Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

First, it was my couch; now, it's my fridge

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My wife, She Who Must Not Be Named, seems determined to get rid of everything I love.

I have felt this way ever since the Winter Olympics when my wife, with no regard for my feelings, decided to get rid of the couch in our den, despite the fact my one and only job at the time involved sitting on the couch and watching the Games.

Until the new couch arrived, if I wanted to take notes on an important winter sports event such as ice dancing -- wherein athletes compete in outfits comprised of handkerchiefs held together by a few strands of fishing line and a handful of glitter -- I was forced to park myself on the carpet alongside the dogs, who thought this was an excellent way to enjoy the Olympics due to the fact it gave them easier access to whatever snack foods I had on hand to enhance the viewing experience.

As a journalist, I can tell you it is no easy job being a couch potato when, in fact, you don't have a couch, not that this bothered my wife.

What with being a modern husband, I forgave her blatant disregard for my feelings. But now she has gone too far. Readers of my gender are going to be shocked, but my wife has decided to get rid of my all-time favourite appliance, by which I mean the refrigerator.

The thing my wife does not understand is men are like those goofy fruit-shaped magnets in the sense we have a powerful physical and spiritual attraction to our refrigerators. We are grateful for cold beer and deli meats.

The crazy thing is, despite being the first appliance unloaded from the ark, our fridge still works in the sense that, for the most part, it keeps food-related items on the cool side.

But that is not good enough for my wife. She has had it in for our old fridge for some time because, in her eyes, it is not the sort of fridge you see featured in home decor magazines that only highlight modern, sexy appliances. So the other day she replaced our loyal old fridge with a slightly younger model, which was a gift from her best friend, who has just finished re-modelling her kitchen. The old fridge and the new fridge are virtually identical, a fact I pointed out to my wife.

"The new one looks five years younger," she said.

I am told Manitoba Hydro will eventually come and take our unstylish fridge and do whatever it is they do with unloved fridges.

For now, however, we have two fridges parked in our smallish kitchen, each one facing the other, roughly three feet apart. What this means is that if you want to get something out of one of the fridges, you have to squeeze in between them and carefully open the door of the first fridge without slamming it into the door of the second fridge.

This is extremely difficult if, like me, you are a size-large person who slides out of bed at 3 a.m., in the dark, and attempts to sneak ninja-like into the kitchen to raid the fridge for a "healthy snack." It is all but impossible under these conditions to recall which of the two fridges you are supposed to be sneaking into in the first place.

There is also the fact that, with the old fridge squatting in the middle of the floor in front of the new fridge, it is now impossible to stroll through the kitchen into the dining room, where I keep the computer I use to write these columns.

What I have to do now is bypass the kitchen entirely, walk down the hall and approach the computer via the living room. This adds seconds to my gruelling daily routine, so, please, do not tell me I have not suffered for my art. Thank you.

If it was just the two fridges I had to deal with, I wouldn't be complaining. But, for the moment, we also have two of almost every household item that most sane homeowners only have one of.

This is because my daughter and her boyfriend have spent the past month house-sitting, but that house has just been sold and the seller has been generous enough to let the kids take a bunch of stuff, stuff the kids have decided should be stored on the main floor of our house, which now resembles a used furniture store. So, for the time being, we have two leather couches, two butcher blocks, two comfy chairs along with two of every possible condiment you can imagine, including ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, jams, jellies and so on.

It's starting to get a little crowded but, thanks to my wife, there's no shortage of fridge space.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 1, 2013 A2

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