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The refrigerator light was out for a good month.
It was a wonderful month! Since I couldn’t see a thing, I told myself I didn’t have to clean out the fridge. And the boys couldn’t so easily find those sugary Trix yogurts; they were forced to choose an apple instead.
Here’s why it took a month to get it fixed: our electrician was recovering from a hernia surgery. Seems he’s always recovering from hernia surgeries.
“I can’t fix this,” he grumbled when he finally showed up, after giving me details about the size of his hernia, that of a golf ball, and how he had to pee all the time.
“The socket is shot.”
It was actually melted. He told me I needed to call an appliance repairman.
So I’d waited a month to find out I had to call someone else to fix the light. Someone who charged $75 to walk in the door. The old dryer was the first appliance we’d had to replace. We’d regularly been calling the appliance repairman ever since.
They don’t make appliances like they used to. “They’re not as heavy duty,” he told me, the first time he came to fix the new dryer. And that he told me again, when our new washing machine stopped washing, and he accused me of doing too much laundry.
Since then, we’ve also had the dishwasher and stove replaced. All new appliances, that break more frequently than the old ones.
Except for our refrigerator. The old dog keeps on runnin.’ And it is dated, for sure – not stainless steel. No convenient double doors. No ice maker. No water filter.
“How old is it, you think?” I asked.
He shrugged. “About twelve years…”
I asked what its life expectancy was. In refrigerator years.
He told me a good twenty. “If you were to buy a new one, it would be a lot less. More like ten years.”
Pretty much the life expectancy of every other new appliance in our house.
He extracted the socket, held up the melted mess to me. He was stymied. “Can’t remember the last time I’ve seen this happen.” Then he looked at me with great suspicion. “Did you leave the door open all night?”
I did. It had been over a month ago , I’d forgotten that. But I remembered obsessing over whether all the food had gone bad. I wound up throwing away just about everything, deathly afraid of food poisoning.
He frowned. I was an idiot. “Well, that ‘ll do it.”
So I’d cost us $125.
We had to wait another few days for the order to come in for a new socket.
And then there was light – and mold growing on the bottom of the colanders. Spilt liquids hardened on the shelves. Rotting leftovers of who-knew-whats pushed to the back of the refrigerator. Sour milk cartons.
I was faced, finally, with having to clean out the refrigerator. As I knew I would have to face cleaning out the hall closet – there too, if I didn’t turn on the light, I wouldn’t have to see the jumble of tossed sneakers and winter boots. Call me in denial. But it is that denial that allows me the time for this: blogging. Writing about refrigerators….