Thursday, September 5, 2013

Die, Gordo, Die!!!

On May 8, 1993 we took delivery of our new fridge, which Tony promptly named "Gordo" due to its gigantor dimensions -- much larger than any other refrigerator we'd ever owned.  It is now more than 20 years later and Gordo shows no signs of slowing down, much to my annoyance.  A few years ago we replaced our cooktop, double ovens, microwave, and dishwasher with new stainless steel appliances.  I would love to have a new, smaller stainless steel fridge to match the rest of the kitchen, but I am married to a wonderful, thrifty, practical man who for some reason thought it would be fine to replace our other still-living-and-working appliances, but not Gordo.  I'm having trouble convincing him it's time for Gordo to go.
The rest of the kitchen appliances--sleek, modern stainless.
See?  Gordo just doesn't fit in!
To be fair, Gordo does have many fine qualities.  He provides a large gallery for grandkids' art work, special souvenir magnets from our travels, family photos in magnetic frames, and assorted notes, lists, and business cards.  His refrigerator and freezer sides offer lots of space for produce, deli items, condiments, leftovers, treats, ice, and beverages.  Gordo has been a faithful servant, requiring only 2 brief, inexpensive service calls in his long life.  I'm sure he still has many years left in him.
But I really think it's time for him to retire.  His dingy white pebbled surface shows indelible grime (What IS that sticky stuff trickling down the side that no cleanser ever created can remove?), scratches, and rust streaks from his long-disconnected freezer door ice-and-water dispenser.  His icemaker has been AWOL for years, removed by Tony because we couldn't find a way to prevent distasteful black flecks from embedding themselves in the cubes (service call #1; service call #2 a few years ago replaced the refrigerator-side gasket).  We don't use a lot of ice, so it's not the end of the world to have to fill our two Rubbermaid ice trays occasionally.  It would just be nicer to have ice on demand again.  (fleck-free, of course)  The produce drawer has been hanging on by sheer will power for years.  One of the support pegs gave way almost as soon as Gordo came to live with us, but it's managed to hold on no matter how ambitiously we fill the drawer.  And dang it!  I just want a fridge that matches my kitchen!  Is that really too much to ask?

In truth, we do tend to keep things a long time if they're still operational.  Here are a few of our "antique" appliances we use all the time which show no sign of giving up the ghost:
 Hamilton Beach hand mixer.  My mother bought this for me (for $10) when I got my very first apartment in Cortland, NY at the beginning of my sophomore year in college--Fall 1969!!  Yes, we still use it, and it works perfectly.  We have a KitchenAid Professional stand mixer that we use for big batches, but this little hand mixer comes in very handy for small jobs --  44 years later.
General Electric electric knife. This was a bridal shower gift from one of my teacher friends at Mary McLeod Bethune Sixth Grade Center, Jacksonville, FL in the spring of 1974 (Thank you, Barbara Stubbs!!).  Note the tastefully dated avocado two-tone finish on this 39-year-old beauty!
 Betty Crocker immersion blender.  During my 5 stellar years as an elementary school teacher before I retired permanently to raise our daughters and later explore other career choices, Scholastic Books offered teachers free stuff to encourage book sales.  Very few of my students at Bethune could afford to buy books, so I'd buy bunches for use in my classroom.  These purchases entitled me to several reward items, one of which was this hand blender.  This item came into my kitchen some time between 1974 and 1976, and at age 37-39 it still gets used for soups, salad dressings, and sauces on a regular basis.
Oster Pot-Pourri electric chafing dish/fondue pot.  Another bridal shower gift (Thank you, Lynne and Ed Moroney!!), this 39-year-old gem has been used frequently and continues to be used regularly.  It's the perfect size for cooking all varieties of fondue, cocktail meatballs, marinara, and queso--and for keeping warm foods warm in a buffet setting.  Dig that burnt orange finish!

It seems I've unwittingly made my case for keeping Gordo around until he dies of natural causes, haven't I?  It does seem wasteful to retire such a dependable, steadfast, durable member of the household.  Am I frivolous for wanting all my major kitchen appliances to match?  HECK, NO!!!

Your days are numbered, Gordo.  Now, where's my gun......?