25 Cubic Feet & A Matching Handbag
By Allison Adams 08-21-10 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun on 08-23-10
In 1988, I replaced my standard floor mop with a new, top-of-the-line, sponge mop.
It had a built-in contraption that efficiently squeezed all the excess water from the mop head, just by pressing a lever near the top of the mop handle – keeping my hands bone-dry.
It was nothing short of amazing.
I was so excited about my new sponge mop when I brought it home, I made a long-distance phone call to my mother to tell her all about it – in the middle of the day, when the long-distance rates were sky-high.
For nearly two weeks, I mopped my brains out. I would talk about the qualities of my most excellent sponge mop to anyone who would listen.
Then it hit me: A high-end sponge mop had ignited the euphoria I used to experience when I bought a cute, new pair of shoes.
I was emotionally invested in my cleaning supplies.
Eventually my relationship with my household appliances followed suit. It started with my refrigerator.
It was a side-by-side model - very popular. It had a handy ice and water dispenser built-in to the front of the freezer door - very convenient.
Practically speaking – it kept cold things cold, and frozen things frozen.
But with every turn of my small world I became increasingly disenchanted with everything beyond its double-doors.
More often than not the ice dispenser spat out one solitary crescent shaped piece of ice before it jammed, causing the person whose glass has been inadequately iced to finish the task manually.
The water dispenser worked well, but because it didn’t dispense Gatorade or Diet Coke, it was rarely used. At one point it was deemed “completely worthless” by my children when they tried unsuccessfully to use the built-in dispenser to fill water balloons.
Inside the shelves were deeeeep and naaaaarrow. Heaven help us when things inadvertently got pushed to the back of a shelf or drawer. You needed to be on your tippy-toes to see what was on the top shelf and on your hands and knees to explore what lived inside the crispers at the bottom – resulting in a real workout just looking for the mayonnaise, or a mango.
All too often a search and rescue party had to remove every item in the joint in order to extract Monday’s meatloaf, or Friday’s fettuccini. Sometimes what started out as a hunt for humus ended up revealing a perfectly good science project – or two.
And I can’t even discuss what I had to do in order to place a frozen pizza in the skinny freezer.
Eventually my feelings for my refrigerator soured to the point that I loathed its existence.
Ungrateful for what I had, I began making fairly regular trips to various appliance showrooms to interview new refrigerator candidates.
After several weeks of careful shopping I located a well-equipped floor model priced at fair market value.
The freezer lived at the bottom. The refrigerator lived on the top. No finicky ice dispenser. No fancy water balloon filler.
And when I opened the refrigerator door, there at eye-level was wide, open shelving.
I wept at the space.
In an especially cruel move, I snapped a picture of it, and slapped the photograph on the door of my sorry, side-by-side with a refrigerator magnet.
For several more weeks I resorted to visiting the Chosen One at the appliance showroom. I’d open its doors, run my fingers along the edge of the shelves, peek in the little butter compartment, slide out the crisper drawer, and deeply inhale that intoxicating new appliance plastic aroma like it was a breath of fresh, springtime air.
High on poly fluorocarbon, I would eventually have to bid farewell to the floor model and drive home to Refrigerator Reality.
Eventually I was able to purchase the refrigerator of my dreams.
Our rejected side-by-side model was wheeled into the garage to be used for Gatorade, Diet Coke, and science project storage. In its place in the kitchen now stands a model with what I believe is the epitome of useful refrigerated space, and its gateway is as big as a barn door.
New shoes are nice – but for me, this is nirvana. Of course, if I could get a matching handbag …
Yeah, I know. I need a little therapy.