The REAL American Horror Story – Right in My Kitchen

It’s time to come clean about what happens in our kitchen. Personally, I feel that there are basically two types of kitchens: Orderly and Not. Ours, sadly, is one of the Not category. But I’ll admit it isn’t just me who made it that way….

Scenario 1: The Crankee Yankee (my husband) and I decide to have sandwiches and soup. While I enjoy making soup from scratch, the same can’t be said for making sandwiches. I can watch another person make a sandwich and then make it myself the very same way. At this point you can blindfold me, and I can tell with one bite which sandwich is which. How? The sandwich I made NEVER tastes as good as the one someone else made.

So while I ladle out soup, the Crankee Yankee makes the sandwiches; say, BLTs. (He makes the most delicious BLTs I’ve ever had.) Once we’ve finished our meal, I collect the bowls and plates and bring them back to the kitchen. And there the horror story begins….the mayonnaise jar is open, and the mayonnaise-y knife is on the counter, leaving a big smear. Ripe tomato blood and guts are dripping off the cutting board onto the floor, and bits of romaine are scattered throughout. Cooling bacon grease lies in the bottom of the frying pan, congealing into that white, waxy mess that makes us feel that our hearts are screaming (hoarsely of course because their arteries are clogged). The greasy spatula and splatters of grease festoon the stove top. Yuck.

Scenario 2: Each morning, the Crankee Yankee makes a pot of nice, strong coffee, puts out the blue pottery cup I like, and feeds our three cats; Nala, Pookie and Plumpy-Nut. Mind you, the night before I will have washed and dried the cat bowls, cleaned off the plastic mats on which their food is served, and refreshed the two bowls of water.

By the time I get up and get my cup of coffee, there are bits of food all around the cat bowls, fluffs of fur (or often, a toy mouse) in the water bowls, and the plastic mats are tracked with paw prints. Sighing, I clean up the areas, clean and refill the water bowls–all the time knowing that the next meal will bring more mayhem.

Scenario 3: Often when I come home from work, the kitchen counters are cluttered with random miscellanea, such as half-sorted mail, a box of model train parts (the Crankee Yankee is a trainiac), a fork with cement-like bits of cat food in its tines, wads of paper towels, a dried-out marker missing its top, and a plate with crumbs and greasy bits in it (another BLT?).

When I ask the Crankee Yankee why all that stuff is on the counter, he replies, ‘oh, I was going to get to that.’ (Really? Like, when??)

And last, but certainly not least, Scenario 4: Our house is circa 1953; all the rooms are small, the bathroom is miniscule, and the kitchen cupboards are not only high, but deep. For example, if I’m looking for something in the middle shelf above the counter top, I have to stick my arm in all the way to the armpit to get it.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking: ‘why doesn’t she just move things to the front of the cupboards? Problem solved!’ Yeahhh—no. That never works in our kitchen. Since the middle and top cupboards are so hard to reach, we tend to take the easy way out and use the “grabasis” (the grabber device with the grabby/pinchy things on the ends, allowing you to have an extension of your arm) to get what we need. Once used, we just shove stuff back, and so it goes.

About once every month or so, I decide to become a model of efficiency and organize the cupboards. Well, by the time I put on my work clothes, tie on my pink bandana (keeps the sweat out of my eyes and means I don’t have to draw on my eyebrows), get out the stepladder and clean it (because, after all, it hasn’t been used for two months), get the cleaning fluid and paper towels ready, plus align the wastebasket so I can easily throw stuff in it without getting off the stepladder–I have to get another cup of coffee and read for a half hour and rest up for the task. So, the cupboards may or may not get cleaned for another month or so.

And then there are the bottlenecks in the kitchen: there’s one between the refrigerator and the sink, one between the hallway leading to the bathroom and the kitchen table, and one  right in front of the kitchen door that leads to the breezeway–you cannot open the door into the kitchen when the oven door is open. So the Crankee Yankee and I constantly have to do do-si-do whenever we’re in the kitchen together.

So, there you have it: the real unvarnished American Horror story. Read it and weep. If we ever do upgrade our kitchen (the Crankee Yankee has mentioned many times about ‘stripping the kitchen to the studs’), I really don’t think I can live through it. If we do it, I’m going to have to live somewhere else for the duration, say, like Maui.





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