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.”
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.
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.
(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.)
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.
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.