She fell in love with it the first time she saw it. She actually squealed with delight and declared then and there that she must have it or die.
He looked at the bright red monstrosity and shook his head; whether in disbelief or deep regret none of the smiling old timers knew. But Joe knew that Maddie would give him no rest until the natural gas-powered Servel refrigerator was hogging up space in their new house. He found out later that it had been custom painted in a body shop. And it was BRIGHT red. Very bright. And heavy.
After several sighs on his part and pleading eyes on her part, the deal was made and a delivery date set. Joe was certain the quiet chuckles erupted into yowls of laughter and disbelief as soon as the door shut behind them. Maybe even an undercurrent of sympathy for him-the man Maddie had set her cap for twelve years ago. The man who did whatever it took to make her happy. The man who just bought a bright red Servel gas refrigerator.
The layout of their home was a bit unusual; the only way to the kitchen was to go through the main level and down a staircase. A very narrow staircase with a 90 degree turn in it. And then another.
Maddie met the delivery men out front and told them how it was going to have to go in. The delivery men looked at her dubiously and asked to see the kitchen. She led them in and brought them to the stairs and down to the kitchen. After an abbreviated discussion, they knew she was right. A look of dread passed between the three men’s eyes before going out to get the beast.
The thing easily weighed 400 pounds. Probably more.
And it got stuck on the stairs.
For four hours.
The house was filled with salty expletives, grunts, thuds and the occasional prayer. Joe came home and offered nothing but sympathetic looks to the weary, sweating men. Maddie fretted about the living room, asking the ceiling how she was supposed to use a refrigerator whose new home was on her stairs.
After more grunting, thudding, cursing (and the occasional prayer) the red behemoth finally moved and found its new home in Maddie’s kitchen. The men made short order of getting it installed and handing her the user’s manual. They explained how it had to be charged from time to time and that she had to put her food items in it a certain way to maximize efficiency. She waved them away absently; she only had eyes for her beloved red Servel.
Joe, for his part, was glad that he had surrendered to her desire. It made her happy. She had this way of pushing the door shut with her hip that always got him thinking how much he loved those hips. And how the color of the kitchen beast often reminded him of the color of her lipstick when it was a “going out on the town” night.
That had been almost 60 years ago.
The bright red Servel still stood, hogging up more than its share of the kitchen, but Maddie had died years ago.
Joe still could hear her cooing over it the first time she saw it.
The way she pushed it shut with her hip.
The way she kissed him with those Servel red lips when it was a big night out on the town.
He stared at it as it hummed quietly. With a sigh, he rubbed the spot on the door that had kissed Maddie’s hip for so many years. He shut off the lights and clambered up to bed, wishing, not for the first time, that she were still there. Still telling him how to make her happy.
© ceg 6.11.13