Thursday, June 01, 2006

Refrigerator saga, part one

Three years ago I told my landlord that my refrigerator was dying. It ker-ker-ker-thunk-thunk-clunks when turning off, sweats more than I do in the summer, and uses enough electricity monthly to light up a good sized city. On top of that it opens the wrong way – and the door cannot be reversed. To my certain knowledge it is a minimum of seventeen years old – the fourteen years of my tenancy, and the three of the previous tenant. Further back than that, I don’t care to go.

Three days ago, my landlady casually mentioned that they were replacing their demon-possessed, whimsically regulated oven. She thought maybe I could use new appliances…?!

Rule #1: Jump at every opportunity, since you never know when it will come around again.

“Why yes, actually, I can live with the range, but the frig is slowly dying. I’m not fussy: all I want is a top mount freezer and a door that can be reversed.”

Rule #2: Since you have previously thoroughly learned your lesson re: not counting your chickens before the eggs are in the refrigerator, said lesson will be useless in the current situation.

Two days ago (after I was asleep), Ora called to say she had some information on new refrigerators, and would slip it under my door for me to review.

“Urgh, ah, huh? ‘mkay, I’ll look at it in the morning.”

Five-thirty yesterday morning, I picked up the information, then whipped out the Stanley to measure the current appliances. Once at work, I called up the model numbers and started comparing dimensions.

Wha…?! This can’t be right. The current frig is 28” deep, sticking out past my countertops by about 3 ½”. The new ones were 33” deep. Whoa, Nelly. That behemoth would take over the kitchen. Surely there must be something smaller? Much surfing ensued, resulting in two choices that were less than 30” deep.

Eight a.m. yesterday morning, Ora called to ask if I had looked over the models. Mind you, it had been less than eleven hours since she had called me, and much of that I had spent asleep or getting ready for work. I gave her the information on the depth issue, along with the models numbers for the ones I had found. I prepared myself once again for disappointment – Pete is easily distracted (see handyman post below), and this sort of kink could derail the whole train.

Rule #3: Never underestimate the power of a determined woman who has been managing her easily-distracted husband for twenty-six years.

Seven p.m. yesterday evening, Ora called to say she was on her way to Home Depot to order my refrigerator – did I want to come along just to see the floor model?

Much rejoicing ensued.

Rule #4: When measuring for appliances, pay attention to all the dimensions.

We cruised the floor model displays, and found a model of the same cubic feet as the one I had picked out on line (which I had done based on the depth dimension, remember).

“Uh, Ora? I can see the top of this one, and I’m only 5’4” tall. Something is wrong.”

Had I bothered to check all the dimensions, I would have realized how much smaller than my current frig my choices were.

Rule #5: Nothing is ever uncomplicated.

Back to the drawing board, and a less than helpful clerk. After fifteen minutes of fruitless looking:

“Oh, the manufacturers are really trying to phase out that bisque color – we don’t have much in it anymore.”

Oh, really? The website shows 73 of 318 units come in bisque – 23% of everything you sell. When you look only at top mount freezer units, the percentage climbs to 31%.


Back home again and onto the web, along with several rechecks of the dimensions of the current frig. Ora left here an hour later with three choices that would work, 18.0 – 18.2 cubic feet, thirty-one or thirty-two inches deep.

Rule #6: Review rule #1, realizing that the “golden moment” may have passed.

If I could have lived with my windows half blocked off by a monster refrigerator, a new one would be on its way to me now. As it is, I’m not exactly sure where we are in the process. I suppose I should go to bed, since as soon as I do, Ora is likely to call me and let me know.

*Disclaimer: My landlords are wonderful, kind, godly people who for some unknown reason actually like having me live here as much as I like being here. We simply have extremely divergent personalities when it comes to things like appliance purchases. I’m a planner and thinker; Pete does things on a whim without thinking them through. Somehow, we’ll get through it.

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