Adventures in Applianceland

We’re at the stage in our married life when my hubby and I are in dire need of appliance replacement. No, I’m not talking about dentures, knees or hips (tfu, tfu, tfu!), but refrigerator, stove top and dishwasher. Our appliances have been showing their age for a while. With our refrigerator and stove top, it’s been a long, slow process; A bit of rust here, a broken knob or shelf there. In the case of our dishwasher, however, sudden and total collapse after a relatively long and useful life.

With the holiday of Passover at the beginning of April, the Friday newspaper (our equivalent of the Sunday newspaper) over the past month has been full with appliance ads and special promotions (“Buy XXXX and get X free!”) and we went into a shopping frenzy. Within a one-week period we plowed through three appliance “warehouses” (more like mini-warehouses, this is Israel after all), a couple of the local shops as well as local Internet bidding sites.

We can’t make a snap decision to save our lives and after two weeks of near daily discussions, we finally narrowed down the selection for the cooktop; we simply ended up buying the newer version (in black) of the one we already had (in white). Done! The dishwasher was revived after a painfully expensive brain transplant (which was preceded by a near equally painful heart/lung transplant three years ago but still not as painful as a new dishwasher) and we were left hunting for just the new refrigerator.

The thing is that fifteen years ago our kitchen planner seriously underestimated the dimensions of the niche that would be required for when we would need to replace our old refrigerator. Unfortunately for us, modern refrigerators have taken on dimensions only people with Viking ancestry could love or at least use. (Can someone please explain the rationale of marketing a nearly two meter tall refrigerator to a population whose average height is 1.76m tall?) Finally we narrowed down our choices to two different sizes of Amana refrigerators, both with single doors and bottom freezers. One model is just a bit bigger than the frig we presently own and one is big enough to carry us right through to a time when the entire family comes over Shabbat dinner and the grandkids stay over (G*d willing!). We measured the niche and both refrigerators with everything but a laser and, with just millimeters to spare, took our chances on the larger model. Done!

Well, not quite. We made another round of the appliance shops to see if the prices had dropped since our last outing the previous month and suddenly we noticed that the frig came in the Plain White American version with Odd Plastic Handles (the Sexy Chrome version with Sexy Chrome Handles would have required a bank loan) or the Sleek European Colored Door Panel version with Sexy Chrome Handles. Apparently the SECDPvwSCH version is very popular here, according to the sales people, and costs another 1000 Shekels (approx. USD 200). See above note about inability to make snap decisions.

Meantime, with Passover getting closer and closer, what finally decided for us was the supply time. Since the Plain White American version is the foundation for applying the Sleek European Colored Door Panel, the white version was easily supplied in a short period of time, maybe even before the holiday, so no massive cleaning of the frig required. Done!

After all that running around, now I just have to find the energy to cook.