Which room would you rather hang out in?
It seems like a no-brainer. I want hang out in A when I have a good book, B when I want to watch 30 Rock, and C only when necessary. But I’m telling you, when our friends and neighbors come over, ten out of ten times they pick C.
I know that kitchens are ‘hot’ now, and I understand the whole ‘hearth of the home’ vibe, but frankly, my hearth is a disaster area of dirty dishes, crumb-covered floors and sticky countertops. If my kitchen looked like this, I would completely understand why people would want to hang out there – in fact, I would insist on it. But my kitchen is one old takeout Chinese container away from being declared a toxic waste zone.
Even with the kitchen suffering from some serious benign neglect, I don’t panic when people stop by. After all, I can offer my guests comfortable, pretty places to sit that spare them the sight of the remains of last nights’ dinner, still stewing in the sink.
Alas, I’ve watched as my visitors walk right into the thick of the mess that is my kitchen and stay there, ignoring the perfectly useable couches and chairs that are within plain sight. What gives? Why do folks shun the comfort of a tufted leather chair to perch on stools at the kitchen counter? Is there something particularly compelling about the pattern of fingerprints and juice splatters on the fridge door? Perhaps the thin coating of bacon grease, spaghetti sauce and smeared mac and cheese on the stovetop provides the perfect backdrop for adult conversation. Perhaps – and I suspect this is closer to the truth – people feel better about their own lives when they see the wreckage of mine.
Whatever the reasons for the magnetism of the kitchen, I’m incredibly thankful that we have friends who are willing to pony up to the bar, ignore the smell coming from the garbage disposal and have a good time.