A Really Bitchin’ Kitchen.

Posted by admin on January 22, 2018 in Growing Up |
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I was trying to help my son with life this past week. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot of stuff, so I thought I would give him some pearls of wisdom to help him take a few shortcuts.

This never works out, of course. I had mentioned that he had better bone up on the company he was interviewing for as they will ask him “What do you know about our company?” But he poo-pooed it, saying he’s never been asked that in all three interviews he’s had.

With some satisfaction, I received a text from him shortly after his interview last Friday. It said: “It was the first question the guy asked me.”

As I said, I’ve learned a few things over the years. I imagine my father learned a few things along the way too, but I wouldn’t have listened to him at 19 either. Such is the circle of life.

I do hope, however, that he takes the one thing I said to heart. We were talking about our first apartments – real sh**holes compared to where we live today. But Kat and I still remember them fondly as if it were yesterday.

It was then that I shared a pearl. I said, “Always have a nicely stocked kitchen, even if you don’t use any of it.”

He laughed and said all he needed was a toaster oven, a plate, a bowl, a couple of glasses and some silverware lifted from Dennys.

Kat and I both laughed out loud, as we knew from experience that this assortment would get him nowhere in the romance department.

“Whether you know it or not, when you leave the room for even a second, your date will check out your kitchen cabinets and drawers.”

“Why would she do such a thing?” he asked.

Kat chimed in. “Because she will learn everything about you by what’s there.”

Me? I always had a nice kitchen and I always tried to keep it clean and orderly, especially when there was any possibility of a guest stopping by.

That meant I always cleaned the kitchen before a date. Rarely did someone ever come home for a nightcap or to make out, but the few times they did I was glad I had a clean kitchen. And food in the fridge.

Kat is right, after all. While a date may not check everything out, a kitchen says a lot about a guy. It’s a generally accepted standard that a woman’s kitchen will always look well appointed. I’m not being sexist here. In my experience, the women I have known like to have plates that match, glasses that aren’t shot glasses from Vegas, decent pans and flatware that doesn’t include plastic sporks or chopsticks.

Even when I was piss-poor, I tried to have a nice set of dishes and flatware. Nothing says “I don’t care what you think of me” more than paper plates and forks with wandering tines. You might as well have skipped the shower and clean underwear as your date is guaranteed to move her food around the plate for a bit and then hightail it out of there as quickly as possible. You won’t even get to the ballpark, let alone first base.

I admit that over the years, I have kept my kitchen basics in a box, even after I have moved in with someone. It’s like having one of those emergency ladders installed outside your third-floor apartment. You may never need it, but it’s always there, waiting, just in case you need to evacuate on a moment’s notice.

It helped, of course, that I know how to cook. I enjoy the process, so I always have decent pots and pans, even when they came from Goodwill. A good coffeemaker was also a necessity and in a nod to Parker, a toaster oven, but never a toaster.

I do hope he takes my advice on this eventually. I think a kitchen says a lot about who you are and even your state of mind. A place for everything and everything in its place. Hey, wasn’t that Mary Poppins?

Well, it’s true. If a guy’s eating utensils aren’t resting in a flatware organizer, run for the hills. Just imagine what his underwear drawer looks like. Glasses not sorted by type or at least size? He’ll never retrieve the hair out of the shower drain. No cookware? Guess who he thinks will be doing the cooking for him. And paper towels instead of napkins (even paper ones)? Well, that ring he plans to give you one day was probably from his last failed marriage.

I didn’t make all this stuff up. I think we all know that your kitchen, just like your bedroom closet, says a lot about you. You can drive the fanciest car on the planet, but if there are dirty dishes in your sink or the stovetop has yesterday’s takeout strewn about, you are not a guy worth spending time with.

It reminds me of a friend I once knew. He didn’t own a vacuum (which we all know, needs to be kept visible, if never used), so he improvised. He sawed a two-by-four to the length of the vacuum head and stuck a broomstick on the end. Then he pushed it around the room so the carpet had that lovely “just vacuumed” look to it.

I have to say, he was a bit of an artist with the thing. If it weren’t for the shards of stale Doritos lodged in the pile, I would have probably fallen for it. It’s probably a good thing that he only had one working lamp in the room. It was not only romantic but hid the crap still stuck in his carpet.

I suppose Parker will learn this all on his own someday, just as I did. Maybe it’s just a process we all have to go through as we leave the nest and go out on our own. Or maybe I’m just more of a girly-guy than I think I am and the women who only dated me once thought I was probably gay.

In the Emerald City, cabinets filled with lovely things, all Kat’s!

  • Robb

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