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Suburban Island

Refrigerate This
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2003, 1:11 a.m.

QUESTION: Can’t that wait until I get home?

WHAT I LEARNED: No news can be good news.


One of the side effects of the power outages we suffered during the tropical storm last week seems to be with regard to our retro (as in original issue) gold-tone refrigerator. This geriatric appliance must have been cycled on and off one too many times during those multiple power outages. The result is the kind of nervous collapse that only a refrigerator could pull off. All the milk, cold cuts, and cheeses are now being stored in the freezer section, which is now the refrigerated section. The refrigerated section down below – vegetable crispers and all – is now a barren wasteland only fit to store our dry goods and perhaps our Wonder Bread.

This has lead to the classic refrigerator conflict – ice water and ice dispensers built into the door or ice water and ice dispensers nowhere to be seen on the refrigerator door.

Guess what I want? Right – iced water and ice, cubed and chipped and any other way you can serve it up. I want it in the door and I want it in the door now. I have been lusting after such a deluxe approach to refrigeration since I was a kid and first saw this glamorous approach to water and ice dispensing in the home kitchen environment, albeit not in my home. Unfortunately, our serviceable classic gold-tone refrigerator had other ideas. It took Isabel to oust the old girl. This is my big chance to get the refrigerator of my dreams.

But something is getting in the way of my refrigerator dream. It’s my husband. He has a different view on appliances. He has the no-frills-means-no-trouble mindset.

My husband has always been an old-school refrigerator purist. He has no room for newfangled approaches to refrigeration. No technological innovation presented in the world of home refrigeration in the last 20 years is time-tested enough to meet his standards. It doesn’t matter if the rest of the world is always in cooled water and cups filled to the brim with glorious chopped iced. That is not for this family because we don’t want anything here that might, in the course of its service with our household, ever break or require any sort of repair. And besides it’s too expensive. Oh yeah, and we have to run a line for the water and that costs extra. And it will only leak anyway. And, and…some lady in the appliance store just told him so this weekend. Really.

Given the opportunity, I am sure he would replace the gold-tone refrigerator with another of the same ilk. Sturdy, serviceable, and no nonsense. Perhaps a slightly different shade of kitchen appliance gold.

We have had several discussions about the replacement of the refrigerator over the phone so far. They have not gone too well. I am not sure he is faring better on this topic back home. The kids have also dreamed of the day when there is ice and water pouring forth at the touch of a button. Many times have we sat around the kitchen table discussing even a simple ice-maker in the freezer – and the very idea of door dispensers made all our eyes glow. Just imagine. Yes Dad, just imagine. It is a new world, Dad.

My husband may find that he too will be a convert to the modern kitchen – whether he goes into that new state of being willingly or not. That’s a good thing because that old gold-toned stove isn’t looking quite itself lately either. But as I always say – one battle at a time.

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