(Even More) Scenes from a Marriage

We have a refrigerator. That refrigerator has a problem. Or a sometime problem, anyway, which is that occasionally it decides to start freezing food. Cleverly (as is his way), John discovered that the mechanism of the freeze involves a little interior door between the (side-by-side) freezer and fridge. This dollhouse-sized door sometimes cakes with ice and then freezes open, letting in freezing air. We can melt the ice with hot water and close the door manually, but if the problem keeps occurring, which it had begun to do lately, we’re left nursing the fridge on a daily basis, turning it off for spells to unfreeze the food and losing some good vegetables in the process. And that ain’t good.

Here’s the thing: We know the immediate cause of the freezing, but what’s the underlying cause?

I had a (friendly, honest) repair guy out to see what he could determine. He wasn’t sure. It could be the seal on the doors (nope, good seal), or . . . how’s that seal on the door? He then suggested calling Amana directly to see what they had to say and whether we should replace the part. Hence began my campaign to get John to call Amana*, my opening salvo of which was to write a reminder on a sticky note and put it on the kitchen counter. From there, he stuck it to the top of his computer.

Day #1: I ask John to call the following day. John moves the sticky note from the top of his computer (a laptop) to the interior. And doesn’t call.

Day #2: I ask John to call the next day. John tells me that he will call the next day. And doesn’t call.

Day #3, in bed in the evening:

M: Did you call Amana today?

J: No, sorry.

M: How many times am I going to have to remind you to call Amana?

J: That depends on how long you wait between reminders.

M: [Hysterical laughter.] Wow, Sweetie. That’s really genius. I couldn’t myself have imagined a way for you to deny responsibility and put it on me, but you really succeeded there.

J: [Joining in the laughter.] It’s true, though!

M: [Still laughing uncontrollably.]

J: It’s not that I forget. It’s that I’m too busy. I can call only in the morning, because they’re on the East Coast.

M: [Silent, pondering.]

J: Well, it’s a combination of being too busy and forgetting.

M: [Laughing.] Well, thank you for your honesty.

J: I’ll call tomorrow.

M: Really? How are you going to remember to call tomorrow?

J: I have the sticky note!

M: The same sticky note that you moved from the top of your computer to the inside, because you literally could not see it?

J: [Chuckling.] Yeah. That sticky note.

M: [Also chuckling.] Okay, so that should work.

J: Yeah, I think that’ll work.

M: I can’t think of how that wouldn’t work.

J: I’m on top of it!

Day #4, in bed in the evening:

J: I forgot to call Amana.

M: You were right!

J: What do you mean?

M: I waited to remind you, and you told me instead! So, one less time for me to remind you!

J: It worked!

M: Success!



NB: By this point, our refrigerator actually seems to be back on track, perhaps because John did indeed clean out the grille. So Amana may never get that call . . . and everything seems to have worked out anyway.

*I would be more than happy to call Amana myself, particularly as I would do it immediately, but I’ve been down that road before. There’s always some kind of technical question I can’t answer and have to call John about, so now we just start at the horse’s mouth. Unfortunately, the horse is not great at remembering to call.

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