Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Planned Obsolescence Kicked My Arse - HARD!

When I moved out on my own for the first time, I like most every other person starting out, had hardly any money.


My "furniture" consisted of crates and boxes scrounged from behind grocery stores garbage bins with sheets, stolen/borrowed from my Dad's house, thrown over them.  Typical.


I moved in during summer and had to keep my front door open because, while the apartment had a window air conditioner, I was terrified of using it, running up my electric bill, being unable to pay the bill, having my electricity turned off and I spiraling into living in my car!  You know, the logical stuff everyone worries about!


Anyway, a neighbor kept walking by my door and sneaking a peek in.  I thought it was a bit odd at first but quickly realized that she walked by my door a lot and was a bit creeped out but the heat won over my suspicions.


After the end of my first week, she approached me saying that she "noticed" that I didn't have a fridge and wondered if I would be getting one soon.  I told her no - the no money thing.  I was willing to engage her because, truth be told, I was a bit afraid of her and her stern look constantly peeking into my house.


She said that her brother had an extra one that I could buy if I wanted.  I laughed.  I couldn't buy anything I wanted.  She replied that she figured that and had already spoken with him and he would charge me $40, I could pay $5 per month, starting the next month and he would deliver it anytime I wanted.  WTH?!  Her "stern look" turned out to be worry for me, a stranger!


Wow!  I could not believe my luck.


Her brother arrived the next day with the ugliest fridge ever made.  It was dark brown with some yellow/gold accents and gold trim on the door handles.


This is not a picture of my fridge, but this picture was definitely the prettier cousin in my fridge's family:
I payed off my debt to her brother and was so happy to have a fridge, albeit an incredibly ugly one.


I moved to my next apartment and took my fridge and few pieces of "real" furniture I had acquired.  I did leave behind the waterbed (i.e. gigantic baggie filled with water), my boyfriend so generously bought for "me".  Should I have been insulted that he found it in the Pennysaver for $50?!


I moved to another apartment, taking the fridge and by then, a television too!


I moved again, this time to a cute duplex, and again, took the fridge with me.  My brother, strongman that he was, lifted that fridge by himself on both ends of that move.  On New Years Eve day to boot!


I moved again, this time with a friend who had just bought his first house and needed someone to move in and pay rent so he could afford the mortgage.  The fridge was a lifesaver because he could not afford one at the time.


I moved again and took it with me when I bought a house.  Back to the same financial situation when I first moved out on my own - zero extra money.


As the years wore on, and I had a little extra cash, I began to really hate that fridge.  Not because it didn't work well.  In fact, the fridge NEVER, not even once, gave the slightest hiccup of trouble.  I hated it because it was ugly.


I grew tired of the too big for my kitchen ugly brown from the very early 1970's fridge.  I was being vain.  I wanted a fridge to match my dishwasher and stove.


Every time I looked into my kitchen I resented the solid but ugly fridge.


I started looking for new models.  I ogled stainless.  I admired the brilliance of a bottom freezer drawer.  I nearly wept at the sight of french doors.  An ice maker AND a water dispenser?  Oh, my!


In 2004, I bought a new fridge.  I negotiated the price.  I paid $2,000 for a fridge that was selling for $2,800 elsewhere.  A "deal".  Jenn-Air.  Even the name is beautiful.  Gorgeous:
The delivery guys arrive and carefully brought my gleaming $2,000 fridge up my stairs.  They chuckled when they saw the fridge it was replacing.


Good riddance to my dependable but shockingly ugly fridge that worked perfectly well when they unplugged it.


I felt my $2,000 was well spent.


Any why not?  If the fridge lasted 20 years, about 1/2 of the brown monstrosity's life (which I cut short don't forget), it would cost me $100 a year.  $100 a year was a pittance for a beautiful, sleek fridge that made me happy every time I saw it, right?  RIGHT?!


Planned obsolescence is for printers, PC's that you buy from Costco, men that you meet at bars.  Certainly not for expensive, well made appliances.  Right?


Fast forward, 2010.  My beautiful $2,000 fridge stopped working.


It can be fixed.  Hallelujah!


For a minimum of $1,000 and no guarantee.  Oh.


Stupid AND foolish.


I had stupidly disposed of a perfectly good fridge because I didn't like the way it looked or functioned in my kitchen.  Into the landfill it went.  Foolishly, I never even gave it a second thought.  All because I lusted after stainless, french doors, beauty, etc...


After much research I am about to replace my too expensive, foolish fridge.


It will be here by the beginning of next week.


While I wish I didn't have to buy a new one so soon, I am excited about my choice.  Once it arrives, I'll tell you all about it!

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