You’ve seen We Bought a Zoo? Remember when Matt Damon gets the lasagna? He goes home, crams it in his refrigerator, and shows the horror of the beast.
Too much lasagna. Too much miscellany. Out of control.
The refrigerator was overstocked and under-utilized. And the women were after him with the lasagna.
This never happened to me, and thank heavens. You’re grieving the loss of your love; you certainly don’t want either the come-ons or the effort of having to clean out the refrigerator. I would never have the come-ons anyway because I don’t look like Matt Damon. And in this instance, that fact saved me a headache… and a lasagna.
Sir, your lady’s gone. Whether by death or divorce or break-up or infirmity or non-existance, she’s not there to manage that hulking block of technology called the refrigerator.
It’s yours now.
Don’t let it know you’re afraid.
Take it on.
After Dona’s funeral, we had a lot of food. A week passed and it needed to be dealt with, from the meat growing old (and growing other things) to the green jello/pistachio concoction that is obligatory at funerary dinners. It all had to go.
Don’t feel guilty at this point. You’d much rather look at the food in the trash than look at it being swished away by the toilet after food poisoning.
Your first battle strategy is toss. Like in The Two Towers during the battle for Helmsdeep when Aragorn tossed Gimli the dwarf, you’ve got to toss.
And you don’t have to tell the elf.
I’ll give you some guidance as one guy trying to survive to another. In the following statements, ‘it’ means what is or used to be food.
•If you don’t remember when it was cooked, toss.
•If you don’t know what it is, toss.
•If it looks like an experiment in evolutionary theory, toss.
•If the date is expired or unreadable, toss.
•If it looks like sci-fi slime or a life form based on silicon, toss.
•If it’s green or brown and wasn’t suppose to be, toss.
•Or purple, toss.
Now that is taken care of, on to the next phase.
Modern refrigerators can defrost themselves, but they don’t clean themselves. More’s the pity.
Acquire a damp cloth, a Lysol wipe, a sponge, whatever, and start cleaning. Clean that slate. Start afresh.
It can be therapeutic.
It can be like cleansing a temple for holy rites.
Do not use a blow torch or sulfuric acid. Bad!
Water, or water and soap, but for sure water and elbow grease.
A word about magnets: If you don’t like the face of your frig looking like an I-Spy game, throw the wretched magnets out. Sometimes I wonder if the sheer weight of them could tip the appliance over. Anyway, if you want to save some sketch your kid gave you or hoard some clipped comic, then get a frame or a bulletin board. Scrapbook it. Whatever.
Why and when did refrigerators become America’s household archives anyway?
But if magnets are your thing, then by all means, have at it.
Remember it’s your refrigerator now. No one’s coming to inspect or rearrange, and if they do, toss them.
Once the refrigerator is cleansed, then you can organize the beast like you want. Dairy on one shelf? Okay. Cheese in the meat drawer? Why not? You’re the one to decide. As Miss Elizabeth Bennett says in the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice, “Lady Catherine will never know.”
Done and done.
The refrigerator beast has been tamed.