by Marinka on September 11, 2013

Last week the Good Lord tested my marriage as though it were Job.

Our freezer wasn’t working and instead of looking into the more affordable murder-suicide option, my husband decided to call some sort of freezer shaman.

“Maybe we should just get a new freezer,” I suggested, but apparently I’m married to someone who comes from the Don’t Fix It If It’s Broken But Do Fix It If It IS Broken school of thought. The enrollment is quite low in that school, for obvious reasons.

After the repairman left, my husband emailed me.

The good news is that he thinks he can fix it for $300. The bad news is we have to empty out the fridge and freezer and turn them off for 24 hours before he can do that.

I was dreading emptying out the fridge, although I was obviously happy about getting $300 for giving the guy a right to practice his craft on our freezer. That money can come in really handy. Especially since I need a red Mophie.

The Day of Reckoning arrived last Sunday.

I tried to get a a pardon from the Governor, but you try cutting through all the red tape in Albany.

“Let’s just throw everything out!” I suggested. This was my Plan B, after the excellent “Let’s eat everything!” Plan A+ was rejected. Unfortunately Plan B met with a similar fate. Instead my husband had arranged for us to store our refrigerator/freezer contents in our neighbor’s refrigerator/fridge. Unfortunately, our neighbor was away this week, so he just gave us the keys. A better neighbor would have stayed behind to help us transport everything, but that’s a talk that will have to wait until her gets home. I can wait. I know where he lives.

Unfortunately for me, my husband and I were of two different minds as to how to accomplish this task. For ease of reference, I’ll call the two methods “sane” and “insane.”

The sane method was to look at an item and within three seconds decide if it was staying or going. If it was staying, put it in the area that got transported to the safety of the neighbor’s fridge. If it was going, it got placed into the garbage.

The insane method was more elaborate. Every item got picked up and examined. If it was staying, it got put in an area that got transported to the safety of the neighbor’s fridge, a la the sane method. Where the insane method kicked in was if an item was to be discarded.

“Let’s see,” my husband held a jar of mayonnaise up in his hand like it was the Statue of Liberty’s torch. “This mayonnaise has been in the fridge for ten years.”

“I don’t think so,” I muttered.

“Yes, I remember it,” he was on his way down memory lane with a jar of Hellman’s.

“It was a different jar 10 years ago. And then there were some others along the way. But this is a new one.”

“It looks like the old one.”

“That’s because Hellman’s doesn’t design individual labels for the mayonnaise. Don’t tell anyone, but I think they may be mass produced or something.”

“I don’t know, we should throw it out.”


“Unless you’re sure that this is new.”

“It’s definitely not 10 years old. Besides we threw everything out after Sandy.”

“Right. So the mayonnaise could be from last November?”

“Look, are we cleaning out the fridge or planning birthday festivities for the condiments? Let’s keep this one but you can throw out the next one?”

“Look at this Tabasco sauce! How long do you think it’s been in here?”

“I don’t know. Who cares? Tabasco doesn’t go bad.”

“I think this is Pre-Sandy.”

“Maybe. Let’s just throw it out unless you want me call forensics in on it.”

And it went on from there. Every item was lovingly examined, aged, and either transported to safety or discarded.

I really hope the freezer guy works his magic because I’m not sure my marriage can survive another go-around of condiment examination.

One year ago ...

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

christy September 11, 2013 at 8:19 am

This really did make me giggle out loud. LOVE it.


barbara sigelbaum
September 11, 2013 at 9:52 am

I wish you were my neighbor.


Marinka September 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm

look next door!


Bonnie B. September 11, 2013 at 10:01 am

This. Oh so very this. This right here is the VERY reason my husband and I don’t do these types of things together anymore. This situation would have warranted one of our famous “deals” wherein one party says “Hey, if you do the sorting of these items, I’ll transport them to the neighbor’s frig. Deal? Great, I’m outta here.” However, it took 31 years to get to this place in our marriage. I wish you luck.


September 11, 2013 at 11:57 am

I agree. My marriage could not survive this type of togetherness.


Marinka September 11, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Only 15 more years to go! And here I was, thinking that the best days of the marriage were behind us!


Sylvia September 11, 2013 at 10:08 am

Ah, yes, the old husband/wife dance of indecision!
I just throw it all out. I have lots of practice. I optimistically buy produce at the store, where I think I’m all gourmet chef, and then realize when the produce bin stinks that I really prefer to eat out or order in. Yet I do the same thing every week. Do you think the produce aisle pumps out crazy gas??


Susan Weinstein September 11, 2013 at 11:05 am

G-d, your husband actually participates in a kitchen activity? This would have been mine to do alone. But we have an excellent twice a month housekeeper. And when I was out of town, she actually went through my refrigerator and through out ancient ketchup.
And we didn’t have a complete refrigerator failure, though it’s been limping along at various freezing or warming points for years. Now, the fixing thing–I know of one party who spent the 300 and then had it working but freezing everything, adjusted and stuff spoiled and they went on—until the new appliance finally appeared.


September 11, 2013 at 11:52 am

I nominated you for sainthood and I’m pretty sure that new Pope will go for it.


September 11, 2013 at 11:57 am

You probably should invest in some radio-carbon-dating device. Eliminates arguments. Or maybe just try to compete with our amazing condiment collection instead….


Laurie September 11, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Man that conversation sounds familiar. If only they were that interested in what is in the fridge on a weekly basis so I didn’t always have to clean it out and wipe up after things.


rebeccanyc September 11, 2013 at 12:09 pm

I’m not letting my husband read this because he thinks they make Hellmans just for him. As in “what did you do with my jar of Hellmans?”


the mama bird diaries
September 11, 2013 at 10:24 pm

funny lady. I would eat 10 year old mayo.


MsKatrina September 12, 2013 at 11:30 am

Uh…for $300 and a “think” he could fix it, I would have just bought a new freezer.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes September 12, 2013 at 3:36 pm

‘Tabasco doesn’t go bad’, can I quote you on that when the moment arrives for us to clean the freezer?


EG1972 September 12, 2013 at 7:10 pm

So funny! Thank you.


September 13, 2013 at 3:28 am

At least CSI did not have to get involved.


Roshni September 13, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I’m waiting for the post where you’ll be shelling down the 300 bucks to the artist rather than him paying you to practice his craft! ๐Ÿ˜€


Sarka September 14, 2013 at 4:14 am

The producers donร…ยฅ print “shelf life” date (or “best before”, “use by” date) on the products up there in the US, like here in old good Europe? ๐Ÿ™‚ That would save you most of the discussion with your beloved husband.


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