Magnificence in the Mundane View All Posts

About Magnificence in the Mundane

Bringing humor to the many challenges of parenting, driving a gigantic SUV full of smelly boys and their friends, letting go of the idea of perfection and tackling middle age all serve as my inspiration. We all have common experiences, I just share my take on the absurdity of every... Read more

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Daily Grind of August: Ice, Ice Baby (Credit Vanilla Ice)

This is the kind of text you get when the refrigerator is broken. Although, the smell of feet has never fazed my kids until it got in the way of a good snack.


With three teen boys, a non-functioning fridge is a disaster on par with the Great Crash of ’29.  You might recoup your losses someday but the immediate damage is too immense to calculate.

The fridge conked out gradually like a slow leak in a tire. First, the ice was a little wet and slippery and frozen stuff slightly thawed. However, as with most things, I blamed the kids and moved on.  Then, the butter had sheen and the bacon was an odd color.  And before you know it, cheese smells like feet.

As bummed as I was at the inconvenience, this was the original builder-grade fridge we got in 2000 when we moved in. Even then, it was a big, white dinosaur. No ice and water dispenser on the door or fancy features.

When my kids reminisce about the old days, they will marvel that they survived filling a water bottle from the tap with ice they scooped from the freezer. #pioneerfamilyinthesuburbs

My husband and I began the task of moving what was salvageable to the downstairs spare refrigerator which was pretty full to begin with.  Purging the farthest recesses of the tepid ice box, I saw food that may have been in there since 2000 as well.  As half my body stretched across the wire shelving that seemed to go on forever, the decision to go with a side by side was solidified much like the mold on the cheese.

While visions of stainless steel danced in my head, I began the search. I polled my friends and discovered almost every one on my street has the same ginormous fridge.  I found the model and could not stop clicking on the thumbnail pictures. It was hot, shiny appliance porn.

After some comparison shopping, I found the lowest price and was giddy to pull the trigger. Then the following text came in:


My other friends chimed in the group text agreeing that the size inconvenience was outweighed by the magnificence of the refrigerator. I sighed and began clicking all the little red x’s on the model description until the pictures were just a memory of the fridge that got away.

Why you ask?

Because I have lived with my husband long enough to know that installing an appliance that exceeded the space allotted it, would eat away at his linear soul a little every day. Even the sleek bottom freezer drawer wasn’t worth that.

So, the search began anew. Armed with measurements, I scanned websites and price matched. In hindsight, I guess the measurements would have been handy initially, but lack of refrigeration can scramble your brain and I was obviously afflicted.

Meanwhile, I opened the refrigerator door at least 100 times every day cursing the warm, empty shelves before trudging downstairs.  Oh and did I mention that it was 100 degrees the entire week and we had no ice? You see, our extra fridge is like the first one ever manufactured with no interior ice maker or working light. Women in petticoats had more advanced refrigeration than I currently had.

The measurements narrowed down my choices significantly.  Once I bid farewell to my first love, everything else paled in comparison. It was a vanilla world—literally—because my stainless steel dreams were dashed as well.

My husband kept babbling on about renovating the kitchen and future upgrades but I am pretty sure it was the same bait and switch I use on the kids daily. The shiny ball syndrome but in this case it was the shiny fridge syndrome. He dangled that future home improvement like the carrot it was until I bought another regular old white fridge without complaint.

I would have to be satisfied with the small victory of a side-by-side model with an outside dispenser. Not exactly state-of-the-art but not worthy of display with the artifacts in the Smithsonian either.  Good thing they deliver within 48hrs because this is the kind of text you get all day long with three teen boys.



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Maureen Stiles

About Maureen Stiles

Maureen is the author of the blog Magnificence in the Mundane. You can read her monthly column at The Town Courier.


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