Monday, August 21, 2006
Mrs. Joseph's Kitchen
My kitchen is imperfect but I do have a turquoise oven.
The cabinets never stay closed. Drawers stick or slide in crooked. The counter top tile is cracked. Coffee grinds get stuck in the grout. The light on the stove vent does not always work. One of the stove burners is not working. I do not have a proper broiling pan so I have not used the broiler since we moved into our house five years ago. The linoleum is separating at the seams. The cabinet shelves are not high enough to accommodate a box of cereal. The counter space is insufficient to comfortably hold our small appliances (toaster over, coffee maker, microwave) and still have room to slice and dice. It is not easy for all of us to sit together in the breakfast area. No matter how much I clean, the kitchen always becomes dirty again.
I live with these imperfections on a daily basis. I have always lived with imperfections.
I can’t imagine having a spotless kitchen with room for everything. Yet people have that – people I know and love have that. A clean kitchen. They’re not embarrassed to have me rummaging through their cupboards seeking decaffeinated tea. Whereas I am mortified if anybody tries to help me put the food away and is faced with the shelf of storage containers. I have maybe 10 bottoms and 25 tops, very few of which actually match the bottoms.
My kitchen may have always been imperfect, but I did not always notice. When we first moved into our house, after doing all the work that we did, I thought my kitchen was beautiful. I felt like a kid playing house. I carefully organized my pots, china, serving ware, spices. It didn’t last long though. Everyone in my household seems to have a different sense of how stuff should be put away so that things end up never getting put away because no one seems to know where stuff belongs. Or my husband, who is a foot taller than me, starts putting things on top of the refrigerator or other high places because it is convenient for him but completely impractical for the rest of the family.
Unfortunately, this state of imperfection and denial is all too familiar.