Woo! Hoo! I finally got a new refrigerator! It wasn’t easy, and it took 2 years, but it finally sits regally in my kitchen. Although it is larger than the one it replaced my kitchen looks and feels larger. I guess it’s the light bouncing off the stainless instead of being sucked in by the old black one.
Like shopping for a car, I look around until I know what I want… THEN I begin searching for the best deal. I have been dilly-dallying looking at refrigerators for the past few months, checking out all the different features. Did I want an icemaker and water dispenser… and if so, did I want it on the door too? Should the icemaker unit be on the inside of the door, on the top shelf in the refrigerator or in the freezer? These are all questions I never in a million years thought I would have to worry myself with.
Of course my daughter and I fell in love with the Cadillac of refrigerators. It had every bell and whistle… and a price tag to match. Once my eyes stopped spinning in my head I grabbed her arm and we left the store.
I just wanted a refrigerator that keeps my ice cream frozen and vegetables fresh. On advice from a friend I realized the more bells and whistles you have, the more things can go wrong. True… plus I’m a simple girl. So… uncomplicated is the buy word.
On my way home from work Monday I decided to stop in Home Depot and begin my search in earnest. It was time to research cubic inches, height, depth, annual cost to run, and so much more.
I did a ‘once around’ the appliance section, looking for the simplest refrigerator with a freezer on the bottom that I could find. I kind of wished I had someone with me to play ‘devil’s advocate’. I was reminded of the time I purchased my microwave. A friend came along and convinced me… rightfully so… to not be so cheap with myself and purchase the microwave a step up from the one I settled on. That day I learned I shouldn’t ‘settle’ if I could afford it… today I remembered that lesson and changed my way of thinking.
Turning the corner at the first aisle I looked for the refrigerator my daughter fell in love with a few weeks ago. Not only was it there… but ON SALE! AND…. On CLEARANCE!!!!! Once all the discounts were applied it was HALF PRICE!!! My name was written all over it… S-O-L-D! I had been in this store for a total of 10 minutes and here I am ready to buy an expensive refrigerator.
I wasn’t planning to purchase a refrigerator today, so monetarily I wasn’t prepared. My debit card only allows up to $950 a day, so when making large purchases I need to call ahead and let the bank in on my plans. Normally that’s not a problem… however today I couldn’t get them on the phone. I stood at the register for 20 minutes listening to repeated recordings over and over again. UGH!
“Ya know… it would be faster for me to drive to the bank and get the cash. I’ll be right back”, I said to the startled sales clerk. And with that I left. I drove the mile and a half to my bank, withdrew the cash, admonished the manager, and was back in my car within 15 minutes.
Whoa… wait a minute. I never asked the cubic feet, I have no idea if this thing will even fit in my house. In addition, delivery is not included, nor is set up and haul away because it is a clearance item. Oh well… my gut tells me this is the right one so I ignore my instant of panic and drive on.
“Okay, I’m back”. I tracked down another sales clerk and started all over again. This time when the register asked for payment I began to pull the money out of my purse. John… according to his nametag looked at me dumbfounded.
“We can’t accept cash”.
“What? You are kidding me, right”?
“Nope. I have to escort you to the Pro Service Desk up front. Store policy is to not accept cash here on the floor. Management is afraid we will stick it in our pocket instead of the cash drawer.”
So… to the Pro Service Desk we go. I pay… then we arrange the delivery…. For an additional fee. It can be delivered next day! Whoopie!
Again it is explained to me that it is ‘curbside’ delivery. Continuing, I’m told that I will be called a half an hour before they plan to arrive, it will be a box truck. I was then told there was a possibility I might be able to persuade the drivers to pull it in my kitchen if they have the time and it’s not too difficult… wink, wink.
The next morning I get up early. My plan is to clean up the kitchen a bit, slip a few bucks in my pocket for a tip and when they call to say they are a half an hour out I will move the cars to the street to make it easier for the guys to drop it off near my back door. Besides… I’m afraid if it is left on the curb someone will come by and steal it when I’m not looking. Seriously!
Of course it didn’t happen like that. Things never are that simple. I inadvertently gave Home Depot the wrong phone number, so I didn’t know they were coming until they got here. It wasn’t a box truck either… it was a HUGE tractor trailer which blocked my street and ticked off a few neighbors who couldn’t get around it… with a gigantic fork lift with tractor tires! The nice driver offered to drop it at the back door for me if I moved the cars. His lift was wider than my driveway, but that didn’t stop him from driving up the curb and on my next-door neighbor’s gravel walk way… until the beginning of the fence made him stop.
So far so good… My old refrigerator is scheduled to be picked up by NJ Clean Water in a few days. The new one in the backyard is waiting for my neighbor to get home and help my son move it inside. I have a hurt pinky finger… no, really… so I’m not a lot of help.
I popped a tendon or something in my left pinky and it’s killing me. Our dog knows it to and is constantly trying to lick it and make it better. Dogs amaze me!
This has all happened so fast that I haven’t even had a chance to ask my neighbor if he would be home and willing to help. I was just taking a chance. After waiting all day my son decides our neighbor isn’t coming home until late and pops up out of the chair and says, “OK, let’s get this refrigerator in the house”. The sun has set and it’s dark outside… and NOW he wants to move it in??
I begin to empty the old refrigerator as he goes outside to unwrap the new one. Due to Hurricane Sandy there is not a lot of food to move. It all had to replaced having had no power for so long. I place the frozen food in the sink and everything else on the counter. This shouldn’t take long I surmise. Ha!
I obviously am not educated in moving heavy objects. I measured the door opening and the refrigerator… oops… off by an inch, and that’s not including the handles. Uh-oh. The first thing we learned was how to remove the back door. Next, grabbing a flashlight, the manual, and screwdriver my son goes to work removing the handles. This is all way outside my comfort zone. Uh… it requires a tool I don’t own… a 3/32 Allen Wrench. Damn! My tool selection is lacking. I have the basics… A hammer, wrench, pliers, and multi head screwdriver… that’s it. My neighborhood is a ghost town with no one home to borrow from.
Oh well… it can’t be done without this tool, so I jump in the car headed to Home Depot to purchase a set. “Wait… Sears is closer, they sell Craftsman Tools”, I think to myself. I pull into their lot, run in the store and frantically search for the tool department. Apparently not all Sear’s stores carry tools… ours being one of them. Who knew? HOWEVER… I notice the Lands End turtlenecks I love so much are on sale for $10 each!!! I stop and pick up a few. SCORE!
Back in the car I head out of the lot when again I think, “Wait, Target is right here. They have a tool department”. I swing the car into their lot. Knowing I have chicken thawing in my sink at home and my back door is off the hinges allowing cold air to stream in the house, I half run to the back corner of the store to the tool section, crossing my fingers they have what I need. The only Allen wrench set comes in a whole case with all kinds of other tools. Crap! I don’t need all the rest of the tools, just the wrenches. I glance up at the price… oh hey… the entire set is on sale for $9. SOLD! While I’m at it I noticed a fun little tool my future son-in-law would love for Christmas, so I grabbed that too. Another SCORE!
I race home! My son is waiting. It is cold, dark, and getting late. I took a chance and ran to my neighbor’s hoping he has come home and can help. Nope… still not home.
Success! The handles come off and we are ready to haul this puppy inside. It didn’t go smoothly, but between the two of us (mostly him) the refrigerator finally made it into the kitchen where it belonged. I quickly began putting the food in and noticed the compressor never kicked in. “Oh, please don’t tell me it doesn’t work!” My mind goes into overdrive trying to figure out what to do with the food. I guess I can put it back in the old one, which is now out in the back yard, and run an extension cord out the window. Damn!
When all else fails, read the manual. This refrigerator runs by computer electronics. According to the manual if you press two buttons at the same time, hold for 3 seconds, stand on your head and spit wooden nickels you should be able to program the temperature settings and get the thing humming. It took ten minutes to realize the door had to be open for all of this to work. THAT tidbit of information was NOT in the manual.
All’s well that ends well. Thank heaven’s my son was here or that behemoth of a steel box would still be sitting in my back yard. Now… what type of orange juice should I buy? Some pulp, no pulp, Home style, Grovestand, Calcium fortified or Vitamin D? There are just as many decisions to purchasing orange juice as there are purchasing the refrigerator it goes in.