recently accompanied a friend to an appliance store and
found myself staring at rows of refrigerators. And there,
at the head of the pack, I watched a goldfish swimming through
blue water on a fridge door. Okay, it wasn’t real - it was
a screen saver - and I had just encountered the latest in
technology: the LG Internet Fridge, a titanium side-by-side
beauty with soft edges, a water and ice dispenser, long
graceful tube-like handles, and a computer built into the
door. The LG advertisement states: Some refrigerators organize
your food. This one can organize your life
the techno fridge with the old-style fridge. The harvest
gold, avocado green, or classic white square-edged relic
has been updated so that it can organize your food, while
many of the old-timers have been relegated to the garage
where they do a fine job organizing beer and wine.
the old-style fridge can organize your life. All you need
is a collection of magnets. In no time you have decorated
the door with kids’ artwork, favorite photos from your last
vacation, a party invitation, the soccer schedule, a couple
of discount coupons, a clipped recipe, and a gym membership
card. Even the magnets reflect aspects of your life - sushi,
a watering can, colorful pieces of the alphabet (perhaps
missing a letter or two).
new LG fridge isn’t magnetic. You would need to press a
couple of buttons on the screen to see when the game is,
to pull up that recipe, or to display your digital photos.
Too much work. No instant gratification.
Several houses ago, I thought a stainless steel fridge would
end what I saw as clutter. The magnet collection found a
new home in a drawer and the kids’ artwork lay unappreciated
in another drawer, the speeding ticket was put to rest and
forgotten, the coupons expired, and we missed the hockey
game. The only things that made it onto the fridge were
tried a different tactic in the next house. I ordered maple
panels that matched the cabinet doors and adhered to the
fridge. Warm, instead of the cool of stainless, and yet,
still not magnetic. A drawing of our dog is taped to the
wood, as is a poem written by my daughter. Everything else
has found its way to other areas of the kitchen.
We discovered that a portion of the hood fan is magnetic,
so If in doubt, add more wine holds a Dairy Queen coupon
and the kid’s school’s magnetic early warning phone number
secures a clipped sweet and sour soup recipe.
A large painting of a bowl of yellow pears hangs on the
kitchen wall and stuck in between the glass and the frame
are postcards from Tofino, Venice, Bordeaux, and San Francisco,
a Christmas photo greeting, many years of the kids’ school
mug shots, a winning equestrian ribbon, my nephew’s hockey
schedule, the chiropractor’s business card, the hair salon’s
card, the optometrist’s card, and the next door neighbour’s
phone number. I can’t see the pears anymore.
Stuff has to go somewhere. And the fridge seems the most
When I leave treats for my bed and breakfast guests, I notice
that they make use of the miniature Tupperware magnets I’ve
left on their small white fridge -- parking tickets, pictures
of their kids and pets, the number for pizza take-out, a
coupon for Grouse Mountain.
The next time you’re watching television, look beyond the
actors and into the rooms. The fridge art tells a story.
I recently rented One Hour Photo with Robin Williams, and
there they were, family photos on the fridge. Even Rachel
and Joey’s fridge on Friends captures their lives - imaginary
as it is.
I always pause in front of the fridge when I pay a visit
to someone. The fridge is the archive center for the household.
In a few minutes I know who had a new baby, where the next
holiday will be, and when their car is due for an oil change.
The LG Internet Fridge may be the latest in technology.
Yes, I could scan my empty milk carton and have the order
immediately placed at the virtual grocery store and receive
prompt delivery. Yes, I could follow along with Julia Child
prepping lemon chicken. In between making breakfast and
packing lunches I could send an email to my sister. And,
while munching on last night’s leftovers, I could pay a
But for the bites and mega-whatevers that the $12,000 or
so fridge offers, where do the little pieces of one’s life
go? Where do the little love notes from your children go?
The raffle tickets? The fortune from a lucky fortune cookie?
The photos that make you smile? The stuff inside the fridge
may be life sustaining, but so is the stuff stuck on the