What does yours have on it? Do you know what color it is or what brand? Is it a side-by-side, frost-free, freezer-on-top or freezer-on-bottom? Does it have a water/ice dispenser hidden somewhere on the door?
I’m talking about refrigerators. You know, one of those appliances in the kitchen with all the “stuff” stuck all over it:
– The friendly note to the kids imploring them to finish their homework before going out to play.
– The family calendar filled with more colored marks than a box of crayons.
– Invitations to a wedding, birthday party and a baby shower, all on the same day.
– A reminder to your spouse to pick up his shirts at the dry cleaners.
– A birth announcement from an old college friend.
– T-ball, baseball, softball and golf tournament schedules for various members of the family.
– A reminder to take Fido to the vet for his annual series of shots.
– A card from your dentist to jog your memory about your yearly checkup.
– And, some favorite comic strips.
If you’re like many people, your refrigerator serves as a bulletin board. Mine has got so much on it, it’s hard to find the handle or make a distinction between the refrigerator half and the freezer half.
My refrigerator proudly sports:
– Photos of friends’ and relatives’ kids from yearly Christmas cards.
– Favorite photographs an azalea bloom, a snow/ice scene, Buddy, DJ, etc.
– Birth announcements.
– A list of addresses and phone numbers.
– Comic strips, favorite columns and editorial cartoons.
– Reminders about a June doctor’s visit and an August dental cleaning.
– A favorite magazine advertisement or two.
– Coupons for pizza and fast-food restaurants.
– A verse my mom clipped and sent.
– A huge, perfect leaf from the large sycamore tree on the south side of the house.
– Artwork – fingerpainting and coloring sheets by some of my favorite young artists.
– Dieting reminders to stay out of the fridge.
– And, a blank memo board.
And lots of magnets. They range from brightly colored fish and seashells from the beach to fruits and vegetables that used to stick on my Grandmother Bunch’s refrigerator, a ceramic teddy bear, fat gram and calories counters, and a miniature chalkboard proclaiming “Beth’s Kitchen.”
I’m sure somewhere in this great world of ours some government agency has granted someone a truckload of money to tell us what kind of people we are by what our refrigerators wear. We could probably make some assumptions on our own. And they would probably have something to say about humans being hoarders, pack rats and people who can’t throw things away.
It is a chore to clean off the refrigerator door and something I don’t do often. I’ve got everything right where I want it and cleaning it would mean taking everything off. And I know I’d never get it put back just right.
I wonder if our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, who had those old-timey refrigerators that required huge blocks of ice to keep things cool, posted anything on the facade of their refrigerators.
Maybe people stick stuff to their refrigerators to cover those awful colors that were once popular but not so much these days. And getting rid of a perfectly good refrigerator because of its awful color didn’t make much sense. You know the colors – those only appliances and shag carpeting came in – harvest gold, avocado, coppertone …
If I want to find something down the road – an address, store receipt, reminder, etc. – I know to stick it on the refrigerator for safe-keeping.
Now if I could only rig up some way to get my keys to stay up there. That would be an open and shut case.
Beth Bunch Clements is Daily Journal living editor.