Monday, October 7, 2013

The Frigidaire Gap

From the minute we moved into our condo, we knew the kitchen would need work. The layout was awkward with lots of wasted space. The refrigerator was tucked between a laundry closet and the counter, making the far corner of the countertop and the cabinets beneath totally unusable. If that weren't enough, the refrigerator would shift and its door would slam into the oven door handle, eventually knocking it completely off.

But at least our freezer had an ice-maker. Until one day in 2008 when the delicate mechanism built itself a solid ice cocoon and slipped into cryogenic hibernation. I kept waiting for it to emerge as a beautiful crushed ice dispenser. It never did. Since then I've been manually filling ice cube trays with tap water and transferring them across the kitchen, trying my best not to spill the entire way. Like a caveman.

And two weeks ago when the rest of our fridge's internal workings joined the ice-maker in frosty heaven (I hope), we knew it would be kind of silly to just stick a new fridge in the same awkward place. Even if we were so inclined, the dainty size of our fridge-hole drastically limits our replacement options. Refrigerators, like the Americans who feed from them, have gotten nothing but wider since our basic almond freezer-on-top Frigidaire left the assembly line in the 80's.

Fortunately we weren't without back-up refrigeration. I removed the bottles from our wine chiller and turned it down to 40°. This has been where we've been keeping our pre-packaged Good Measure meals. Last week during a gym workout I complained to Gilbert about the eroding standard of living at Casa Midtown:
"Our refrigerator is dead and I can't even get it out of the kitchen without first disconnecting the gas range and pulling that out of the way. The only fridge I can find that would fit is from some kid's dorm on Craig's List. I have no way to make ice cubes and no freezer to keep them. And there are wine bottles all over my house."
"Wine bottles all over? How's that different than any other day?" he quipped.
"These are full."
For the past two weekends JB and I have been shopping for refrigerators. My only requirement is an ice-maker. It doesn't need to crush the ice or expel it through a door orifice into my waiting glass. I just need consistently formed cubes which don't stick together when I reach for a handful. It's been two weeks since I've heard the soothing sound of ice clinking in a manhattan glass. Do you know what that does to a guy? Two weeks!

For his part, JB seemed completely ambivalent. He shot down my first suggestion: the high-end touchscreen model preloaded with helpful kitchen apps. As I fully expected him to. I learned long ago to always lead with the Papa Bear option and let Goldilocks believe that rejecting the Baby Bear choice was her idea.

But then, in the second Home Depot, he pulled the handle on a gleaming, stainless steel Samsung side-by-side. The interior LED lighting ramped from 0 to 100% illumination, casting sparkling ripples in the pools forming in his gorgeous brown puppy-dog eyes. I could almost hear the choir of angels harmonizing in his ears. He stood there for five minutes closing and opening the refrigerator door.

That's it, Goldie, take the bait. Oh yeah, that feels just right, doesn't it.

They're delivering our Samsung on Thursday. And it's going directly into storage until we settle on a contractor we can entrust with tearing us a new fridge-hole.

1 comment:

  1. don't ever buy an appliance with a touch screen or electronics (outside of a microwave). my husband HAD to have a toaster with that shit and on a weekly basis we had to reboot it. REBOOT a fucking toaster!

    It lasted less than 2 yrs before biting the big one.