So I opened my Chrome browser a couple of months ago and saw a link to “the first peek” into the NYC apartment of Chelsea Clinton and her husband. Beautiful – of course. And what drew my attention the most wasn’t the furnishings in the living room or the opulent bathrooms. Nope, in cases like this, I go for the kitchen. It’s the room I relate to the most. My two passions in life are writing and cooking. But I have to tell you I could NOT relate to the kitchen in the virtual tour before me.
Without crumbs on the counter, a broken hinge on a cabinet, cat food crudding up the side of the dish and above all – a refrigerator suffocating in artwork and magnets, well, it’s just not a real kitchen is it? A sterile stainless steel everything kind of kitchen with a few carefully placed pears on a spotless counter simply doesn’t do it for me. I mean, c’mon, where are the humans here?
I know, I know. If you’re doing an expensive shoot for a glossy mag you can’t have cat barf under your feet, right? Or if you do, you get the cat’s maid to clean it up pronto before the big cameras come out. I’m so glad I’m not saddled with wealth and position so I don’t have to face these dilemmas.
Here’s a short story that would make Chelsea, Martha, and maybe the Princess of Panama cringe if it happened in their realm.
Before we did our kitchen over, we had a portable dishwasher. Remember those? On top sat the toaster, butter dish and anything we had to lay down for a minute. Our cat at the time, Puss, loved that old kitchen because there were enough holes in the baseboards to provide mouse snacks all the livelong day. One night my husband was out late and when he came in through the kitchen door he saw the cat perched on the dishwasher staring intently at the toaster. Hmmm, he thought, what could be in there? So he crept softly up to the toaster, smiled at Puss, pushed the handle down, and stepped back.
How long do you think it took for that mouse to scramble out of the hot coils into the grasp of a happy kitty? Mere seconds my friend, seconds. A chase ensued and I really don’t know the outcome of the cat and mouse game, but it sure is a good story. Cringe worthy to the wealthy and famous but priceless to us.
My kitchen is inhabited by ordinary humans. This grandma plasters the pictures next to the magnets next to the construction paper artwork to cover the fingerprints on the fridge. I hang long dill branches over the fireplace and pile the get-to-later mail on the table. I have Mom’s picture of “Grace” hanging over the old deacon’s bench and there are almost always crumbs on the counter.
That’s what you get for having a human kitchen, I guess. I sure hope Chelsea and Martha and the Princess of Panama get to experience it at least once in their lifetime. They’ll be truly wealthy then.
Image: Grace by Eric Enstrom (the one in my kitchen)