My husband is the kind of man who allows you to feel the full force of his displeasure by steadfastly not saying what he is thinking and instead working his jaw and clearing his throat over and over again. He is doing this as he drives to a friendly dinner at our pastor's house while I sit silent in the passenger seat telling myself pretty much everything he is thinking. He has good reason.
The fridge had already put our marriage in jeopardy once. A gift from a kind couple at church it was meant to replace the teensy apartment sized one I picked up for $30 the day before Independence Day from a guy who had momentarily dropped the price in order to pick up some quick cash so he could show his girlfriend a good time. He even delivered. But it was little.
A friend told me, after a visit, that we could have the extra fridge in their garage. It wasn't pretty, and it wouldn't fit the space exactly, but it was big enough to actually hold all the perishables we go through in a week, even leftovers. I had started cooking specifically to avoid leftovers, buying things only a day in advance because I had no where to keep it cold.
The first time the fridge threatened was a Sunday. Since our friends live quite a ways from us, and the church we all attend is a sort of halfway point, I thought it would be a good idea for Aaron to go get it this particular Sunday, since he had his truck that day. It would save on gas, time, it seemed like a good plan.
Aaron's body is not very consistent, he has a lot of health issues that stem mostly from parasites he picked up traveling overseas. He has good days, and bad days. Had I been paying attention to something other than my desire for cold storage I might have seen that today was not a good day. Actually, I did notice, and halfheartedly, after telling him where to go, I said, "You don't have to go today if you don't want to. We could do it on a day that you're feeling better."
But he said he would go anyway.
Have I mentioned how big and heavy this old fridge is? It's really, really heavy.
Aaron found our friend's house, manhandled the giant fridge into his little pickup, and drove home.
Then he manhandled it out of the truck, up the curb, broke the dolly cart, and lifted the thing, just lifted it, up the 2 stairs to our front door. There is nothing hotter than a man moving furniture for his wife. But, here's where things got bad. I had measured to see if it would fit in the space in our kitchen for a fridge, and it would, if we removed the cabinet doors above and didn't mind that it would stick out at least 5 inches past the counter top blocking a bit of the back door of the kitchen. (Beggars are not choosers.) What I had not measured, what it had not ever occurred to me to measure, was whether the fridge would go through any of the doors in our house, specifically the front door, and the kitchen door.
To make a long story short, Aaron took the front door off it's hinges, and got the fridge into the living room. That's when we realized that the handle made it too wide for the kitchen door, front or back.
You know that moment when your husband announces, "Well, we're going to have a fridge here in the living room until someone comes and takes it away, I'm done!" and then goes to lie down? That's never a good moment.
I took out an ad on craigslist. "Please save my marriage, come take away this big ass fridge."
Then I remembered my friend Megan was looking for a fridge for her garage. So I called her. She brought a truck and two big burly men over the next day to help save my marriage. I had to take the front door off it's hinges myself this time. I watched 2 strong guys take an hour to figure out how to get that fridge up onto the truck.
That should be the end of the story. I resolved to find an affordable proper sized fridge with time and vigilant checking of local bulletin boards. My friend Megan was happy to have a big fridge in her garage. But then I saw the lovely and generous previous owner of the fridge at church again who asked, smiling, how we were enjoying it. Upon hearing the sad saga she wondered if we couldn't have unscrewed the fridge handles. (She also was concerned about the state of my cold storage.)
I wondered if maybe we could just open the fridge doors and then sort of turn it through the doors. This would have to be tried at some later date. Megan was amenable to a fridge swap, kind person that she is. So after several months passed, I decided to try and get this profanity inspiring fridge into my kitchen again.
I thought I had it figured out. First, ask Aaron's little brothers, and friends, to move it since they also are strong and still young enough to enjoy showing off their muscles. Next, we would try bringing it up the back stairs instead of the front, bypassing the oven door handles that stick out into the other doorway.
Well, to begin with, we change the day we're doing it so now the swap is the afternoon before we have to go to dinner. But if we start at 2:30 there should be plenty of time, right? They actually get here with the fridge at 4. It took them that long to get it into the truck and drive a mile. Also, it's hard to carry a fridge up the stairs with the doors open, because there's not enough room once at the top to open them. I hold them open. It still doesn't fit through the door though, in fact, it's wider. I kind of forgot that fridge doors have shelves that stick out. You can't blame me, I've been using a very tiny fridge for almost a year now, with no shelves to speak of at all.
They took it back down the stairs. We removed the handles. They brought it back up the 6 steep stairs. It won't make it with the door in the way. They take it back down.
Here's where it gets worse. We measured, all of us. (Aaron was home from work by now.) The fridge is 30 inches, the door jam 31. The boys take the door off it's hinges. They bring the fridge back up the stairs only to discover a metal panel at the back, jutting out, probably encasing wires. It is just wide enough to keep it from going in the door. "You did measure this all beforehand, right?" Aaron asks, eyebrows raised disgustedly. The guy spends his days measuring, making precision cuts in expensive pieces of wood and solving problems like these. He doesn't like to do it when he comes home and I fail at basic measuring.
Here's where my husband starts muttering to himself, "This is why I didn't want to come home first."
This whole time I am trying to make salad, and get the kids ready, all in time to go to dinner. The baby has mercifully conked out in the highchair where I stuck him with snacks to keep him safe and out from underfoot.
It's almost time to go and we have a back door off it's hinges, a fridge still on the outside of our house, and ice cream melting away.
It's a good thing Aaron did come home. He gets up and pulls the oven doors off. Did you know that you can just pull oven doors off? Neither did I. They get tossed on the couch. Then he unscrews the little panel thingie that also sticks out and tells the boy to bring it in through the front door. Fortunately, without handles it fits through without having to remove the front door too.
They get it into the kitchen. Hooray! I now have a big ugly monstrosity hulking in the corner with 3 crisper drawers!
I throw things into it as fast as I can, run out the door in the same shirt I wore to clean the other fridge earlier, and leave the boys to replace the door and lock up.
Which brings us to the jaw clenching throat clearing man in the driver's seat occasional asking with disbelief, "Who's idea was it to take it in the backdoor? But you did measure it didn't you?"
A few hours later we told our friends the story of how we met. Fortunately for me my measuring and planning skills were not a factor in why Aaron married me. Also fortunate for me, his character, and patience, were a factor in why I married him. Not to mention that he is stupid strong and can lift fridges all by himself, even when he's feeling awful, and pull the doors off of ovens.