A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

I used to be open, loving, trusting, funny. I used to be patient and flexible and have a ton of cash on hand, just in case. People used to ask me, “what’s up?” and I would could be cool and pithy in my reply.

Now, I am none of those things. I am a hardened woman. And broke. I have traveled to the inky depths of my soul, and it scares me.

You see, I have just undergone a kitchen remodel.

Arthur, my contractor, is a lovely man. He was really, truly considerate and wanted everything to be right. His workers, Luis and Francisco, were flirty to the exact correct degree and quite talented and respectful, for the most part (I am overlooking the cigarette butts in my pepper plant and the mysterious disappearance of my eagerly anticipated leftovers.) Everything was priced just fine. I hired a different guy for the counters, fired him because he was a jerk, then hired a man married to my coworker to do the counters.

I’m getting weeded by details, but suffice to say, after many, many trips to Home Depot, a leak in every hose, dust in my nose, electrical erratica, and more cultural and language barriers than Sarah Palin at tea with a Pygmy king, my kitchen is complete.

It started like this. It had gone virtually unchanged since 1947, with perhaps the addition of new appliances in 1974.

Then I arrived in summer of 2005, introduced the new appliances, an Italian ceramic tile floor and a paint job that turned out to be waaaaay too pink.

I was carried away with the DIY spirit, and figured new hinges and a brightening of the cabinets would do the trick.

Um, no. I was thinking “ballet class” theme with pink and black and white. Instead it was more like, “French prostitute flophouse.”

There was also an orange incarnation of cabinets, but that was too ugly for pictures. None exist, so please do not pester me with requests for photos. Like you know you want to.

Then I went with just white and black and lived like that for a couple more years. Hinges didn’t work quite right. Doors didn’t shut all the way. Used a rickety metal cabinet I found on the street that left rust stains on the floor. Finally, the cumulative effect was to make me crazy. I’d snicker at the unstable cabinet and hurl insults at the doors when they kept popping open. It became time to ask for help. Professional help.

After an initial extortion bid from Home Depot ($22,000 for cheap-ass resurfacing! With vinyl! On my cabinets!) I found Arthur from the underground network of people tippped off by the Home Depot coordinator when someone doesn’t work out for them.

There was this.

And now, I am pleased to introduce my beautiful new kitchen. Come over sometime and I will proudly make you a sandwich and place it on my loveliest plate, which you can see through the clear glass in the cabinets.

Vanessa McGradyA Clean, Well-Lighted Place

Comments 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *