In Real Life & Liars, the character of Katya is defined in part by her kitchen:
“Her granite countertops gleam, her stainless-steel refrigerator reflects the afternoon sun coming in from the breakfast nook, and if she were prone to do such things, her utensils and pots hanging from the rack above the center island would sound like wind chimes if she brushed them with her hand.
Once, she saw a refrigerator magnet at her mother’s house that said, ‘Boring women have clean kitchens.’ Katya was deeply insulted.”
My kitchen looks nothing like this.
I do strive for uncluttered counters, because clutter makes me nervous. Each piece of flotsam lying out in the open screams at me: “Put me away! I don’t belong here!” and I don’t like to be screamed at while I’m making coffee.
However, my refrigerator is a free-for-all, a crazy quilt of clutter. We’ve got the requisite kindergarten certificates and scribbled drawings, reminders of terribly important things that we squint at with bleary eyes in the morning and forget about when it counts.
We’ve also got some irreverent magnets, like these, here, which will have to go away soon, now that my oldest is learning to read. I don’t think I want to hear him ask, “Mommy, what are track marks?” or have him announce to his teacher, “Beer saved my parents’ marriage.”
Pictured below is my favorite thing on my fridge. We call it “Picasso Turkey.” My son made this in preschool, when he was four years old. He was supposed to paste these pre-cut foam pieces onto a clothespin and render it turkey-like. Personally, I find this result more hilarious and endearing than any perfect turkey could possibly be. In fact, I find his total disregard for conventional turkey imagery to be utterly charming.
My character, Katya, would never be able to stand such weird disarray in her perfect kitchen.
Her loss, wouldn’t you say?