|In the artist's recreation, I seem to be staring at Nancy's knees.|
I am actually looking at the refrigerator.
This was not nearly as much fun as it sounds.
We discovered the old one had given up the ghost Sunday night when all our ice cream had turned to soup.
Nancy sent me an email Tuesday at work. The repairman's diagnosis was the compressor was shot and could not be repaired.
There is no point complaining because things inevitably wear out, break down, and must be replaced, but here's a blog doing exactly that. It was a migraine-inducing hassle combing through the welter of models and styles on Consumer Reports: what made it more confusing was none of our sources agreed with each other: the models our repairman panned were the models Consumer Reports touted, and the models Consumer Reports liked were panned in customer reviews. What's a prudent shopper to do?
So we went to Lowes and with the help of an avuncular white-haired salesman, who reminded me a little of the grandfather on The Real McCoys, we selected a model which will be delivered sometime this evening.
Now here's the thing.
As lousy as the whole experience was, it wasn't really that lousy. Afterwards, I felt good. Please Lord, forgive me for sentimentality, but this is the straight truth - I was so grateful Nancy and I were doing it together. You should've seen us on the sales-floor: earnestly comparing features and prices - the design of the ice-maker, the depth of the drawers. What I was really saying when I pointed out the superior control panel on the GE Model was, "I love you, Nancy, and I want the refrigerator we share to be the best one we can get." When Nancy showed how well the racks were built on the Maytag, she was telling me, "You are important in my life, and so this refrigerator is important, too."
Even our grandfatherly salesman got into the act, when he offered us a free five-year maintenance plan, he was saying, "You are such a sweet couple, I want to help you any way I can."
Okay, that last part was just the salesman doing his job, but it felt like affection.
This may sound stupid and over-the-top, but I swear to you it is true. As Nancy and I went to the check-out, she reached back to hold my hand. Oh, my darling, my own.
I know, I know, you think this is corny bullshit, but it is true nevertheless. Let the wise among you understand; the dullest, most mundane, unpleasantest domestic chores can be made to glow with an inner light if there is a loved one to share them. Quit snickering back there, I'm serious. Think about it. What purchase could be more intimate, more personal than buying a refrigerator? Unless maybe it was buying a new mattress.
By the way, pretty soon we'll need to buy a new mattress.