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Monday, September 13, 2010

If you can't stand the heat...

... stay out of the kitchen.

That was a favorite phrase of one of my favorite presidents, Harry S. Truman. Truman's kitchen was metaphorical, but I'm going to be literal for the purposes of this rant. Not because my kitchen is hot, but because my kitchen is my kitchen.

In case you're new here, I get solace from cooking. I'm a stress-eater, but mostly because I am a stress-cooker and a stress-baker. When the times get tough, the tough get going to Kroger, in my world.

Something about trying a new recipe or pulling out an old favorite gives me comfort and joy. I feel better when I'm elbow deep in meatloaf, piping frosting onto cupcakes or planning a dinner party.

My kitchen is my retreat. It is my favorite room in the house, whether it's my teeny-tiny galley kitchen from my college and early years living out on my own, the nice big kitchen that went out to the nice big wooden deck at Jane's house or my kitchen now, which opens into the den and allows me to watch the Food Network while I cook and socialize with my guests. I always said if I ever bought a house, I'd have a nice open kitchen attached to the rest of the living area, and now I do. I have lots of cupboards, lots of counter space, brand-new kitchen faucet and pot rack. It's a nice space.

When I finally got things organized and got settled in (sometime after my home's previous owner finally got settled out), one thing that I did was organize all of my staples, spices and the like in the cupboard next to the stove. You know, the things that I needed the most just an arm length's away. There wasn't anything else in that cupboard, but that was OK. I'm short, and I'm sure as soon as all my stuff gets here out of storage, I'd find something to put there.

So, with three more shelves available, I thought it'd be a goodwill gesture to suggest the precious cabinet space near the cupboard to my roommate for all of kitchen things that had become piled on the counter. I said to her, "There's some extra space in that cupboard if you would like to put the stuff on the counter in there."

I keep re-reading that sentence and replaying it in my mind. Because I'm not quite sure how you'd hear that and think "Hey, Laura must want me to move all her stuff and put my stuff on the only shelf in the cupboard that she's using."

Really, honestly, how does that make sense?

So, now all of her stuff is on the bottom shelf and all of my stuff is on the next shelf, which I can't really reach. So, instead of cooking being a wonderful, stress-relieving activity, it now requires me to climb on a chair to reach my staples. So, basically, if I want to cook, I have to climb on the chair to get even the most basic of ingredients.

Even if I didn't have to stand on a chair, it would still piss me off. Mostly because I would never imagine moving someone else's stuff to put my stuff there, especially if that's not what they instructed me to do even if it meant that I had to stand on a chair (which I'm not believing she has to do, because now even more kitchen goods are in locations I can't reach). I would never, ever treat someone poorly because they are living in my home. I would never make someone feel like there were no space available to them in my home when they were paying to stay there. But I also wouldn't have moved their stuff if it had been there first. I just don't get it.

Part of me wants to be a bitch about it (and I have been a little passive-aggressive; I guess one could say this blog is a little that way... ). Part of me thinks it's not worth it (even though I don't want cooking to be inconvenient and I really do find it to be a personal affront). And part of me knows that the situation is getting worse (like the drinking glasses being moved to an even higher shelf than my commodities), because I haven't spoken up.

Realistically, this week when I bring the ladder downstairs to paint the bathroom, I am just going to rearrange the cupboards again. After all, it is my house (OK, I guess I am playing that card). And if anyone asks, I will explain why I am doing it. I don't want a big confrontation and any type of drama and it isn't worth getting upset about, but it does need to be corrected before I do have something to say about it.

Not the best way to deal with things, but I've had food go to waste because I can't reach the pepper and the bread crumbs. Nevermind that I can't find the olive oil...

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