The scientific way you measure the age of a refrigerator is by the rings on the zucchini that has been stuck to the bottom of the vegetable bin since zucchinis were first invented and not just called squash anymore. By that measure, my refrigerator was old enough that I figured we had to buy a new one.

(Also, to be honest, the fruit bin had been broken ever since some very over-ripe blueberries spontaneously combusted back in ’07 when they saw that a lemon had begun to look like a lime. And, to be frank, there was a piece of meat in the freezer part that might not, in fact, have been meat.)

This, I thought, should be an easy purchase. The goal was simply this: buy a new refrigerator that kept food cold and didn’t feature lemons that looked like limes.

But no matter how simple the premise, the process, like in much of life, including my 52 steps on how to simplify your life, is complicated.

First, the space where the refrigerator would go had to be measured, because not all refrigerators, it turns out, are the same size. Even though, you would think, refrigerator companies would understand how complicated that makes everything and would just make small, medium and large as well as ladies petite.

It was hard enough measuring width, height and depth, particularly with the old refrigerator in the way. But how do you measure cubic feet? Although my feet are flat and basically cubes, it’s difficult getting them in the vegetable bin, not to mention the dairy case in the door (and just fyi, if you need to do this, take the cream cheese out first).

As it turned out, every refrigerator we looked at was either too wide, too tall, too deep, too large or too medium.

We decided on ladies petite. Then, what was better, freezer on the top, freezer on the side, freezer on the bottom, freezer in the garage next to the lawn mower or no freezer at all because it complicates things?

French doors or side-by-side? Italian doors or Hungarian water dispenser? Stainless steel or smudge-proof stainless steel? Smudge-proof stainless steel or stainless steel look, complete with smudges?

Was an Accu-chill temperature management system better than a Slim Spaceplus ice system or should we just go with glide-n-serve dueling icemakers? Should we get Kenmore which is made by Maytag or Maytag which is made by Whirlpool?

Is the energy rating more important than the consumer reviews? Does a 4.3 energy rating beat out a 3.9 star review if the contest is called because of ice — crushed or cubed — before the completion of the fifth inning?

After hours of deliberation and a friend of the court appeal to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we chose the energy efficient, 25-cubic foot, freezer on the bottom, Accu-chill temperature management system, high-intensity, low humidity refrigerator.

Because, of course, it was the one on sale.

Now we have to buy a stove and dishwasher to match. How complicated could that be?

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