Refrigerator Doors
by John Norberg, humor columnist s

Will Miller with Glenn Sparks, both of Lafayette, wrote a great book titled Refrigerator Rights.

They talk about the close friendship that exists when a person has the right to walk into your home and open your refrigerator.

There are very few people who have "refrigerator rights" to see the good and the bad in our lives and refrigerators - the freshly baked key lime pie and the cottage cheese that should have been thrown out in 2003.

In fact, sometimes before a big party when my wife, Jeanne, has been cooking for days, I don't have refrigerator rights in my own home. It's common knowledge if I open the refrigerator and see all that great food she's making - well, let's just say there have been some tragedies over the years that are best forgotten.

Unfortunately, they're not.

I think the sequel to this book should be: Refrigerator Photo Rights.

At some point in the 20th century the American refrigerator door ceased being an actual door. It became a photo album.

I'm not sure exactly when this happened. But I know when our children were growing up every paper they brought home from school and every photo was hung on the refrigerator door. We had conversations like this:

Jeanne: "We're going to have to get a new refrigerator."

Me: "What's the matter with this one?

Jeanne: "We need a bigger one."

Husband: "There's not enough room for the food?"

Wife: "There's not enough room for the kids school work and photos."

Our children are grown now and for a short time our refrigerator door was bare. But then we started having grandchildren and Jeanne quickly filled up the door with photographs of them.

Our grandchildren loved this.

First grandkid: "Look, there are five photos of me and only four of you."

Second grandkid: "My pictures are bigger than yours."

Third grandkid: "My pictures are better than yours."

Me: "Hey, come on. This is not a competition. This is just how grandma and I say we love you."

Notice how I took part of the credit for this, although I hadn't actually done any of the work.

Before long, my wife expanded refrigerator photo rights to include relatives. When they came to the house they checked out the door.

Brother: "Why don't you have a photo of me on your refrigerator? You have everyone but me."

Sister: "Don't you have a better photo of me?"

Me: "This isn't a competition. Just send us photos and we'll put them up."

We now have 3,422 photos on our refrigerator, including some of people I don't even know.

Some people might wonder about refrigerator photo rights. Why do we hang photos on refrigerators and not on our ovens and dishwashers?

It's because refrigerators are the heart of the house. Refrigerators are the place where we keep the things we value most in life - ice cream, pie and photos of our family.

The other night I was looking at our refrigerator door, admiring our children, grandchildren and relatives.

And then I started looking at the photos my wife had posted of me. There was a photo of me with our youngest daughter. There was . . . There was . . .

You know what! There was only room for one photo of me on that refrigerator!

Say, Jeanne . . .I really think we need a bigger refrigerator.

Copyright © Federated Publications