Monday, March 9, 2009

So much more than a cooling unit

Some sickly looking appliances came with our house, but at the time, I didn't even care because they were mine. Particularly the dishwasher, which meant I didn't have to scrub my own plates anymore.

But after the kitchen boxes were unpacked and most of our things were assigned a cabinet, all of a sudden the appliances lost their luster. The oven didn't hold a temperature because the door wouldn't close all the way unless we rigged it with a bungee cord. The dishwasher developed a foul ring of black mold inside around the base. And the fridge was too small, was missing two shelves and a door to the butter slot. Not to mention the lovely pattern of rust creeping up the front.

Not being able to afford to replace them all at once, we picked our battles. The oven got the boot immediately, enabling me to ruin meals and cookies on my own terms by forgetting to set the timer or botching the amount of certain ingredients. Which, come to think of it, was probably stupid. It would be nice to be able to blame the oven for my occasional inedible concoctions.

The dishwasher took a bit longer, but it became a necessity once we realized we were going to be filling it with baby bottles. I mean, cleaning dishes in close proximity to black toxic mold is fine for two adults who have the option of picking up a sponge, but a newborn? We knew it would be months before our daughter would be able to do the dishes for us. So we welcomed home our pink bundle of vocal chords and a shiny new Maytag the same week.

The fridge took much longer because it carries a much larger price tag. Every time we went to a home improvement warehouse or a department store, Jerry and I would peruse the selection and try to get realistic about choosing something. Frankly, anything would've been an improvement over our 19-cubic-foot monstrosity, but then we'd lustily eye the grandiose models with water and ice dispensers in the door and decide to wait until one was more within our reach.

That, of course, meant putting up with the fridge we did have. The filthy who-knows-how-old fridge that barely coughed out cool air when cranked to the highest setting, had a singular plastic-coated warped wire shelf that barely withstood the weight of a gallon of milk and a big gaping hole right down to the bottom where a cracked bin sat mounded with the majority of our groceries.

Making a meal became a routine game of hide-and-seek as we dug through the contents of the bin to find what we were looking for. And if we got frustrated and opened the door too quickly, the butter container would come careening down on our heads because there wasn't anything to hold it in place.

For three years of birthdays and holidays, my mother relentlessly asked if I wanted money toward a new fridge. But inevitably there would be a cute pair of shoes or a new purse that I wanted, which, lets face it, seriously trumps getting something as boring as an appliance. Those are things divorces are made of had it been Jerry’s suggestion.

But age has a way of changing your perspective. And, eventually, I wanted to take a baseball bat to our fridge “Office Space” style. We got so desperate that Jerry and I drove to a discount appliance outlet that was having an “everything must go” flood sale after a bad winter cold snap in January burst the store’s pipes.

So when my mom made the annual request for birthday present suggestions, I shocked her by taking her up on her longstanding offer.

We were getting a new fridge.

I don’t think it really sunk in until Jerry and I made the official trek to pick one out. We did some research online but opted to take a look at the floor models to really get a feel for what we wanted. And there, among the rows, was a fridge so perfect, so filled with water and ice dispensers and shelves and butter doors that we almost peed ourselves.

Then Allison sealed the deal by climbing inside the open doors and looking up at us with an overwhelming expression of joy. She must’ve known she would be stealing grapes out of it in no time.

Showing it was fate, the fridge was in stock, the tag highlighted a temporary sale price, and we landed a special promotion for free delivery. When I added up the savings, my frugal gene spasmed in such a manner that I’m surprised it didn’t cause a chain reaction that ended in my passing out.

The morning of our scheduled delivery, I came downstairs to find a final note from Jerry on our magnetic dry erase board that summed it up perfectly: SEE YA FRIDGE.

When the installers left, I eagerly organized all of our food into drawers and non-wobbly glass shelves. Then I capped it off by putting the tub of butter in the awaiting receptacle — much like the star on a Christmas tree.

And that’s exactly what it felt like. When everything was resting snugly inside, I opened the side-by-side doors, stood back and stared at its beauty.

Then I snapped on the dry erase board and wrote: YAYYYYYYYYY!


julie said...

What, no pictures? I was totally expecting a picture. What a buzz kill.

Chelsea said...

Congrats on your new fridge!

Anonymous said...

Seriously, no pics? :(

Alexandria said...

Congrats! I'm glad you finally got one, and I hope you thoroughly enjoy it. Perhaps some pictures soon?

the_plainsman said...

Don't be surprized if, even with the new features, you actually see a drop in your electric bill! Those old ones were power sponges, even when new. And your ice cream will even taste better, too! LOL!

Candi said...

I'm with the masses -- pictures?!?!?

jsi said...

Few things beat getting a new fridge!

aahcoffee said...


Lioncloud said...

I can't believe you were allowed to get a new fridge when the Big TV was still not functioning.

Erica said...

We just ditched the old fridge a couple of years ago that I know lived at least 18 years. It was probably longer, but I wouldn't know because I wasn't alive yet. I too know the joys of kicking that horrible contraption to the curb. Congrats on your new fridge!

Ray said...

Congrats on the new fridge! I need to see a photo of this beauty, because that would truly seal the deal. Hehe. =P

Jaclyn said...

I'm officially jumping on the bandwagon and requesting pictures. However I want before AND after photos of all the appliances.

Annie said...

You know you're an adult when appliances top the birthday wish list. My bday is tomorrow and a new washer is on the top of the list.

NatalieDeltaGam said...

i want pictures!

....please. :-)