Tuesday, September 18, 2012

the Hub...

I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. Yes, I do the obvious things, like cook. This kitchen will forever be in my memory as "the place where I taught myself to make good food." So far even my mistakes have been successful -- like the sweet and tangy meatball sauce I made in the crock pot? Waaaaaay too much chili sauce, but it turned out quite well.

I clean a lot, too. Some friends say I clean so much that it's nigh unto an obsession. You know what, though? I like it clean. After all, since I do spend a lot of time cooking, I want to have a clean place to work. I also am haunted by the memory from when I worked on a custodial team at a middle school, and we were allowed to borrow a bacteria counter thing-a-ma-jig from an inspector. Our toilet seats had less bacteria on them than the school cafeteria tabletops. Oh. My. SICK.

Did I ever tell you that I dance in my kitchen? YouTube and Pandora are my friends. So is Justin Bieber. He hangs out with me a lot. Gives me tips on my moves. Actually, he doesn't, and I'm glad he can't see me dance because he'd probably laugh. I mean, once upon a time I was dancing in my bedroom when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and I stopped because I was embarrassed for myself. No mirrors in the kitchen!

Talking on the phone happens a lot here, too. I'm not generally one to sit in normal places, like on a chair or the couch or in bed, while on the phone. I find myself huddled in corners, perched on the banister, sprawled on the bar over the sink, seated on the closed toilet while fixing my nails, under the table -- my favorite place is the subtle nook-ish spot by the dishwasher. Or leaning against the fridge. Don't ask my why all of those places are appealing. It's weird. I know.

Studying, writing, and stalking keeping up with friends through the Internet are frequent occurrences, too (do you ever have words that you just cannot seem to spell correctly ever? occurrences -- took me three times to get it right. rhythm is the other one I can never seem to get right). Facebook, Pinterest, gMail, Blogger...you name it. Except Twitter. Boring. They don't even have a like button.

There are a lot of good talks in my kitchen. Lots of hilarious jokes, stories about people's lives, insights into personalities, confessions, ideas, advice. Shared experiences, usually between myself and one other person. Sometimes we share food, too, but the sharing of laughter, experiences, and trust are even better.

I talk to myself, too. What? Why are you looking me like that's weird? Because if you know me, you also know that I talk to myself. And you also know that I'm weird. But it's cool! We talked about talking to ourselves in my Anthropology language class. It's healthy. Unless, you know. You're actually crazy. I have a lot of good conversations with myself. Working out problems I can't solve silently, walking myself through recipes, making myself laugh (I'm funny). Singing, too. Singing happens here.

Tears fall here, too. Sometimes there's a reason for them. Other times they just fall.

Mary Wixom said that the "kitchen is the hub of the home." It's the heart of the bustle and commotion of life. It's where people meet after their busy days -- coming in from their spokes on the family wheel and settling in the center, the Hub. It's where we talk and share our experiences. It's where we slow down for a little while, taking a few moments to notice that we're not just getting things done and running around crazy. We're living.

1 comment:

spider said...

The floor I lived on last year had a kitchen, and we used it for most of the things you listed. We occasionally cooked there (though not often because it was gross), but mostly we used it to do homework and catch up with each other after days of running around campus. It's actually what I miss most about last year--having that as a central, neutral meeting place where you could usually find a friend or two if you were lonely or needed someone to distract you from homework. I've walked along that floor once or twice this year, and that kitchen still feels like home.