Whenever I clean out my refrigerator, it’s a combination archaeological and anthropological endeavor. It’s not just a deep dig into grocery products past, but a dive into a bygone era, when decisions were made with unremembered logic.
1. Research and evidence must be collected and presented to the Board of the Superego to fund the refrigerator project.
I don’t like cleaning
out my fridge.
I don’t like cleaning. I don’t like spraying and wiping down. I don’t like vacuuming. I do like walking around in my bare feet. Those last two things don’t play well together.
Anyway, on this particular occasion, the Board was presented with a gift that needed to be seated within the refrigerator. The only problem was, the item in question (see image) was too tall to live within the confines of the current shelf setup of the refrigerator.
The Board considered and came to the unanimous conclusion that one shelf shall be removed and I would have to make due with two shelves instead of one rather than actually take the time to clean out the fridge.
After wrestling the shelf out, life continued as normal. Which brings us to the second step of the project.
2. The Board realizes its error
Even if you are only one person, you cannot live with just two shelves in the refrigerator. The time has come. The Board is unanimous. The shelf must be reinstalled at a higher level if we are to operate normally within the universe of the apartment.
They funded an exploratory committee.
Adjusting refrigerator shelves is a delicate and complicated process. One must consider what they intend to place on the shelves before placing them three inches apart. Does the egg carton fit on that narrow space? Yes. Can the string cheese be tetrised in? Yes.
Operation Wire Shelf is a go.
3. The exploratory committee explores
The space that the refrigerator lives in is not large enough to open the door completely. This is normally not a problem, as you don’t really need to open the door the entire way to grab the things you need. But, you do need to open the door the entire way to install shelves.
Through a complicated bit of wrestling, we now have a refrigerator that will open wide enough to allow for the shelf to be replaced.
As long as there is no shelf above it.
4. You do what you should have done a long time ago.
You empty the fridge.
The first big find of the excavation was an unopened jar of Welch’s grape jam. The popping metal lid has yet to be unpopped.
I have no idea when I bought this. I also don’t know how long jam lasts, opened or otherwise. And, as I sit here typing this, I’m not even sure Welch’s sells jam in these kinds of containers anymore. How long has this been here?
The second find was a half-empty (half-full?) bottle of Kung Pao sauce. Whether you are an optimist or a pessimist, it doesn’t really matter, as it expired two years ago. Yes, I had Kung Pao sauce that expired in 2016. I’ve had that longer than one of my cats.
Why did I need Kung Pao sauce? I can’t remember ever using it, even though it is half-empfullty. But, at the time, I must have been very excited for whatever Kung Pao concoction I was making.
Don’t worry. There are cool things, too. Like that bottle of water I got from the Iron Man 3 set.
Last, I found a large jar of ground Kroger brand medium roast coffee.
Ah, I know when I must have bought this. It was a simpler time, when I was unemployed and buying in bulk. It was before I became an adult and bought a grown-up coffee grinder. Poor Kroger brand. You didn’t even bother to give your coffee a fancy name, like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Caffeine or Don’t Worry, It Still Brews Up In Tears.
5. Carefully dispose of the evidence.
6. Enjoy your new shelf.
My new shelf does not have very wide clearance, so I have chosen to call it the “Cheese Shelf.” It is where the cheese sits. And, it was worth the effort.
As I sit here, drinking a cup of steaming Kroger Medium, I wonder what my refrigerator would say if it could talk. Maybe something like,
“This Kung Pao sauce has a funk to it that needs to be addressed.”
“This glass pitcher is completely empty. I refuse to chill it unless it is filled with something.”
And, I’m thankful for my talking refrigerator. Because at least it’s not a SubZero. Those are just so frosty and judgmental.