Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Challengers, refrigerators, men and romance

I have a fascination with the headline news. Go ahead and call me a sucker, but things like, “NC sheriff’s deputy uses Corvette to stop speeders” grabs my attention. Personally, I’d use a Corvette to catch good-looking guys, but to each their own. But, today’s blog isn’t about Corvettes. Or the new Camaro. Or Challenger. It’s about refrigerators.

Say what? What does any of that have to do with romance? More than you think.

Labor Day weekend, 2001, just nine days before the world changed forever, we bought a new refrigerator. It was one of those side-by-side jobs with the ice dispenser in the door. Very nice. Very expensive, too, but neither of us had ever had a new refrigerator before. We come from modest backgrounds, and used hand-me-down appliances that still worked weren’t anything a can of spray appliance paint couldn’t spruce-up.

Well, our love affair with the big, black box in the kitchen went south in a hurry. My beloved and I came home one day to the thing spitting ice cubes out onto the ceramic tile floor. Not good. Even worse, three of the tiles had gotten so cold they cracked. The replacements aren’t a perfect match, either. We had the box repaired and moved on.

Before long, the freezer wasn’t freezing. We discovered the problem was in the electronics. If we unplugged it, and let it “thaw” out, we could plug it back in and it would be fine. At a couple hundred dollars a house call, the repairman doing what we could do ourselves was out of the question. I declared we’d have to live with it until the mortgage was paid off. My beloved agreed. We’d muddle through for a couple more years.

And so we did until last month, and the big, black box did it again. It was the sixth time in as many years, and my patience snapped. We went shopping and picked up one of those units with the freezer on the bottom.

Um, the romance part of this? I’m getting to it.

New refrigerators are ridiculously overpriced. I mean, really totally over the top. We almost decided to continue to endure the old one. I’m the one that carted frozen stuff up and down the basement stairs, and moved food from the ‘fridge to the cooler and then back. All he did was unplug the thing from the wall. If he could continue, so could I.

But then my honey, this balding, bad-boy ex-lead guitarist and two-time cancer survivor said he’d pay for the new refrigerator.

You might say, “and well he should,” but I disagree. For years, this man has been squirreling away his pennies for one last hot car in which to relive a small part of his youth while he can still have fun doing it. So instead of putting his money down on a new Challenger with a V8 Hemi, he plunked it down on domesticity.

Pretty darned romantic, if you ask me.


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