Each time the Big Guy and I have looked at buying a new home, we were amazed by how many ‘friendly kitchens’ were advertised. What is a ‘friendly kitchen? Does it talk to you? Does it say hello when you walk in? Does it do the washing up? Does it invite everybody in to cook and start juicing as you walk in?” What the feck was a friendly kitchen?
As always, it’s just real estate jargon for “come in one and all and COOK, everyone welcome, I am the centre of the home , BUY ME.”
The kitchen is the heart of the home, it’s where we, as mothers, show our love and our despair all in one night.
All mother’s have a ‘thing’. That anal retentive thing that drives their family and friends mad. For some it’s no toys or clutter, for others it’s no shoes in the house but for me it’s clean floors and the kitchen. In fact my friend Georgie thinks she’s never actually had a coffee at my house without me tinkering in the kitchen with a cloth in hand endlessly wiping down benches. I’ve been like that since I left home. It’s my domain. We’re all control freaks at heart but I have noticed that those of us with 4 or more kids are particularly weird when it comes to the kitchen. I suspect it’s because we’re used to dishing up huge amounts of food, we know how to stretch a meal, what’s in the fridge and how to get the most bang for your buck out of a salad. Check it out next time with you’re with a mother of 4 or more, she’ll try to take over the kitchen FOR SURE! We have many mouths to feed and therefore we spend 90% of our time at home in the kitchen. We think we know best. It’s our domain and you are not allowed to f*** with it. For me, my rules are simple…….don’t come in there, don’t offer to help and for God’s sake GET THE F*** OUT OF MY KITCHEN.
There are three people who are allowed to tinker in my kitchen. The Big Guy, my sister and I. That’s all. No one else. Many a friend has attempted to come in and do the dishes after a dinner party, a morning tea or an accidental piss up and they’ve learnt the hard way and found that I would prefer people walk out with kids in tow with a sink PILED HIGH full of dishes than have people mess with my dishwasher packing or putting things in wrong places and washing up the wrong way.
Am I sorry? No.
My girlfriend and her hubby came over for dinner tonight. She knows me well. Out of habit she offered the standard “what can I do love?” and then answered her own question “I know, I know, get the f*** out of your kitchen”. It takes a while for people to understand that I honestly do not want help, I don’t want people in there, I can clean up faster than four people hand washing and asking stupid questions about where cutlery goes and quite honestly, I’d prefer to do it myself. This is why I will happily walk out of someone else’s home with kids in tow without offering to do the dishes – I assume that everyone else would prefer to do the dishes in their own kitchen than have other people wash up and annoy their kitchen mojo.
My kitchen is by no means an artistic masterpiece, most of the time odd toys, Lego, bills, hairbands, sunglasses, jewellery, tools and other crap make up the benchtop and contribute to the kitchen clutter but it’s my clutter and I know exactly where and why it’s all there. My lovely annoying Korean Cleaner (the one who insults me every week) manages to tell me I have the hardest kitchen to clean of all her clients “too many silly things on bench Miss La la, not like Miss Alison, her kitchen very nice to clean” – well screw Miss Alison ,again. In fact, my mother and my friends are looking at this picture of my kitchen right now and laughing their heads off as they’ve possibly never seen my benchtops (yes it got a Mum Network makeover for the photoshoot).
When designing our kitchen (which is actually just the same design of the old layout) I tried my best to design the unfriendliest kitchen I could. Massive bench with chairs that kept intruders on the other side. Fridge that opened between the bench and walkway so no more than two people could get through at a time, double height benches so that short people couldn’t reach the taps and double sized sinks and biggest dishwasher on the market so that the amount of dishes that need doing doesn’t actually look as much as it really is.
It worked. No one comes in there anymore. They stay firmly on the other side of the bench. When the time comes to sell, I’m really looking forward to briefing the agent and telling him I want it advertised as “the unfriendliest kitchen ever”.
What’s your bent? Do you have a “thing” where you won’t let other people touch or help you in your house?