The American Fridge – It wasn’t love at first sight.



I just spend a few hours in my kitchen preparing food for our annual Thanksgiving feast tomorrow. Our fridge is full; there is not an inch of space left on the shelves. The vegetable drawers and the door spaces are filled up and overflowing with food and beverages.

I closed the refrigerator door and I looked at our fridge and my mind started wandering off. Thinking back how it all begun made me smile.

Our first apartment was in an old building and everything was really tiny, everything beside the fridge.

I had just come to the U.S. right after we got married and we were so much in love that we felt like we lived in a castle. It was our first home and we were proud of it.

It was in the 80’s, we both were poor students and there was really no money for home décor projects or similar luxuries. I looked at our space and I saw possibilities. A few coats of color here and there and some tender, loving care on some ole furniture and I would pep up that place in no time. Just the kitchen gave me a major headache.

There was this monster fridge standing in one corner, an absolute eyesore and I couldn’t understand why anybody would want such a “thing” in their kitchen.

I had never seen such a monstrosity in my life and I was wondering if it was really just for the two of us. You see, refrigerators are hidden or built in where I come from. They are either build with a wooden door that matches the kitchen decor or they are hidden in a walk-in-pantry, in the older farm housed in Italy and Austria. Either way, they are invisible.

The fridge was way to big. “Who needs that much food?” I asked and my husband explained to me that it was just a normal size refrigerator; an American fridge.

“You can put an elephant in there or a whole cow and I doubt we can afford either,” I said and I was right. The inside of our fridge looked pitiful for many years. A few packs of cigarettes, butter and margarine, some nail polish beside the coffee, bread and milk and a few jars with pickles or jam. That was pretty much it. Sometimes I wonder how we survived these early years.


Everything about the fridge just didn’t make any sense to me and I continued to wonder how I could hide that monster.

Maybe I could paint it somehow, or hide it behind a room divider? I came up with all kind of ideas, but nothing really worked and the fridge continued to be an eyesore in our little kitchen.

I finally decided to just ignore it, when my husband begun to decorate our fridge. He came home in the evenings and put magnets and other silly stuff on the refrigerator door and I just gave him the look.

It was a fridge, not a whiteboard…didn’t he know the difference?

All the little magnets and silly things he put on that door miraculously disappeared over night and ended up in drawers or on a real whiteboard.

He didn’t give up and it became a game between us, something that we never talked about. He put stuff up on the fridge and I took it down, he put it up and I put it down.

Then one day he left a silly note on it and I laughed; I gave in a little bit and moved the note to the side of the fridge.

Our game continued, he put magnets on the fridge door and I moved them to the side…this went on for years.

I have no idea how it happened and when, but somehow I stopped hating the fridge. The monster in the kitchen became my new normal and was part of my every day life.

The fridge and I are friends now and my husband and I share its space inside and outside.

Many of the magnets on our fridge are mine. I either bought them, found them or somebody gave them to me as a present.

Funny how things change. Here I am 30 years later, writing a post about my friend the fridge.

Yes, it wasn’t love at the first sight, it took some time, but it was worth it. 🙂




12 thoughts on “The American Fridge – It wasn’t love at first sight.

  1. Yes, American fridges are huge. In these day of refugees and housing shortages I often wondered if Americans sub-let their fridges for small families to live in?
    When we came to Australia we met fridges for the first time. They were unknown in Holland. The milkman came everyday, so did the baker, fruit and vegies carts.
    In Australia people also live miles apart and shops need driving cars to get to. That makes for hunger, hence food malls and eating in between all that driving.
    Now people are starting to look like their fridges, big and bulging out.
    It used to be so simple!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In old houses, built in the 19th century or earlier, the fridge is usually in an alcove or pantry, as it is in Europe. Kitchens have gotten smaller since the 1950s, as have houses.Today, everything is in a single room, frequently on a single wall. There’s no other place to put it and it is so central to the household, I suspect most people are just as happy to have it where it’s easy access. Ours is so covered with magnets and whiteboard (we have a huge magnet that IS a whiteboard and it is our message center), you have to be careful opening the door lest everything go flying 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Big cellars and basements were the main fridge of our house. We stored vegetables and can goods down there summer or winter. The fridge itself was just used for meat and dairy products.

      I wish the fridge would be far away, because I have days when I open it all the time. It’s almost like I expect different food to be in there after just 10 minutes. 🙂


  3. My husband is German and he has learned to love our fridge. We have some German friends who have an American-sized fridge and they like it too. The main thing I notice (and dislike) about a small European fridge is that it means more trips to the grocery store, especially “on the way home” from somewhere else. That may work better in Europe with small shops and walkable cities, but it’s a pain in the U.S.

    Liked by 1 person

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