Friday, October 17, 2014

A USED LIFE


I live a USED life.  And that is just the way I like it.

Just what is a USED LIFE?  Well, it’s a life that doesn’t place NEW as a super high priority.  It’s a life that values experience, functionality, memory, and use above newness.

I realized it today when something BRAND NEW popped into my life unexpectedly.  See, we needed a refrigerator.  We bought ours right after we bought our house (which, by the way, was a used house, it is now over 100 years old).  Our old side by side fridge conked out two months ago and ever since then we have been using a small fridge in our basement apartment, meaning we have to go up and down a flight of stairs every time we want annnything cold (including cream for coffee!).  While that is good exercise, it is not all that convenient.  So we decided we would buy a new fridge.

That required looking at several different places, each several times.  Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, Bray and Scarf, H.H. Gregg, and Best Buy all saw a lot of us this last month as we compared.  And of course we checked Consumer Reports and online reviews.  The main decision – style of fridge – was up to David this time since I picked 14 years ago.  And he really, really wanted a bottom freezer (which totally reminds me of Grandma Thompson and Eskimo Pies, but hey, that is a good thing!).  And we also wanted white and not stainless steel, which narrowed our choices down considerably since appliance manufacturers practically force you to get silver these days. 

So we narrowed it down to two LG models that we liked, then waited until Columbus Day weekend thinking there may be a sale, PLUS it was TAX FREE WEEKEND on Energy Star appliances in Virginia (which we like to call, “Stickin’ it to the man!”).  When we went to make the final decision, I peeked down a different row and found an “open box” Samsung white French door bottom freezer that looked pretty interesting…  It looked really cool, actually.  We had decided that we were NOT interested in the new fad of a “4th drawer” – a drawer between the fridge and freezer – and in fact I had called the whole 4th door craze “ridonculous”.  However, this open box Samsung HAD the dreaded 4th drawer…  And the more we looked at it, the more we thought the 4th drawer might be kinda sorta fun and functional.  We speculated on what the hell we would put in that drawer, and suddenly realized CHEESE!  And HUMMUS!  And OLIVES!  And PEPSI!  Yes!  All the things we used most frequently would go in there!!!  So I renamed it the RIDONCULOUS DRAWER and it made the final 3 on our list of which fridge to buy. 

Long story short – we voted in the aisle at Best Buy and it was unanimous (meaning 2 out of 2) – THE OPEN BOX SAMSUNG.  The original price was $3,200, but because it had no manual, a scratch on the side, a dent in the back, and the worst – quite a large dent on the front left corner of the freezer – we were able to buy it for HALF PRICE!  So for $1600 (free delivery, no tax, free haul away of our busted appliance) we were going to the proud owners of a new (but dinged up) fridge.  And we were thrilled!!!!  Cuz in our lives, “a little dinged up” goes with the territory I guess.  We both value the money saved way more than the scratches.  And hey, it is gonna get scratched anyway, right?  Everything in life is used!!

So today was DELIVER DAY.  Exciting!!!  Leroy, the delivery guy, even came a whole hour EARLIER than they said.  Like, when does THAT happen???  And he was super sweet and funny.  He and his teammate got our old fridge out but had a hard time getting the new one in.  The back door (right by where the fridge goes) wasn’t wide enough, so they ended up having to go through the front door, dining room, and living room.  They scraped some paint off the front door, but hey, that door is USED ANYWAY.  He was nervous but I wanted to say, “Leroy, if you gotta scratch someone’s front door today, trust me you picked the right house to do it at”.

Bringing in a refrigerator - up the steps and through the house!
 When they finally started setting it up, it looked a little different than it had in the store…  I thought it had bits of tape where it hadn’t before.  And it had the Energy Star tag hanging inside, which I didn’t remember it having in the store…  But when they finally put the last piece together – the freezer door – we knew for sure – THIS WAS NOT THE OPEN BOX FRIDGE, THIS WAS A BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW ONE. 

Gulp.  What to do???  David and I looked at each other…  Then grinned…  Then looked…  Yikes.

Eventually I went into the other room and whispered, “DAVID!!”.  We quietly discussed how this was NOT the used one, this was new…  And we decided to just not say anything.

Now, I am not saying that is the right decision.  It is sure not the only decision we could have made.  But honestly, Leroy doesn’t work for Best Buy, he is contracted to deliver only.  And we seriously did not KNOW this was not the open box one until he was almost finished with it (and it had taken over an hour).  And hey – if they want us to return it, they now have TWO open box fridges!  And if Best Buy calls and says, “Oops, we made a mistake, Leroy will be back tomorrow to take that one and bring your dinged up one,” I will say, “What time?” and make Leroy a cup of coffee when he comes.

But until then, I am going to think of it as KARMA.  The good kind of karma.  I mean really, the sun was shining today, Leroy was an hour early, and he brought us a brand new fridge (for half price). 

And I will continue to live my used life – buying clothes at the thrift shop, treasuring things I inherited, driving a car with over 140,000 miles on it, and giving and receiving things on Freecycle.


But I will live my used life with a little glint in my eye, knowing that today, something shiny and new was gifted upon me, and I am grateful for it.

Putting on the doors - look at the LED lights inside!

P.S. - if you want to see a video tour of the fridge after it was all set up, it is at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDe2G0AQHwU


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