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That One Time In My Love Life That Materialism Actually Did Matter

The story of one man making good with his loving promise of a new refrigerator.

Having recently come out of a long term relationship and with no future plans for commitment, a drunken kiss on a packed dance-floor one night, had accidentally begun blossoming into a romantic friendship. I met Steve at a bar on Melbourne’s iconic Chapel St. Swiftly we identified shared interests and a passion for partying too, and became in some ways akin to an ‘item’. Back then, I was living in a share house in leafy Prahran, although despite our elite neighbourhood, I was on a suitably tertiary budget. When I say “budget” I mean counting out silver coins to see if I could afford petrol money to get to university and back kind of budget. Back then two minute noodles were a source of nutrition, and beer was a great source of carbs.  All our furniture was hard rubbish material.

My new- shiny- fresh- on- the -scene- not- quite – boyfriend Steve also lived with housemates nearby in Elwood. He was that bit older though, and having entered the workforce years prior, he naturally had more money than me. I  vividly recall admiring his refrigerator one day. It was that moment that sparked an off the cuff promise from Steve, that almost scared the carefree love right out of me (which would have put an end to our romantic friendship). My own fridge was held together by a latch at the side and the lights inside no longer worked. His fridge was shiny and new, and had the technological advancements of time. For anyone wondering an ice-maker is a sure way to get a girl’s heart on a hot day. “OOoohhhhh I love this,” I quipped as I helped myself to a cool drink that hot Summer. Steve looked at me and promised, “I will get you a new fridge, one day”.

My chest tightened as our carefree friendship suddenly took on extra meaning. This situation called for a pun on a “cooling off period”. Who was this handsome new man in my life attempting to sure up my love. And, at what stage (without my knowledge or consent) did our relationship develop to the point of communal white goods? I felt ready to flee but composed myself. His intentions though, suddenly seemed transparent. He wanted to set up a home with me. Fortunately, I had grown very fond of Steve. My fondness was far too much to attempt a clean break. But for the next few weeks I was ironically weary of his best intentions.

Given time, romance and trust building, I succumbed to his adoration. He was a kind and gentle guy who treated me like a princess. Years down the track I was the recipient of his romantic marriage proposal complete with diamond engagement ring. My heart sang when he purchased our first home together. A man of his word, he made good of his promise to purchase me a brand new Bosch fridge complete with ice maker. It was symbolic of his love, affection  and early said (and unsaid) promises that we should grow together.

Our fridge is metallic silver with a thermostat and an array of other functions I don’t know how to use. But it is more than that. It doesn’t merely keep our food fresh, it’s a symbol of an early and promised love. Every time I go to open it I admire it- for how far we have come together, in life and in love. I was the girl who almost bolted at the mere mention of the fridge, yet now I admire it. With magnets from foreign trips abroad, all our prized photos, invitations and notes are now kept on it. Today it stands- sturdy, stoic and holding dear photos of the son we’ve had together. It’s the fridge complete with ice maker, that of all my worldly possessions, years on still melts my heart.

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