“You won’t be mad at me forever”

November 1, 2015 - 12:00am -- Living City

“You won’t be mad at me forever”
Had a refrigerator become more important than my husband?

My husband and  I downsized and went back to our hometown in retirement, closer to family and friends. This required adjusting our habits to fit a smaller space. Everything was going well with one small exception: our new house had no room for an extra freezer, which we’ve had for 30 years. We had to limit our food choices to avoid going to the grocery store every few days.

Finally we decided to buy a new refrigerator with a large freezer. Even though we made the final choice together, in my mind this was “my” new refrigerator that would freshen up the appearance of our small kitchen.
Delivery day arrived. Before unloading, the delivery man alerted us that the new appliance would protrude into the doorway leading to our family room even more than had the old refrigerator. My husband had understood this and was still in favor of installing it.

Suddenly I pictured it being so out of scale that it would evoke surprise and silent laughter from our guests. Without even looking at my husband, I told the delivery man to return it to the warehouse.
In preparation for the delivery, my husband had widened the opening for the refrigerator, removed the back door, and measured three times to make sure the new appliance would fit. I told him, “You won’t be mad at me forever; but the refrigerator will be sitting out in the doorway forever.”

I thought I could find another choice that would both have a large freezer and fit into the space better. A long internet search instead located no options. Meanwhile, my husband was still fuming.
This was not the usual picture of our relationship. We try to be always united. Had a refrigerator become more important to me than him? I suddenly realized I had forgotten to love my nearest neighbor.

My husband was sitting at his computer. The atmosphere surrounding him was as chilly as a freezer. I waited until he looked up. As seldom before, I sincerely apologized to him. He chose to forgive. Only then did he tell me how much my lack of unity had hurt, surprised and angered him.

After hearing that he felt the big refrigerator would not appear as large as I feared, I suggested that we should call the store and arrange for delivery as soon as possible.
To our delight, our new refrigerator not only meets our needs, but brightens up the whole kitchen and reminds us of our recomposed unity.

— Marilyn Boesch,