September 5, 2007 by Marj Hatzell
I had this great post planned. This fabulous, Pulitzer-winning post about my new fridge. The fridge that almost never was. The fridge that came to be. But that post won’t be written this evening. This evening, I will instead give you a bit of background about my love-hate relationship with refrigerators. And why it took my
tightwad frugal husband two years to get a new one. But only twelve hours to buy a new television. So, without further ado…
See, Darling and I have a bit of a history with fridges. They are necessary, these fridges. We need them so that our cheese doesn’t get all moldy and gross and so that the meat stays unrancid. Yes, that’s a word. So, where was I? Oh. Fridges. We need them. Riiiiight.
Our first fridge in our first house lasted a year. It was a piece of crap beer fridge from my sister’s basement. I believe it may have belonged to my parents at one time and we all know that anything that comes from my parents house should never EVER end up in another human being’s house again (AHEM! Piano!). Suffice to say that their house is…well…in a word, it’s gross. It has to do with my mother’s mental status, mmkay? So the first fridge? A piece of crap.
The second fridge was from Darling’s grandmom’s house. She retired, moved into some retirement place near the family cabin and did not need her fridge. We ended up with it. It was small and old but worked much better than the skanky post-parent-post-beer fridge that we had to tape shut and use paper to wedge in the door so it wouldn’t leak air. Did I mention you should never use anything that come from my parents? Anywho, the grandmom fridge. Worked like a charm but died a year after her cat did (remind me to tell you about that some time). Which was right after Bug Boy was born. We decided it was time to splurge on a new fridge. A great fridge. A fridge with bells and whistles. Or at least just bells. So we headed to scratch-and-dent (because with an infant that freakishly walked at 9 months and a momma that stayed home, we were lucky to afford THAT) and found ourselves the Queen-mother-of-all-Bottom-mount fridges, a Kitchen Aid. It was gorgeous. It was 50% off retail. All it had wrong with it was a dent on the front. Or so we thought…
*Cue Twilight Zone music*
A year after we bought the fridge, the one with the ice maker (but we never hooked it up because it needed a water line run, and gosh forbid the husband actually do that, because it didn’t have filter and HE AIN’T EATING ICE CUBES made with TAP WATER) we woke up one morning to find that everything in our freezer was frozen more solid than ICEMAN and everything in the fridge (on top of the freezer, because that’s what BOTTOM MOUNT means) was about 60 degrees. It was then that we realized that the reason the drinks were warmish (yes, that’s a word, too) the evening previous was not from leaving the door open but because the fan hadn’t kicked on in hours. In fact, the freezer was on medium and was running non-stop. It wouldn’t shut off. The fridge wouldn’t turn on. A bit of a conundrum, hmmmm? We thought perhaps it just needed to be defrosted. Mr. Handyman himself (Darling) cleaned out the fridge, we chucked $50 worth of food and I was ticked that 9 months of breastmilk was never gonna thaw. He isolated the problem. It seems that this fridge had a drain from the fridge that ran through the freezer to the drip pan, the little pan on the bottom of the fridge that catches the condensation and then evaporates. It was clogging, backing up the waterline and freezing in the freezer because it was getting stuck there. So that pan couldn’t evaporate because it was stuck. Y’all have one and you didn’t even know that, huh? So, bad design. We just needed to make sure the drain never clogged and the drip pan was empty. We vowed to check it once in a while. Case closed. Until…
Six months later. It happened again. $90 worth of food this time (I just went food shopping). Darling tinkered with it a bit, cleaned the coils, vac’d it well. It worked again! YIPPEE! For a few months. Then it died again. We had a guy come service it. He complained that it was a bad design, did what Darling did a few months previous, charged us $160 (twice our grocery bill) and left. A few months later it happened again.
And again. ($128 worth of food. Inflation, you know)
Oh, and then we moved.
And Darling vowed we’d get a new fridge ANY WEEK NOW.
And it happened again.($140 worth of food. If you add it all up we could have had a new fridge)
Oh, and did I mention, it happened again? ($160 worth of food, right before a party)
So, we’ve been in this house two years. In June, it happened again. Darling sighed and tried to fix it. It worked again. And I told him I wasn’t buying a bit of food until I had a new fridge. Now, in all this time the fridge was breaking down (six years) we were researching new fridges. We found the options we liked, we found one that saved energy and was more eco-friendly, we decided we hated stainless with a passion (because it will be out of style soon, look what happened to bisque!) and…never bought one. He got the old one working. He swore we’d buy a new one. We didn’t. I complained. I whined. I withheld sex (well, didn’t do that, but I thought maybe it would work. It didn’t. Never mess with a tightwad). No new fridge.
Saturday morning we woke up. The OJ was warm. The cheese was slimy. I had to chuck the sausage and canadian bacon in the meat drawer. I gave Darling the hairy eyeball and said, “The fridge is broken again. You gonna fix it? Again? For realz like?” And he put down the paper (Yes, he reads. Or at least pretends to) and said, “I’ll tell you what. Let me cut the grass and we’ll take a ride to the Home Improvement Store that starts with L and look for a new fridge. I guess it’s about time.”
Yeah, my jaw hung down, too. I couldn’t believe it. I rushed him through the grass cutting, screamed at the kids to get into the car before he changed his mind and basically drove him there. Except I didn’t drive. I just told him to go faster. So we browsed, didn’t see what we wanted, found one we sorta could live with. Then went to the Department Store With the Tool Guarantee But Really Crappy Prices in Delaware (connected to the mall) and then went to Not-Quite-The-Best-Buy. Then we went to another appliance place. And just when I was about to cry because we didn’t find one, we ended up at Large-Orange-Home-Improvement-Store (the one that makes the little stores go out of business) and found the best deal we’ve ever gotten on appliances. It arrives tomorrow. I’ll be there at dawn to hug my new fridge.
It has an ice maker. And we already have a water line! It has a water dispenser. On the inside! With a lockout feature (that Bugaboo will figure out in five minutes, but that’s ok). I lerve it.
It took six years but it was worth the wait. Almost. It’s not like I left him over this. People don’t get divorces over fridges, right? Right? But six years? Talk about procrastination. Talk about a tightwad. Talk about…never mind. Doesn’t matter. The important thing is…
Our television died today. And within twelve hours we had a replacement. A replacement. For the television. Because, you know, the fridge could wait for six years (or more) because, you know, it just keeps our food from going bad. The television? The one I don’t get to watch? That’s gotta get replaced RIGHT AWAY. Wanna know why? Do you? Huh? Do you?
Football season starts tomorrow.