Monday, March 4, 2013

Kitchen Love

“Do you need more cabinets here?” Mr. Wonderful said loitering in the kitchen.
“No,” I said unloading the dishwasher.
“Do you need more light?”
“More space?”
“Well I do.”

Mr. Wonderful was interested in my room? How odd.

During escrow for the House both of us had signed the bank’s papers in blood, sweat and multiple fears. Both of us had pledged that both of us would pay the mortgage every month for the next 380 years or both of us would be booted to the curb by David Beckham. But a funny thing happened on moving day—the House didn’t belong to both of us—it got divvied up between us. Mr. Wonderful claimed the office, work room, living room, spare bedroom and entire guesthouse while I got the run-down kitchen. Life was not fair.

In the first weeks of living in the House every night after dinner I would linger in the dingy kitchen while he retreated to the airy spare bedroom, the bright living room or went roller blading in the spacious guesthouse.

With disinfectant, buckets of paint and countless trips to The Home Depot I banished the kitchen’s offensive faded colors, grimy walls and dead lizard, thereby making my only room in the House my favorite room in the House.

I was smitten with kitchen love.

I was not alone. Mr. Wonderful knew a good thing when he saw it. It started small. Most indiscretions usually did. After several years of marriage the shine could rub off even the happiest of relationships and when that happened women and men acted out. Like every member of my fairer sex I coped by shopping. Meanwhile Mr. Wonderful took the path of all masculine brutes: he started spending time with… something else.  Which was oh, so far from wonderful.

While I was purchasing skirts, jeans and pants, he was playing with piecrust dough. While I was buying cowboy boots, he was canoodling with the Cuisinart. While I was buying knick knacks, he was buying gifts for her—for my creation, my best friend,  my kitchen! He started with extra drawers then graduated to massage oils for her wood counters. He took better care of her than his car.

He was smitten with kitchen love.

In the evenings I lingered in the kitchen and so did he. Seated on the opposite side of the table he scanned the internet for ideas to improve her, to make her more appealing, to make her more beautiful. He was so focused on this goal he no longer wanted to eat in, eat out or roller blade anywhere. Everything he did was now about her and for her. The happy conjugal life we’d shared was as present as last summer’s ice cream cone. I’d been warned fixing up a house while living in it put severe stressors on a marriage but I didn’t realize a single room could be total home wrecker. OMG Maybe my husband would leave me for… my kitchen. Was there a support group for that?  

Mad with kitchen love he drew up so many plans for her he released them in a multi-volume kitchen repair book series with corresponding iPhone app and Tumblr video site. 

“I’ll put in recessed lighting here,” he said showing me book seven of his 16-volume set.
“The kitchen doesn’t need it.”
“I’ll install more cabinets here.”
“I don’t need—”
“And more counter tops here and here.”
“No one needs this!” Couldn’t he see his indiscretions? His misplaced affection? “It’s all about her all day, every day, 24-7!” I said stamping my new cowboy-booted foot in frustration.
He kinked an eyebrow, “Who are you talking about?”
“The kitchen, you’re leaving me for my kitchen!” He asked me to elaborate about my fears and after I did, he pulled me close reassuring me that he was not in love with a space but his married, human partner, although she possessed an overactive imagination and gave human characteristics to inhuman places. We made up. Life was fair.

“All these kitchen improvements,” he said kindly, “I’m doing them for us.” My heart melted, my reason returned. 
“Can we improve the kitchen--together?”
A grin spread across his face. “I’d like that.”

In the end our kitchen love reminded us we were smitten with each other.

I sat beside him at the table where we both discussed the plans for our kitchen’s second remodel. We were on the same page again. Ahhh, life was wonderful.