Monday, January 29, 2007

Who moved my fridge?

Our kitchen remodel just concluded after a very long three months. I don’t know about where you live, but here in California, good contractors are both hard to find and hard to keep. This very simple fact actually explains why our small kitchen remodel took so long, and why it took an additional six months just to get the project started.

I don’t even want to get into the story of how “José or “No Showsé,” as my wife called him, messed up everything he touched. What I do want to talk about is our unattractive refrigerator.

Being that our outdated refrigerator is already too big for the space we have, it was definitely going to have to move for any work to begin. So, with a very unceremonious road trip to our living area, our “Ugly Betty” took up residence next to our book shelves and dinner table. And there she lay for three long months.

At first, being able to pull a Henry Miller book out from the library with your left hand, and then some sugar-free syrup from the fridge with your right seemed like a luxury the rich could only dream of knowing. Then, however, the true downfall of this unpleasant arrangement became apparent as the fridge began leaking water and my daughter’s Dora the Explorer “chill” chair fell victim to water damage. As you may have guessed, our insurance premium was too high to even consider submitting this claim. Sadder than that, though, was that soon enough, we all got used to walking through the fridge pond to get to the TV remote.

Fast-forward to this past Saturday, and the fridge is now back in its old spot, a cool time capsule, unburied and distorting our very lovely, updated kitchen.

The problem, though, is that we cannot stop walking into the living room to fetch the butter. Seriously, even when I instructed Nina, my 21 month old, to go put the magnet on the fridge, she walked right past the kitchen into the living room.

So why does the refrigerator look out of place now in its right place? I’m sure there are countless university studies on this, but like usual research and footnotes give me headaches, so I’ll just generalize and assume their existence.

This assumed research I never read got me thinking about how readily we all adapt to negative situations, and how quickly we form habits out of them. Personally, I can think back to many failed relationships where I, or my partner, allowed negative behavior to become an expected routine. How did these bad habits affect my beliefs and perceptions of love, trust and faith? Who knows, but I’m sure the damage was done.

So think about it, did you or someone you love move your fridge? If so, here is some helpful advice on how to put it back where it belongs.

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