All the places I have lived in so far have had a fridge in them, so I haven’t really given much thought about having to actually buy one, until now. It’s not that the one I have is running badly or is in bad shape. It’s just that it was here when we moved in 3 years ago, and it has the worst design and functionality. OK, some of you may be saying, “It’s a fridge! It keeps things cold what else do you need?” Well let me explain my dilemma. First of all, we are a family of six. Every week when I go shopping I buy 4 gallons of milk, 3 gallons of Hawaiian Punch and two half gallons of Lactose Free Milk. So when I come home from shopping, I have 8 gallons to contend with. OK, I only need to refrigerate two Hawaiian Punch gallons at a time (two different flavors). But I also have to keep in mind that I already have a 2½ gallon jug for water and another gallon of green tea that I make myself and keep filled. So we are talking about 10 gallons of beverages!! Yes, I know, my family has a drinking problem. What can I say, my husband has to have a cold one after a long day at work. I personally don’t like the taste of Berry Blue Typhoon Hawaiian Punch, but it hits the spot for him. I myself am a green tea kinda gal. I pour myself a tall glass before dinner and I am set. Sadly, the problem has even started with the kids. I would need to keep chocolate milk on tap just to keep up. Anniehow…back to the real problem. So being that the drinks are the biggest problem, I had to configure the shelves of the fridge to accommodate all these containers on the bottom shelf. It doesn’t leave much room for anything else. The shelves of the fridge are glass and they have brackets on the back that hook into the back of the fridge. This is the design flaw. You cannot keep much weight on them. So my top shelves are as close to the top of the fridge as possible. I can only store margarine and cartons of eggs up there, maybe some sour cream. But if I have more than two dozen eggs up there, the shelf falls off its bracket, at which time I go into my ranting of, “This stupid, stupid fridge!!” At that point one or both of my little guys remind me that we don’t say stupid. This fridge does have a handy snack drawer. This is where I stash my chocolate. But it is a clear plastic drawer and right at eye level to my little guy. So he knows exactly what I have in it, and knows exactly what he wants. OK, so I have learned to live with the shelving problem. Now to address the door. This has some nifty compartments as well. The ever-popular butter dish, which I keep margarine sticks in, no problem. But the compartments are actually plastic trays. They “hook-on” to the little tabs that are on the actual door. They are large enough to hold a gallon of milk, but no where near sturdy enough. They do hold condiments, but not many. A couple of jars of relish and olives or some containers of BBQ sauce and that’s about it. You add some ketchup or mayo, and the tray cracks and falls out as you close the door. I have come to the conclusion that the fridge designers design them to look sleek, and hold a bottle of wine, take-out leftovers and some tofu like you see in the movies. They are not designed for a growing family. I thought to myself, well maybe it’s just this model. The quest begins!!
The other day, we all went to Best Buy, just to look around. My husband and the older kids were looking at the flat screen TVs. So my little guy, not wanting to stand around, starts pulling on my hand. So I look around and spot the appliance section. So I say, “OK, let’s go over here.” Not exactly what he had in mind, but once I started opening the refrigerator doors, he thought it was a pretty cool game. After awhile my daughter joined us, thinking her dad and brothers heard her say she was going over by me. Well, the three of us got all caught up looking at these shiny new refrigerators. I’m not too crazy about the stainless steel ones. But these things had all kinds of buttons and temperature controls on them, I wouldn’t even know how to operate them. I do like the water and ice dispensers on the front. But then you have to deal with the double door issue. You can get the double doors with the freezer on one side, but I had one of those before and the freezer is just too narrow. You have to put the frozen pizzas on their sides and then when you open the package all the pepperoni is at the bottom. I think I would rather have to deal with that than a double door fridge with the freezer as a drawer at the bottom. There doesn’t seem to be enough room in a freezer drawer. So we looked at all the different models. My little guy was having so much fun as my daughter and I discussed the different features. At one point he opened a fridge and it had a crisper drawer in it like ours at home, he opens the drawer and says, “Mom, look! You put the food in here, take it out, and make it for dinner!” (They really do watch our every move). With all the fun we had and all the choices out there, I was disappointed that I did not find my perfect fridge. Some were actually built worst than the one I have. Many of them had the plastic trays hooked onto the door, and the plastic was actually thinner. I did find one that looked pretty sturdy, it had shelves built into the door and wire racks as shelves on the inside that looked connected well, and it was only $500. But it didn’t have the ice and water dispenser on the front. It was then that I realized that this was going to take more research. So we were heading out of the department when my daughter spotted one more. We stood in front of it, as we opened the doors we were hit by a cool breeze and a bright light. Did I actually hear angels singing? Was this the one? Was it a sign? No…this one was just plugged in and running. Needless to say we were unable to actually look at all the features on this one, my daughter was being paged. While we were caught up in stainless steel, water dispensers and temperature controls, my husband and two sons were frantically looking for my daughter. They didn’t hear her when she told them she was going by me. Once “our party” was all back together and safe, we left. My daughter was reminded that she needed to tell someone where she was going. They actually left the store to check the van to see if we were out there. That’s when they came back in to page her. Usually I’m the one in the store with the kids looking for my husband as he wanders off, but he is a grown man. It’s quite frightening when you don’t know where your kid has gone off to, even for a split second. Thank God we were all accounted for.
So the quest continues. I’m going to do a little research online, and see if I can find out what all those buttons actually do. Find the lowest price and then check it out at the store. It’s a good thing I’m in no hurry, this might take some time. But I know one thing for sure. The next time we split up in a store, we will all know where everyone is going.