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Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Demise of the Disco Kitchen, Part 1

Yes, those are macaroni noodles on the floor. 
I've decided that lately some of the topics I've been blogging about have just been downright depressing. That, and really - I do talk about things other than birth. I've also decided that sometimes it would be a lot easier if I could turn off Professional Writer Mode in my brain once in a while, and not write everything in 'advertorial' voice. Kinda like peeling off those pantyhose at the end of the day and putting on sweats, finally. Ahh!

I told myself I would write about anything that affected me as a wife, mother, as a woman. I think ultimately most women want a nice kitchen, at least I know I do. An ongoing thorn in my side, the Disco Kitchen, as I call it, the culinary hub of my home, is about to get a bit of a facelift.

Notice I say a bit. Not a big one, I guess. But yesterday I was informed that that damned linoleum floor is going to be ripped out.

The heavens are singing! I can feel the vibrations!

After my husband had to swallow his pride and give in to the idea that they weren't going to rip it out and start fresh (which is what the maintenance guy in charge said he would do if it were his home, thanks for letting us know), but rather just cover it up, we've decided okay, fine - just get rid of it. We don't care how you do it. We're so sick of looking at linoleum that predates us that we're happy to get it over with already.

The house we live in was built as the Presbyterian manse, to house the pastor, in 1906. My husband's employer purchased the house in the late 80s from the church, and housed faculty in it. Not surprisingly, it is predictably Presbyterian throughout - with the exception of lovely hardwood floors throughout. Or at least, what would be hardwood - had it not been covered up with circa 1950s-style linoleum. I was hopeful that perhaps no, the maintenance department was wrong in telling me that there was no way the floors could be restored, that no, you wouldn't really need a hydrogen bomb to ply the stuff off.

Once I realized there was no hope, I stewed over it as I sat in church - the same church that used to own "our" house - and stared at the backs of blue-haired ladies wondering, Which one of you was it? Which one chose that crap to cover perfectly good hardwood floors?! I wanted to know. Now.

To further pour salt in my wounds, a woman from church came over and said smugly, "Yeah, I remember that floor." I figure I was must have been about six when that decision was made.

My precious wooden floors - which really aren't that precious - are probably the nicest feature of the house anymore, even though I can see through to the basement in several spots. There are holes drilled (which I've seen in another old house as well) which are no doubt to run TV cable through - my kids love to stuff things, like cereal, down the holes until there's a big pile of Kix on the basement floor. As probably only the third family to live here, we had to wait several weeks before the last guy - who rented a dumpster, he had so much crap to throw out - gathered his belongings and left for Greener Pastures. When I went inside for a quick peek, I was horrified: plaster coming off the walls, dingy paint, and that stupid disco flooring. The kitchen looked like a cave. Not that I minded their eclectic taste in furnishings and old movie posters, but honestly, a good cleaning wouldn't hurt. And it doesn't say a whole lot when the maintenance department was never allowed in. For 20 years.

Like most women, probably, I daydream about the wonderful renovations I want my kitchen to undergo. Knock a wall out here, add on there. A sun room, a play room. A kitchen that's functional. Nothing too fancy, just functional. Because right now, the state of my kitchen would be enough to make Paula Deen's butter turn rancid.

Last night I battled while making 8 pounds - 60+ servings "for a couple hundred!" people - of pasta. Elbow macaroni were everywhere, on the floor, a serving ended up in the sink. As I chopped celery by hand, a giant Tupperware container fell off the top of the coffeepot into the middle of my cutting board. I flung it on the floor. This never happens to Giada DeLaurentiis. I pictured Ina Garten's sleek, pristine kitchen island. I want one of those. It doesn't have to be stainless, or granite - just something other than an old table whose leaves are so warped that everything you put on it slides off onto the floor. (At least dirt doesn't show.)

So, Disco Kitchen, your days are numbered.


TracyKM said...

I've just got to say...we had that floor put in our kitchen in around 1975. It's vinyl, not linoleum :) My husband's parents also had it, a different colour, and their house was built in the early 1980s. Ripping out vinyl flooring is a huge pain. But it does give a nice bit of cushioning under the new floor :)

The Deranged Housewife said...

1975! I can't wait to tell my husband that our floor is almost as old as I am! Gross! :P