Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chime On

The mini wind chimes on the door remind me every time I open it that this is a glorious invention. I've organized my groceries along its sleek white shelves so that everything has a place in the spotlight. Not like the overcrowded Coleman's cooler outside my former cabin's door. The cooler I'd visited countless times in countless weather conditions. Each time donning rubber boots, each time lifting the sodden raccoon-proofing log from atop its lid. Liberating worms that had penetrated its hairline cracks, and various types of winged creatures that had likely been incubating within its moist interior for weeks.

In the summer months, I'd battled to retain food-safe temperatures. Friends with power learned to expect the question: "Would you mind if I stick this ice-pack in the freezer while we eat?" I'd also bought bags of ice and watched them disappear within hours, fishing lettuce leaves from the meltwater. I'd learned to buy hardy items: cabbage, carrots, apples, potatoes. I'd learned that things like cucumbers, fresh basil, tofu, and mushrooms are too delicate for cooler life. I'd learned cream lasts longer than milk and cottage cheese longer than anything. I'd learned to avoid entire sections of the grocery store for fear of pining. I'd removed all freezer items from my foodie-consciousness: ice cream, baby sweet peas, out-of-season berries.

So you can imagine how I felt the other day at The Country Grocer knowing I had a fridge to go home to. Mechanically, I walked towards the potatoes until I remembered. I filled the cart with delicate perishables. I strode down the freezer aisle dreaming of a future of Haagen-Dazs.

The fridge has come to symbolize life back on the grid. The electricity-guzzling, noise-making, space-consuming General Electric mammoth. I know it's wrong, but I can't help but love it. Nothing gives me more pleasure--not the fire that lights at the flick of a switch, the scalding water gushing from taps, the heavy-duty washer-dryer combo--than the tinkling of those darling little chimes as I open the perfectly-suctioned door, warm and barefoot and in my pyjamas, and reach inside for a cold bottle of San Pellegrino. Maybe this love affair will not endure. But for now, chime on--oh glorious fridge--chime on.

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