Tuesday, March 27, 2018

SLICE #27- How I spent my Spring Vacation

Son #2 and I have very different priorities for this spring break. I have two:
           1) Renting a bulldozer to shovel out the debris that has accumulated in my house over the past
               few months
           2) Doing my taxes

My son has one priority for me:
           1) Replacing the water filter in the refrigerator

I guess I should back up just a little. We moved into our current home eight years ago. The house came with a side-by-side refrigerator/freezer, with an ice and water dispenser built into the door. It is definitely the fanciest refrigerator I have ever owned.

About a year ago, a little red light appeared directly above the water dispenser.

"We need to change the water filter," said Son #2.

I envisioned that we would somehow have to disassemble the entire door panel to do that. Those kinds of projects never go well at our house.

"Mmm-hmm," I said, hoping he would forget about it.

Of course he didn't, and about once a month, for the last year, he has reminded me that we need to change the water filter. And I kept telling him we would do it. Someday. When I was in the mood to dissemble the front panel of the refrigerator.

Today he brought it up again. And after a (smallish) disagreement about the credibility of a parent who will not even change the water filter in the refrigerator so that her children don't drink excessive amounts of Sprite or get dehydrated and die somewhere in the desert of Denver, I agreed that I would buy a water filter and he could change it.

"See," said my son, opening the opposite door of the refrigerator, "all you have to do is pop the old one out and pop the new one in."

And so I went to Home Depot. I know that things like water filters are usually particular to the model of refrigerator, so before I left, I took a picture of the model number. The trouble was, by the time I arrived at Home Depot, approximately seven minutes away, that picture had disappeared.

I texted my son again to ask him to send me a picture. He sent me a nice picture of the refrigerator. I was pretty sure that wouldn't be enough, so I texted him again, and he sent me a picture of the model number.

I hate shopping. I especially hate shopping at hardware stores and fabric stores. I wandered around the appliance department and finally found someone to help me. At that time, he was standing on a ladder, but he said he would be glad to come down and help me. The water filters, it turned out, were right in front of me. I had walked by them two or three times. If they were snakes, they would have bitten me.

I explained my water filter situation. "Do you remember what the water filter looked like?" my Home Depot friend asked. I confess that I have never actually looked closely at the water filter.

"Or what number you got the last time you replaced it?" I confess that I have never actually replaced it, at which point he tells me you are supposed to change the water filter every six months. I estimate that we are sixteen water filters behind, but I don't tell him that. Especially since all of the water filters appear to cost $49.99, which is quite a bit more than the $10-15 I had envisioned spending.

He asks again if I know the number on the water filter. I don't, but I try to show him the picture my son has sent me. He asks if he can enlarge it, but I don't know how to do that. He asks if he can see my phone, and I gladly turn it over.  He tells me that there are actually two pictures of the refrigerator, but that the first one, the one I took, is a movie, so you can't actually see any numbers. He asks if he could delete that one.

My friend enlarges the remaining picture, but then it seems that the model number of the refrigerator is not enough. We need the number on the water filter. I call my son again. Son #2 is not the most patient person, and I can tell he is a getting a little exasperated, but he goes back to the kitchen and reads the number over the phone. I repeat it to my new best friend at Home Depot, and he looks it up on his phone.

"Yep," he says, "you need a number four. That's this one." He pulls it off the shelf and hands it to me.

'If it doesn't fit," I say, "Can I bring it back?"

"Of course," he replies, "Just save the receipt."

As I check out of Home Depot, visions of returning to school next Monday are already dancing through my head. One of my colleagues is in Florida, overlooking a beach. Another colleague went with his girlfriend (maybe his fiancee by now) to California. Still another went to Mexico.

And me? I spent an entire day, or what felt like an entire day anyway, buying a water filter at Home Depot.

It doesn't get much more glamorous than that!


Unknown said...

Oh, I hear you. I have vowed my next refrigerator will not have a fancy icemaker/cold water dispenser in the door. I hate it. and try to buy the filter replacement? Not happening.

elsie said...

That water filter price was a shock to my system too. Ours is easy to replace, but I didn't like the $100 a year price to change that filter every six months. Then I learned that it is set up by time, so take the old one out and put it back in and the timer will be reset. I would change it at least once a year. Also, you can get the filters cheaper on-line. I found ours for about $35. Good luck!

Michelle said...

Funny how some little things (that turn into bigger things) don't have to be complicated, but are anyways! Sorry for your frustrations and hope you are able to easily replace the water filter. Follow those directions and you'll be good to go! And fresh, cold water from the fridge is the best!

Ramona said...

My husband orders ours online. What an ordeal you went through. I think you deserve doing something fun tomorrow (besides shoveling debris or doing taxes.

Elisabeth Ellington said...

Ah yes, the water filter. We forget to change that around here too. Who can be bothered by all this stuff?? Ordering online is definitely the way to go--though now you know exactly where to find them at Home Depot. I very much enjoyed this story. Did your son get it replaced? It probably is very easy to do, isn't it? I put off replacing the furnace filter because I was convinced it was going to require so much work. Then it turned out to be embarrassingly easy.

Cathy said...

Oh, this makes me laugh. The way you weave narrative always amazes me. There's something about the way you take a reader through a piece. It's like my eyes just glide right across your paragraphs, and I feel like I'm always reading because I want to know what happens next. Your endings always provide the perfect punch. (Honestly, your narrative poetry works in this same way.)

As for the water filter...ugh!!! We have a well so we try to be diligent with the water filter or surely we'll be calling a refrigerator repairman. I'm always amazed at the price of the filter! Seriously?! Not to mention the fact that half of the time they don't have the filter we need in stock. Sigh....

Well, you managed to complete your son's list. I hope you were able to accomplish the tasks on your list as well. (And I hope you were able to sprinkle in a bit of reading and fun.)

Amy Ellerman said...

The tasks we avoid sometimes say more about us than the ones we complete. I can absolutely relate to this story! I love the contrast between how you and your son view this "simple" chore--it turns a narrative about something small into something much more significant (and funny).