Monday, May 20, 2013

My Thirty-Four Year Old Fridgidaire...Farewell, Friend

I'm a little fond of our fridge--a Gemco purchase for our first home way back in 1979.  It's lived through two kitchen remodels.  It survived babies and toddlers and teen-aged boys with hollow legs, and two adults with an empty nest. It's outlived our washer (same vintage) and our dishwasher (a whippersnapper by comparison) and two station wagons.

Yep, it's been running flawlessly for a long, long time.  Although it now does tend to freeze stuff stuck too far back in the summer.  It might have a barely noticeable dent or two.  The door seal is a bit torn in one area. And a green glo-stick leaked and stained the freezer fluorescent yellow when the kids were small.  And, okay, the meat drawer is a distant memory.  But...basically it's still chugging along.

That's actually the problem.  It's now running 24/7 in an effort to keep the freezer compartment cold, and failing.  Our frozen fruit for smoothies is slightly squishy rather than frozen solid.  Giant sigh.  The day I've been dreading finally arrived.  We need a new refrigerator and I knew I wouldn't find anything I liked as well as our old one.  I was right.  Sometimes I hate being right.

We spent the weekend refrigerator shopping.  Which, let me tell you, is a whole different category than mere appliance shopping, for say, a microwave or range or dishwasher.  Those were relatively easy.  I'd rather spend a day in a room with garter snakes than go refrigerator shopping.  Garter snakes just make me scream and levitate three feet laterally.  Modern refrigerators make me moan, groan, gripe, wail, curse and drive my husband crazy.  Snakes do one thing and do it well.  Refrigerators do over a dozen things but none of them in a combination that suits me.  I'm picky simply practical and unimpressed by bells and whistles.

My Frigidaire is easy to clean.  It's large enough to hold plenty of food and still small enough that it doesn't dominate our kitchen but plays nicely.  I can store my extensive collection of wood cutting boards, my family-sized serving bowls, two recipe boxes and all my metal measuring cups on top and still reach them easily (I'm only five foot two).  Our galley kitchen is small and I use every inch of storage including the refrigerator top.

New fridges are so deep that they either stick out into the room or come at a premium price. They are mostly stainless steel and I'm sooo not a gray person.  New fridges have water dispensers and ice-makers and I need neither.  New. Fridges. Do. Not. Have. Egg. Storage.  Someone apparently circulated a memo regarding eggs being jostled as the door opens and closes.  Seriously, people?  Your store-bought eggs are already probably at least a month old, what possible harm could come from storing them in a nice egg bin in the door?  My eggs seemed to weather frequent door openings and shuttings for thirty-four years with no adverse effects.  I'm just sayin'.
Worst of all...the new refrigerators are textured.  Have appliance designers ever cleaned a refrigerator?  Do they all have maids? Do they enjoy scrubbing grease off a textured surface?  Sheesh.  The smooth top of my fridge still needs more than a bit of elbow grease to sparkle. It takes me thirty minutes to remove the stuff on top, climb up on a stool with a warm soapy washrag, scrub it my smooth surface, climb down again, rinse my cleaning cloth, climb up again, scrub, dry it all off and replace my goodies.  I can only imagine how long it would take to scrub the greasy residue off those textured surfaces!

(I know...what a tragic First World problem--choosing a new refrigerator.  I should be ashamed. I am ashamed.  Just a tad.)

Shopping day one involved a patient husband researching refrigerators and dragging a kicking and screaming wife into Home Depot.  Shopping day two involved a patient husband listening to my moaning and rants in Lowe's, Best Buy, Sears and a different Home Depot and ignoring some tears.  Shopping day three involved a patient husband taking me back to several stores to take a second look as I began to accept the fact that I was never going to find the perfect fridge and would have to compromise.  Late shopping day three involved a husband who'd pretty much had it up to here.  I suspect he then slyly played the I-think-this-stainless-steel-model-would-be-our-best-choice card which steered (or panicked) me into immidiately choosing a model available in a less obnoxious appliance color--white.


Our choice has been made--astonishingly, amazingly unlikely as it would have seemed when we started.  I'm not going to like it as much as our old one.  It probably won't last as long as our old one. I'm sure enough of that we bought an extended warranty and we NEVER buy the extra warranty.  But I can live with it.  And I'm busily figuring out how to reconfigure all the junk (see photo 1 above) that's currently living in, on and around Frigidaireland--a task I'm realizing was long overdue.


Throughout most of the process I wondered if I was being unreasonable.  I found out I wasn't the only picky customer out there.  One lady wanted an almond microwave with no negative reviews.  One gentleman wanted a shiny stainless steel front, not brushed.  I guess we all have an idea of what we want and sometimes it doesn't exist, at least in the here and now.

I have to say that every salesperson we encountered was patient, helpful without being pushy, informative and just plain nice.  Even with picky customers like moi.  They're probably the only reason we survived and are still talking.

There are over seven hundred fifty refrigerator models available at one of the big box stores but not one shallow, short, smooth, white one with adjustable shelves.  So, our deep, tall, smooth (sort of), white LG arrives Friday.   I'm good with what we're getting, but if I were to design refrigerators some would be smooth on all surfaces including the top and sides.  Some might be deep and wide for large families but would be available as a traditional, shallow counter-depth model too.  I'd design some wide and some narrower, some tall and some petite.  I'd offer them in every color and finish.  (Okay, not every color although it would be fun to have turquoise or cherry red or sunshine yellow or apple green to choose from.) All my fridges would have infinitely adjustable shelves.  I might even design some without honkin' big pulls. And, oh yes, they'd all have thirty-four year warranties.

I'm available for hire should any appliance makers want some real world input!

Bring joy,


  1. How cute you are! I'm glad you were able to find a suitable replacement:) I think that is the same fridge we have in our cabin- in black and not smooth though. I like the french doors and the bottom freezer is a must for me!

  2. We had our fridge go out on us a few years ago and there are a lot of fridges to choose from. It's overwhelming! Glad you found one that you liked!

  3. Congratulations on finding one you like, I am guessing with you that it won't last as long as the old one either! I, like you, am definitely not a grey love, to trendy it will be out of date as quick as avocado!