In Our Own Backyard...You don't know what you've got until it's (almost) gone

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I bought a new refrigerator. I don't know how excited men get about such things, but for me it was a little like plane tickets to Paris (well, almost...).

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I bought a new refrigerator. I don’t know how excited men get about such things, but for me it was a little like plane tickets to Paris (well, almost…).  

I had bravely labored along making do with our aging appliance, trying to ignore the fact that the handle on the freezer side had snapped completely off, the ice maker sounded like burglars breaking into the house and the cracked drawer glide on the produce bin occasionally caused it to fall completely out if pulled too far.  

With company coming for most of the month of July, we mutually decided that the time had come for a new refrigerator. I wanted one of the fancy ones with the freezer on the bottom, LED lighting on the inside and an ice maker in the door. And when we went to the store, we picked one out just like that and set up a delivery date.

The day of the appointed delivery, I happened to have a haircut appointment so I wasn’t home - but my husband was. I’d hauled out every size cooler I could find, because we had to take all of the food out of the old one while the new one was being installed. The delivery driver called when he was about 20 minutes away from our house and my husband sprang into action as he was talking to a business client on the phone, tossing food into the coolers so the old refrigerator would be empty by the time the truck arrived.

He made it in just the nick of time. But when the delivery men unloaded the refrigerator in our driveway and then came inside to scope out the kitchen and take a few final measurements, they informed him that the deluxe new refrigerator we’d ordered was an eighth of an inch too wide for the opening in our refrigerator space! They assured him the company would take it back. Then they loaded it up and drove off down the driveway while my husband transferred all of the food back into our old refrigerator.


Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed when I came home to an old refrigerator and a cranky husband….

The second time around we shopped online ahead of time, checking every single measurement right down to an eighth of an inch and discovered that the glitzy refrigerator of my dreams simply wouldn’t fit our space without blasting out some of the built-in cabinets. And so, I pared down my expectations a bit and decided that anything new would still be huge improvement over the old one.

We went to the store, found the one we’d picked out online and ordered it. This time we set the delivery date for a day that I’d be home to help out, and we anxiously awaited the date.

The morning of the delivery, I lined up the coolers in the kitchen and began to transfer the food out of the old refrigerator. Much to my horror, I discovered all sorts of things way in the back that I didn’t even know I had - three half-empty bottles of ketchup, four partially used containers of parmesan cheese, part of a package of bacon that had gone moldy and a jar of pickled beets whose lid had not been sealed shut, leaving the beets more petrified than pickled. I found the jar of green olives that I’d searched for in vain just the week before, as well as a bottle of wine with nothing in it.

By that time, I realized that I’d been neglecting the despised old refrigerator and decided getting the new refrigerator was reaping benefits I’d never expected!

The delivery men showed up at the appointed time and I eagerly went out to meet them.

“I’m afraid I have what might be some bad news for you,” the guy said as he climbed out of the truck. “I was looking for your refrigerator back at the store this morning and when I couldn’t find it I realized someone had misread the tag, taken it out of the carton and put it on the sales floor.”

My heart dropped, thinking he was going to tell me they sold it to someone else. Much to my relief he said he’d gone over it with a fine tooth comb checking for scratches and dents and failed to find any. He said we could take a look at it and refuse to take it if we wanted to, but if we wanted to keep it he would give us a 10 percent discount on the price.


My husband checked the refrigerator over and declared it looked fine to him.

“Done!”  I cried.

The men came into the kitchen, loaded the old refrigerator on the dolly and lugged it out. And then came the second epiphany of the day. Beneath the old refrigerator were dust bunnies, miscellaneous cat toys, the plastic leg off a tiny doll, a couple of refrigerator magnets and a photo of one of the grandkids! In fact, I think there may have even been some of the construction dust from the year our house was built….

What To Read Next