My love....my darling.
How many nights I've laboured, heavy with the weight of too much drink and conversation
So many laughs....so many tears....
And one and only one constant, my sweet, sweet angel.
You've hosted with me through family dinners, through impromptu jam sessions, through heated debate and pumpkin pie-laden erotic debauchery.
You've reveled with me in the joy of many a successful party, you've nursed me from the brink of soul-crushing depression at a casserole gone horribly awry.
You've seen my first bread-baking
My first sushi
My first bastilla
My first....my goodness love, who's keeping track anymore.
I look around at your deeply-hued walls and I revel in the perfection of your imperfections. Your lines are not as true as they were, my precious. There's the floor tile bearing the faintest ghost of an amoeba-like purple stain with a hairline crack in the center where I dropped a bottle of wine....The deep dent in the wall where Orange Blossom got so excited after tasting something I'd made on your range that she scared the cat who knocked over a bar stool....a deep gouge in your floor from a friendly wrestling match combined with too much booze.
I've held you close through remodels and upgrades....repaintings....the callous removal and rehanging of decor...
My most exquisite beauty....I've never seen you look better than when you've got an antique Jack Daniels poster (tastefully framed of course...you're always so tasteful) hung upon your lightly glistening semi-glossed plaster. Sometimes, I will admit, I've been neglectful in the patching up and repainting of those blessed nail holes, and that backsplash tile that escaped only to dash itself against the cold surface of the sink remains unreplaced....but they serve only to enhance your natural charisma. And as a result, do people not walk through your threshold and sigh with an appreciative "wow....this is a gorgeous Kitchen"?
We both know they do, love. We both know.
And so, my glorious bastion of culinary and social eloquence, it embarrasses and shames me to think of the times that have been less than faithful. The nights away, boozing in public....the dinners and clandestine lunches spent in other kitchens, to say nothing of my long-term relationship with that floosie at work....my god it fills my heart with grief. I'm not too proud to admit to you, dear kitchen, that in the past I've been tempted by the pictures in those.......magazines. The tawdry Gourmets, the Bon Appetites, the Food Arts, and the Saveurs. With their fickle promises of stainless steel surfaces (adorned with little yellow stars proclaiming to the world their energy efficiency) , magnetic knife strips, their ample
(and probably cosmetically enhanced) cabinetry, and (dare I say it) island work stations complete with sink. It's faucet arcing unnaturally and hedonistically, offering a removable spray attachment.
NO! My beautiful....no. These things are false....they do not hold a candle to your warmth and welcoming aura. The old memories only good songs can remind you of. There are a million "Tik Toks" and"Superbass'" but you're the only one who's "God Only Knows".... Trash compactors are for the slothful....marble countertops would only serve to dull my knives. With them I could never invite my parents over for dinner....I could never allow several drunken, scantily-clad ladies to prance around to the sounds of 80's pop tunes and my Electro Glam Euro Trash Pandora station. And without that....what IS a kitchen good for?
I can't help but smile when I think of all the time I've spent inside of you...peeking hungrily into your fridge...warming the whole house so much with our stove-top frivolity that our party-guests had no choice but to step out into the 90 degree weather on a summer night to 'cool off'....Nights where, though the belly was full, the vision still blurred.
And so I look to the future, dear, sweet, wonderful Kitchen. A toast. To the sound of popping corks, the clinking of glasses, the flipping of cookbook pages, the whir of the Kitchenaid, and the giggle of boiling water. I want you to know that no matter what happens....I'll always cherish our time together. You mean the world to me and my food is better for having known you. And when I'm long gone, I hope your walls echo with the specter of the good times had and those fiercely loved.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.