On Friday night, I thought the contents of the fridge seemed a tad…warm. On Saturday morning – yeah. No cold coming out of the fridge, and no heat coming from the back of it. Bugger. And oh, HELP. Because there is nothing – nothing – on God’s green earth that kicks a giftie’s brain into stupid roaring overdrive, than a problem that needs solving.
And if that problem comes gift-wrapped in the need for urgent solving, because, say, you’ve got a couple hundred dollars’ worth of groceries in there and it’s 28 degrees out here – ahhh. Lookit those purty headlights. Gee, they’re coming fast. So. Purty… Head lights… Fast… Coming… Purty…
When I tell the Skeptic, who is blessed with a normal brain, he asks, “So, we’re buying a new fridge?”
I don’t know. How should I know? I’m in the grip of a massive, irrational, existential over-think. Welcome to Analysis Paralysis!
Maybe I’m imagining it. I turn up the dial. When I check again, the fridge seems a little colder. Maybe? Maybe not.
I NEED DATA. I put the thermometer in the fridge and issue an embargo on cold things. An hour later, I realise I didn’t get a baseline, so I check. Fuck. It’s 21 degrees in there. And an hour later, no, it isn’t going down. Maybe we do need a new fridge.
This fridge has already been limping for about a year. When the drinks tray broke off, Electrolux wanted nearly half what we originally paid, to replace the whole top door. And they’d only supply it with a matching bottom door (“because otherwise the finishes mightn’t match”), which is a) idiotic (because children, FFS, the finishes haven’t matched since five minutes after we bought it, when sticky handprints spontaneously covered the entire lower half), b) outrageously wasteful (I don’t NEED both doors) and c) ethically reprehensible, because making me pay for something I don’t want, and adding unnecessarily to landfill. Or am I supposed to keep the extra door lying around, just in case it comes in handy when hell freezes over?
My heart rate’s quickening, and that’s just recalling an old problem that we already resolved by, uh, yeah. Failing to make a decision. Drinks live on the fridge floor, in front of the crispers, and my god that’s tedious –
But a new fridge! That could cost up to two grand. I wasn’t planning to spend two grand this week. And it’s only eight years old.
Maybe it’s the seal. I check. It’s not the seal.
So maybe we should get a new fridge.
Oh, no, OH, NO. That means —
Because gods forbid, I should (whisper it) get the WRONG FRIDGE, and blight our lives through catastrophically-ill-informed decision-making for the next eight years!
Yoga breathing, I get online, searching for the excellent website that helped me buy this fridge. Gee, it was useful. So, naturally, it’s gone. I try Canstar, Choice (curse you and your locked reports, Choice, I NEED INFORMATION), and AppliancesOnline. All I want is the most efficient fridge that will fit in the stupid fridge niche.
What’s this? Canstar give its most efficient fridge 5.5 stars, while AppliancesOnline gives the same fridge 4.5 – and neither says which energy-efficiency rating system they’re using. Fuckers. I’ve a mind to write to them and – no, concentrate. We’re buying a fridge, here, not fixing websites.
Oh. Here’s one. Height and width are perfect, 4.5 stars energy efficiency, wow. But … how is it 75l bigger than our current fridge? Oh yeah, D. (You know, V=HxWxD?) D means it will stick out of the niche by … with some comedy ‘help’ from the kids, I pull the old fridge forwards … yeah, no. We can’t have a fridge sticking out that far.
Huh… Choice says that fridge care involves cleaning the coils annually. Did you know that? I didn’t know that. (And now I’ve discovered something I’ve not been Doing Right, and ohmigod this is NOT the time to hyperventilate over that.) Maybe cleaning will fix it. That’d save a LOT of grief. So…
Nope. Even with my comedy helpers, we can’t get the fridge all the way out of its stupid niche – and now I smell like a cart-horse. Noice.
Maybe we should just call a fridge-repair dude. Although, COVID-19. Maybe he could trouble-shoot over the phone. Probably not. It’s a Saturday.
Maybe I should wait til the Skeptic comes home – he’s working 7-day weeks (gee it’s hard to ignore COVID-19) – and see if we can move and clean it together.
Although, the fridge IS eight years old. And if cleaning it doesn’t work, I’ll have lost 24hrs getting a new one. Plus, the tray thing.
Maybe we should just buy a new one.
Three. There are three choices, when I put in all the dimensions. And we will lose over 100l of storage space on all of them. I can’t lose 100l. It’s a stupid hot climate and my kids eat like bears, I need my 100l! (First-world tantrum, much? Yes. I know. Shh.)
Maybe we could rip out the built-in over-fridge cupboard and have a taller fridge, would that give me my 100l back? I’ve been thinking about that project for years. Maybe this is the time.
Although, how would we remove the cupboard’s bottom, anyway? The Skeptic is not blessed with handyman skills and I can’t call a handyman, because COVID-19.
Hello? Hello, Rebecca? IT’S 21 DEGREES IN THE FRIDGE, YOU CAN ACTUALLY HEAR THE BACTERIA REPRODUCING. JUST BUY A NEW FUCKING FRIDGE THAT FITS IN THE FUCKING NICHE ALREADY, OKAY.
Right. It’s what people do. It’s okay to buy a new fridge when I need one.
Do I need one, though? Millions of people in Africa –
A table! A table will give me some clarity. I will make a table comparing the three fridges that suit, then choose the right one that way.
Now, imagine that between getting on with my usual job of feeding the bears and keeping them occupied, visiting Mum and this circus in my head, an entire day and night have passed, only I didn’t sleep because
- parts of my brain were still doing that dance, plus
- is a German fridge shipped to Australia really sustainable? Possibly yes, since six years ago the washing-machine technician said he was constantly repairing stuff made here, and never repairing stuff made overseas – I wonder if there’s a website that can clarify? Also,
- what happens to the old fridge. Landfill? Or is this my chance to set up a free library? Would the Skeptic be happy with me putting a fridge full of books in the front yard? Possibly not. and
- the freezer’s still working. Why is the freezer working when the fridge is not? Maybe I should call a repair dude, after all.
- I wonder if our insurance covers the loss of food when the fridge dies; I could call them and ask, although
- I still haven’t answered the bloody question and might as well admit,
- a teensy idiotic part of my brain is hoping someone else, perhaps the Great Refrigerator Fairy, will have solved it by the time I get up.
Now imagine it’s lunchtime, Sunday, and I’ve made no further progress, not even compiling that table, because I was writing this and my head would’ve literally exploded if I didn’t let some of the words out, and now I’m hungry.
It looks like over-thinking, right? I guess it kinda is. I don’t like that term, though, because that sounds like something I do, when this is just what it’s like in here. All the thoughts. All at once. All the time. (To be completely honest, even this doesn’t fully represent the zinging four-dimensional web that is this issue, packed in alongside similar webs for all the other issues, simultaneously zinging.) I don’t “do” anything, except try to squash it down so that I can do things. It’s just wiring. (Webs… wiring… nice, unplanned metaphor, there.)
When I was younger, trying to move through the webs gave me terrible anxiety; now I’ve learned pretty well how to breathe through it. Those skills wobble when anxiety rears its head, so I’ve learned – no, wait. Not going down that rabbit-hole, either.
Now if you will excuse me, I have to buy a fridge.