My refrigerator is broken. It’s finally cashing in its chips. After years of watching its decline — it no longer dispenses ice, for one thing — I’ve finally decided it’s time to say “bye-bye.” No, it’s not crumbling, and no, it’s not 88 years old. But it has developed a leak. OK, not 3,000 gallons a day, but enough to make a small puddle on my kitchen floor. I’ve been going through paper towels at the rate of a roll a day just to keep things dry. 

I figure it’s not healthy either. They always say that food should be chilled to an optimum temperature or food poisoning may result. Well, nobody’s gotten sick yet, at least not with an illness traced back to improperly chilled potato salad. But why take chances? 

While we’re at it, we may as well do a full kitchen makeover. We’ve been talking about it for years. The kitchen layout doesn’t mesh with modern lifestyles and it’s so inflexible. There’s no storage space for all those modern kitchen gadgets that are so much a part of cooking these days. And I’d really love to be more adventurous in my cooking and experiment with different recipes but it’s tough to be creative in such a blah, mundane kitchen. 

I even picked out my dream refrigerator. It’s a Meneghini La Cambusa; they call it the Rolls Royce of home refrigeration. Trouble is, it’s a little big — I may have to eliminate the powder room to fit it in. That’s OK, we have a full bath upstairs. I just have to figure out how I’m going to pay for it. I know my husband would balk if I ask for $41,500 for a new refrigerator. He’d tell me to get a Subzero Pro, at only $16,650. Yes it would keep the food cold and yes, it would fit in the space. And yes, it’s less costly. But it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles. So I’ll try a Go Fund Me page, see if I can get my community to cover some of the costs. What a stroke of genius! 

Now I’m interviewing contractors to get estimates. Of course, with a total budget of $50,000, there’s not much left for other appliances or cabinets once I pay for the La Cambusa. But who cares? Seriously, that refrigerator is so special I’ll probably have people paying me just to come admire it. 

Confused? I’ll let you in on a secret. This little story is an allegory. Need more hints? My kitchen represents new classrooms and performing arts spaces at the high school. And the refrigerator? That’s the swimming pool. 

It must have been a damn good refrigerator salesperson, that’s all I have left to say.

Oh, and Vote NO in NOvember.

Maureen Kleinman

Oak Park

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