That’s My Life

Plastered On The Refrigerator Door…

Photo Credit: Kelley Oreglia

I’ve been thinking about refrigerators lately, maybe because it’s hot outside, and they’re sort of “cool.”

As a writer, I believe you can tell a lot about a person by what they post on the outside of their refrigerator. I’m serious. There are actual studies done on what serial killers keep on their refrigerators so if you’re worried about one of your friends, read on.

There is one in almost every home in America, not serial killers, refrigerators, and they are not only filled with stale leftovers and expired milk, but decorated with calendars, art, faded photographs, and fridge-worthy articles.

Things that comfort, a grocery list, mementos, but really it’s a philosophical billboard that dominates your kitchen. This is the heart of the home, the panacea of all ills, and it’s revealing as hell. If you ask someone, “what is currently attached to the outside of your refrigerator?”

You’ll find out there are two kinds of people. Ones that use the fridge as a bulletin board and ones that don’t even allow fingerprints. 

Think about it, the fridge is the only appliance that not only displays shit but stores the things you can’t live without. You rarely see a decorated oven. Why is that?

So what does your refrigerator say about you? This is backed by science so try and take it seriously.

The Naked Refrigerator:

This could be considered obscene but the science indicates you are the type of individual who wakes up at the same time each morning, runs to exercise, hits the shower, arriving at work at precisely 8:15 am every damn day. You’re as dependable as Big Ben. You never fail to make your bed because you are anal about certain things and this includes a clean car, an organized Tupperware drawer, and a fresh kitty box. Some might refer to you as controlling, but you would rather be known as punctual, someone with strong leadership skills. You drink your coffee black, you like your steak rare, and enjoy expensive wine. Your fridge is most likely made with that stainless steel that doesn’t show fingerprints. Oh yeah, your favorite show is Schitt’s Creek.

The Magnet Queen:

OMG, you are one of those woke individuals with a mindful meditation downloaded on your iPhone because you can’t start your day without it. Then you write with a colorful gel pen in your customized Moleskine journal while listening to classical music. You text your friends little motivational quotes you come across on the internet several times a day. You eat organic. If one were to get past all your magnets they’d find berries, yogurt, and bean sprouts stored in the fridge. You’re empathic, you listen with both ears, and end up being the garbage can for many of your friend’s problems. You’re an aspiring writer, and if this pandemic ever ends you’ll write a book about some bohemian excursion, Elizabeth Gilbert style. Life is a journey for you, the destination does not matter, and you haven’t missed an episode of The Amazing Race in years.

The Sticky Notes:

First of all, you are an organizational freak (you prefer guru) and you love it. From the minute you wake up, to the moment you lay your head on the pillow at night, you have back-to-back meetings scheduled, followed by playdates, food shopping, and Boot Camp at the Community Center. You definitely use that fricken calendar on your iPhone and you check it like ten times a day. You do unwind, with prosecco and apple slices, but you’re checking email between sips. You know how to multi-task and you actually enjoy texting while you cook and scheduling the dog for his next grooming. You can always add another sticky note to the fridge. You don’t have time for television so you watch Friends on your iPhone while preparing for bed. 

The Artwork Display:

This one is revealing of creative types, you’ve turned a recent art project into a cell phone cover, screen savor, and bookmark. You have to weed your Pinterest folders like most people weed a garden because you have no less than thirty folders filled with craft projects, nifty storage solutions, and ideas for remodeling the kitchen. You like to bake in your free time, organize intimate dinner parties, and set a fine table while entertaining. When you paint it’s on large canvases with bold colors. The t-shirts you designed are now trending on Etsy. Creativity is your thing and you’ll work into the wee hours of the morning if you are under the spell of inspiration. Your favorite shows are Sister Wendy’s Story of Painting and Stanly Tucci; Searching for Italy.

The Refrigerator Collage:

This is the friend who insists on capturing every moment with a photo whether you are traveling, playing in the front yard, or eating at your favorite restaurant. You are ridiculously sentimental, love sappy movies, and organize your keepsakes into shrines. You have at least a dozen photo albums stacked in the back of the closet chronicling your entire life, and although you enjoy the Disney tunes, your playlist is filled with Glen Campbell’s greatest hits. Let’s get one thing straight, you’re a walker, not a Gym rat. You consider yourself a fashion guru who has been known to spend a fortune on designer shoes, dresses, and slacks. You’re a gifted gift giver because you’re thoughtful. Your favorite movie is The Bridges of Madison County and you watch it every year. 

The Fridge-Worthy Clippings:

When faced with a problem you’re known to exclaim, “Give me a minute, I read something about that.” You are a prolific reader and when you finish a book you write a recommendation on the inside cover and promptly return it to the neighborhood library. Your pantry is immaculate along with your lingerie drawer and your t-shirts are organized by color (white being your favorite). Your idea of a vacation is a cruise to Alaska and you enjoy a tight itinerary. Lunch out with friends is the height of your social calendar. You play pickleball on the weekends and your racket is always stored with its cover. At night you watch Blue Bloods after your bath and right before bed. 

Oh and the thing serial killers keep on their fridge; is a set of magnetized knives for gutting livestock. If they’re freshly cleaned, run! 

My mom always had a fridge-worthy article tapped at the eye lever on the side of the refrigerator. There would be a piece by Ann Landers on dog etiquette, an article about managing menopause naturally, or some hysterical essay from Erma Bombeck warning housewives, “I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored.”

I took a picture of an article I found taped to moms refrigerator after she died. It read, “be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, and have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Sit for a spell and watch the birds.” I have no attribution. 

Today I had one of those flashes of inspiration, maybe I’m watching too much baseball, but it came at me as if a baseball had smacked me right in the head. What would it feel like to connect with someone so profoundly that they actually printed out your words and taped them to the fridge? 

Someday I want to write something that is fridge-worthy. That’s all. 

I’m Living in the Gap, reconsidering my cluttered refrigerator, what are your goals for the summer?

PS ~ When I was a kid, I’m talking days ages ago, my girlfriend and I would make crank calls when my parents weren’t home. We’d dial these random numbers and I’d say, “Is your refrigerator running?” The person who answered the call would say, “yes.” And I’d return, “You better go catch it,” and we’d hang up giggling ourselves sick. The good old days…

PSS ~ Dorothy from Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen nailed it. She said, “I’m pretty sure under all that clutter is a naked refrigerator.” Meaning underneath it all, we’re all the same. I love that.

67 Comments

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  1. I used to collect a magnet every time I went somewhere new, home or abroad. Eventually, I had so many, the fridge/freezer door was covered, top to bottom. Then when we moved away from London, we bought spearate fridges and freezers, and never unpacked the magnets from whatever forgotten place they had been stored away in.
    So now we have nothing on them at all. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You should dig up those magnets Pete and sell them on Etsy! I imagine you have some rare ones from all your travels. At the very least they would prompt a lot of memories and maybe a few blogs! I’m sort of jealous. I used to take an astray from the restaurants Larry and I patronized (even though neither of us smoked) I would tape the date we went to the establishment on the bottom. We had hundreds because we dated for eight years before marriage! Anyway we threw them all out a decade ago and now I wish I had them back. Keep your magnets! Hugs, C

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I had a collection of ‘stolen’ ashtrays too, (I also bought some nice ones) as we both used to smoke before changuing to Vaping. I gave them away to charity shops, but kept the two best ones in case any guest wanted to smoke. 🙂
        As for the magnets, I expect they will be found long after I am dead. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I went from a fridge covered in my kids school photos — the little ones they made into stickers, their artwork and my husband added the fridge-worthy article from Investors Business Daily “Stay Ahead of the Curve.” It was about getting your day organized the night before. Now that we’ve moved, our fridge is bare and I’m wiping off fingerprints. I do like my coffee black, my steaks rare and fine wine. So there.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. My refrigerator has experienced the same evolution from overly dressed to naked. Back in the day she was covered with sticky note reminders, invitations, pictures of the kids, art work, postcards, fridge-worthy articles, but front and center was Larry’s weekly travel schedule. Our current fridge is bare, except when the grandchildren draw me a picture, but it rejects magnets so I have to use tape! I with you on the coffee, steak and wine! Hugs, C

      Liked by 2 people

    1. So you’re a well-rounded person, we call you the combo, with all the toppings! And I absolutely love that you remembered underneath it all, we’re all the same. That should have been my closer! Hugs, C

      Liked by 2 people

    1. So it’s the residue in life that keeps you naked? Residue being the small amount of something that remains after the main part has gone or been taken or used. I know how you like to analyze life from the tarot perspective but refrigerators seem so much more revealing! Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well we have art created by child all over a wall that is adjacent to the fridge so… 🤷‍♀️

        I also used to have a bulletin cork board. But I didn’t like the clutter… 😂 I’d arrange things nice and geometrical so one can read what the note or business card said but the fam… Ugh. They don’t do geometrical. 🤪

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I used to have a cork board too, I called it my dream board and I tacked things to it that I wanted to accomplish. I pulled it out of my dusty closet the other day and realized almost all of my dreams have come true. I went to Italy, I started a blog, we bought a summer home, and I finished my maters degree. So weird how we can manifest our dreams! Wall art might be another powerful tool! xxoo

          Liked by 3 people

        2. That’s amazing! My daughter and I were thinking of creating some vision boards for ourselves, a little project we can do together but with individual dreams, goals and aspirations.

          Congratulations on fulfilling your dreams!

          Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh my Fraggle, this is definitely a problem, you’re a complex women, you don’t fit into categories, clearly artistic, not dangerously organized, but someone who knows how to chill. The magnets give it away, you don’t take life too seriously, and your sense of humor is what “holds it all together.” It might be your superpower! XXOO, C

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Okay, Cheryl, you wanted me to check out Fraggle’s ‘magnets’. I’ve always found emojis magnetic. Love them Fraggle!
        Now neighbor? I’m a bit confused on your comment to Fraggle about “not being dangerously organized”. . . Did you see where the Wine Bottle was? That’s DAMN well organized for you and me! 😉

        Liked by 4 people

  3. 1st take? Never thought much about the tooic. So, never having taken much notice prior, I looked at the mammoth stainless steel fridge I bought my mother in law a few months back, and noting the topic at hand? My first thought was: hummm, a ‘SubZero’ refrigerator is too dignified to even have Ice and water in the door. So, if you own one of those my guess is “nothing” should deface it’s ‘dignity’. As such? Apparently the fridge itself could tell us everything we didn’t already know about the owner. 😆🤗😘🥂

    Okay, let’s get to big stuff:
    “Someday I want to write something that is fridge-worthy. That’s it.”
    You do, neighbor, and frequently. Oh, it usually follows a line that starts with “so and so says” or something similar but those are all relavent and clip worthy. 😋

    But really Cheryl, some of the stuff you write is so damn genuine it deserves to be a lot of fridges in this group. And I mean that from the heart.
    I could pick from a dozen in the catagory of exchanges with Larry alone, or thoughts about Nancy, or how much you show how you are just, well, open kimono “YOU”.
    Sigh. . . Apparently I’m going to have to get some little magnets 🤔.

    Cheers!
    CT

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Let’s see if I got this all right, refrigerators do not dominate your thought processes, but they do define you! Oh, how I love that! Dignified, SubZero, Unsulliable! A rather daunting set of traits. More importantly, thank you for the kind and supportive words, means the world to me especially since I’m walking around with an “open kimono.” Hugs, C

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Don’t you dare slide through life.”

    Tell me that isn’t fridge-worthy…I randomly found it, clicked on a post with my eyes closed and landed on this gem. You’re sitting on a whole mine of these here at Living In The Gap, my friend! And let me tell you how bummed we were to learn that our brand new fridge wasn’t magnetized! NO MORE ANYTHING ON DISPLAY!! That’s okay…now we tape everything to the wall.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Awe, thank you Mary Ellen! You’re a Gecko through and through and therefore you may be biased when it comes my work. But I don’t care. I love how supportive your words are to my frail confidence as a writer. And tape works, I might have to tape this one to my computer! Love and hugs to you, C

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  6. Well Cheryl you pegged me good …. I am the “Naked Refrigerator”. Mostly because magnets won’t stick to my stainless fridge. I am definitely anal about fingerprints. Saturday’s ritual is to clean that beast and remove all evidence of use! I do, however, find myself in some of the other categories and I have a large cork board in the kitchen that holds all of the “stuff” and “artwork” to be displayed for all eyes to see. I truly enjoyed this article and appreciate the “heads up” about serial killers! Best Wishes Always! Leigh

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Leigh, Oh my, I got behind here, and missed your comment! I love that you keep the surface of the fridge clean but the “stuff” and “artwork” have a home on the cork board for all to see. I waiver between categories myself, sometimes my surfaces are clean and other times they are wallpapered with my granddaughters art. I like that we find ourselves inhabiting several of the categories, we’re well rounded, and move with confidence in the world! I made that up! And yes, it’s good to know the science behind the refrigerators of serial killers, I do what I can. Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my. Your list of types of refrigerator people was spot on, Cheryl! My daughter is a magnet queen and I’m the creative type with my grandkid’s artwork from the past 9 years taped to the front. The details are so accurate it’s almost scary. I had a stainless refrig for about six years and you can’t stick stuff to it (with magnets). It was like going through withdrawal. A super fun post. Thanks for the laughs.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Diana! Aren’t we truly an interesting species? How is it our refrigerators can tell us so much about ourselves and much of it rings true? That is a little scary! I was playing around with these categories of course but I used to study handwriting analysis. It’s extraordinary what our handwriting reveals about our personality. You can learn so much about people simply in how they form letters, if the writing leans to the left or right, how the words are organized, even the pressure with which you write is revealing. Our core being seems to excel at manifesting itself in the material world and I find that fascinating. What was that old saying by Emerson? “Who you are speaks so loudly, I can’t hear you.” Thanks for joining me in the fun, hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this post!!!
    I’m a anal yet pic type girl. I hate finger prints but I like to display a few pics of my kids and one or two pics of artwork. But not too much or else it will drive me bonkers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank Belladonna, I believe you can be perfectly anal and yet enjoy the mugs of our kids smiling at us when we grab an apple! I too am happy with a controlled amount of chaos on the refrigerators surface. I mean she is the heart of the home and deserves her dignity! Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sally, I must have been traveling when you commented on this post. I just stumbled on five comments that I missed. I’m so sorry for the delayed response. Thank you for such kinds words, means the world to me. And I believe you have written many refrigerator worthy pieces, for example, ““Encouragement, love and loyalty from those around us are far more useful than the ability to unwrap a chocolate bar.” Sally Cronin, Size Matters! Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Cheryl, a fascinating insight into us all through our fridge decor! Who knew! When my son was young the fridge was overflowing with his drawings … until the day I felt him cringe as I was about to put another up for display. Now it is decorated with a few beautiful porcelain magnets from around the world – let’s me dream of travels as I cook the dinner! haha … I’m laughing at your young self crank calling the numbers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Annika, sorry for the delayed response, I was traveling and missed your lovely comment. This post resonated with a lot of people and I think it has to do with how we evolve with our refrigerators, they hold our memories, our stages of life, and current focus. You and I have a common focus: traveling this beautiful world! Maybe our paths will cross one day? Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Aaysid, thank you for the comment, and my apologies for the delayed response, I missed the last five comments while I was traveling. So you are the “naked refrigerator,” and all that entails. I believe writers need a clean slate from which to create! And may I just add you have so much “fride-worthy” material there are not enough surfaces to display it all! Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my, you always make me laugh Kathy, “what type of psychopath has post-it notes on their fridge?” Well, not to throw a few of my relatives under the bus, but I’ve encountered this breed! Sorry for the delayed response to your humorous observation, I must have been traveling, and missed the last five responses. Hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

  10. My fridge is a mixture of art and magnets. I put the art on, it’s my children’s although they are older now. My husband buys magnets everywhere we go and I hate them, but I live with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Robbie, I like the complicated individuals who mix up the categories! And the fact you put up with your husbands travel magnets marks you as a highly developed person! In my opinion of course. Thanks for the lovely comment, I was traveling and missed the last five on this post. Sorry for the delay! Hugs, C

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