about whether a fridge would fit in that hole or if it was just all wrong for modern-day fridges. I picked a fridge and re-picked a fridge and re-picked again. The kids discovered that they loved fridge shopping and were amazed at the ones with double-tap glass doors and apps and background music and internal cameras so that you could look at the contents while you were at the grocery store.

I begged Chris to help me quadruple check my hole measurements before I had a nervous breakdown.

He again happily obliged, perhaps wondering why his wife was so frantically taken by this issue.

Finally, we bought a dang fridge.

Sight unseen, even, because that fridge did not have a display model.

It would not be delivered for a week, so I endured another seven days of fridge urination while waiting for it, becoming more and more hateful toward the current chiller of my fruits and vegetables.

But then it arrived.

And it was beautiful.

And I had no idea how very intense fridge delivery is. It’s the best “free delivery and installation” deal in the country, y’all.

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After over TWO HOURS of getting it through the front door, removing the doors and hinges to get it through the kitchen door, getting the old fridge out, and peeling away those glorious sheaths of new appliance plastic, they finally were ready to slide it into the fridge hole.

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(Note: all this time all of my fridge and freezer contents were sitting on my countertops. Nothing causes anxiety like all the slowly warming food.)

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Which was the moment when Fridge Delivery Man #1 turned to me and said “I don’t think it’s going to fit.”

What? No. It will fit. I measured five times.”

“It’s gonna be tight…I’m not so sure.”

“I will ax down that cabinet if we need to. IT WILL FIT.”

They looked at me with a measure of healthy fear, then positioned the fridge and began sliding. It banged the side of the cabinet. They repositioned, straightening it perfectly. This thing couldn’t go in a degree off-kilter or it wasn’t going to work.

They began sliding again, and this time it was going. Just barely. SO JUST BARELY.

They stopped and looked at me. #1 said “So do you want us to keep going?”

I scowled up my entire 36-year-old face. “This thing is not coming back out of my kitchen. OF COURSE I WANT YOU TO KEEP GOING.”

And they did.

And it fit.

The children are so taken by the cleanliness and organization and hugeness and brightness of it all. Ali said that getting a new fridge is the most exciting purchase ever and way better than a new car.

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Even if I didn’t get the one with the apps and cameras.

And best of all? This fridge doesn’t need adult diapers.

* “It’s a ten to me” is fantastic marital communication advice that we got from good friends many years ago. You can only use it every now and then, but it’s an easy way to communicate “This is actually really really really seriously the most very importantest thing to me and I’m not being dramatic AT ALL.” This helps your spouse realize the gravity of the issue being discussed. I highly recommend it. And new fridges.

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Comments

  1. After about five years in our 20-year-old house with all the original appliances, after replacing the entire HVAC (because it was on death’s door), after the washer and dryer (v. important) and the dishwasher (also important, previous one was terrible) and the oven (a burner broke and it was filthy), we FINALLY replaced our refrigerator. And I had the same “fridge-hole size” anxiety, it just BARELY fit under the upper cabinets, but it is glorious and huge and beautiful and I love it.

    So congratulations on your new fridge. :)

  2. I just recently got my first new fridge in 17 years of marriage. I LOVE it! It’s the same one that you bought, only it has the ice maker in the freezer and is black stainless. It is glorious to be able to SEE in the fridge and not fight with it to get anything out! :) Tell Ali I agree with her, it’s way better than a car. ;)

  3. Kristine Toone says:

    Last summer, we didn’t *need* a new fridge that desperately, but we, too, had never had a new one to us. Then we were putting a porch on outside our kitchen door. And I thought – oh my word, we’re adding another door, and another step and another turn to get a fridge in our old house with narrow openings. So we bought a fridge in about an hour – and we have the SAME fridge opening situation with a cabinet above, and even worse, a left side panel. I took the measurements to Best Buy, and she was like “we only have one that will fit”. I’ll take it, whatever bells and whistles it has or doesn’t have.
    I think it’s the same as yours ;) But yes, I agree, wondering if it would fit was so stressful, even after measuring over and over again, and the delivery and removal is so worth it. Whew. So glad I don’t have to get another new fridge for, like, EVER.
    Funny secondary story – we did splurge on a new stove/oven after a work bonus I received. I picked *exactly* the stove I wanted, as I bake and cook a lot, and I wanted this one badly. Super great reviews, all the features I wanted, including a double oven. So when it arrived, the guy installing it found that because it was dual electric/gas, and we’d only had gas before, the kitchen wiring wasn’t set up for the voltage needed for the gas oven. UG. Several hundred dollars, the kitchen was wired for the new stove, it got installed, and it was wonderful,
    Until. we realized the dishwasher door hit the lower oven door handle as it came down… and wouldn’t open fully… unless the dishwasher was unscrewed and pushed off kilter. UG. It’s so annoying. I love my stove. My husband suggested taking the lower oven door handle off. What?!? No way. We’ll just keep our dishwasher off kilter, and have to move it to get the door open, and be annoyed on a regular basis in my kitchen.
    Like Chris said would happen… It all starts a rock rolling down a hill… now it feels like we need new cabinets. We need a new kitchen. We really need a wall knocked out to give us another few feet in my annoying kitchen.
    Whatever, though. Will just enjoy my lovely fridge and stove, and ignore the dishwasher. Better yet, let my husband deal with all things involving the dishwasher :)

    • Haha!! Your kitchen woes are exactly what my husband, I’m sure, imagined would happen. So far, I’ve bought nothing else new. I’m glad you have a lovely stove and I’m super sorry your dishwasher is a vindictive jealous witch. :-)

  4. Thanks, Rachel. Now I want to a new fridge :(

  5. Your new fridge is beautiful! It reminds me of our first fridge we bought. We loved it so much we moved it when we bought a new house. However I couldn’t justify moving it again so we sold it with our last house. Enjoy!

  6. Pretty fridge! We inherited a brand new fridge with the Farmhouse…I have no idea what features it has or anything about it, but it looks similar to yours. It still has all the wrapping on it, but it’s in the house. I’m hoping it’s a good one. I like the “It’s a ten” idea!

  7. Jen near STl (8 more months!) says:

    Being a military family for the past 21 years we have dealt with our fair share of “not mine” fridges. There have been all kinds of hideousness and wonkiness and awfulness with a couple of “oh that’s nice” in to keep on edge on sanity.

    But, but, but, but! Now we are retiring to the one home that I will never ever move out of ever again amen and we are building said house. Which means that I have been going fridge (and cooktop and oven and dishwasher and hood and light and tile and counter and cabinet) shopping for the past three months. I feel a bit like I’ve over indulged on candy. However every time my existing kitchen annoys me I can gleefully whisper to myself, ” only 8 more months!”

  8. When we bought our first house we had to buy a new fridge as there wasn’t one in the house (I insisted on a new dishwasher as well as the old one was white and stained due to the well water). I didn’t take the measurements for the fridge my brother in law did but it wasn’t till I saw just how big the new fridge was that I started to worry about it not fitting. Luckily it did and only stuck out a little bit more then normal.
    The house we are in now had a fridge in it that the realtor said the owners were going to take with them but they were going to replace with a different one, problem was I didn’t know what kind of fridge it was going to be and I love, love, love having my freezer on the bottom and hate, hate french door ones with the freezer on one side , fridge on the other, they are just too dang small!
    I told my husband that if it didn’t have that we were defiantly buying a new one but luckily it did and we didn’t have to spend the money as we really needed it for painting.

  9. NOT buying a new fridge can actually cost you more than buying one! Efficiency improvements cone along often enough that replacing an old fridge will probably save you more in electricity than you spend on it. There are online calculators that can help you figure it out.

  10. She must like her new home cause her freezer handle is smiling!

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