Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It only seems like I’m still talking about the kitchen

In our old kitchen, we kept the spices in an IKEA “Billy” bookcase with CD inserts. We had originally thought we would put that bookcase back in the shiny new kitchen, but after we painted we realized it would look hideous, so into the outside pantry it went. Now, I had planned to go on keeping the spices in bookcase, but Andrew won’t let me because the outside pantry isn’t insulated. The spices! We must protect them from humidity and drastic changes in temperature!

So instead, we have haphazardly shoved the spices into one of our cabinets, all willy-nilly, thus ensuring that we will never be able to find the spice we want at any given moment. Since our old system in the Billy bookcase allowed us to group the spices alphabetically, this new system leaves something to be desired. (Leave me alone, it was a wonderful, not-OCD-at-all system. Shut up.) So last week I went out to try to purchase some sort of organizational device to save us from our living nightmare. I had planned to buy one of those expandable step-stair shelving things like this, but Bed & Bath didn’t have any. So I mulled things over and by the time I came home I realized that the step-stair shelves would be a terrible idea, because not only would it not hold all the spices, but it would also be impossible to get at the spices in the back without knocking down all the spices in the front, causing me to scream in rage and frustration. In fact, they’d probably all fall over every time I even opened the cabinet. No, what we needed were some boxes. Stackable boxes, sized perfectly for our cabinet. We could put the spices in the boxes in alphabetical groups, and label their tops. That way, if we needed cinnamon, we could take down the “A-G” box, scan the top, and pull the cinnamon out in a snap. A snap! It was genius. Genius, I tell you!

But when I explained my brilliant plan to Andrew, he was unimpressed. He thought the boxes were a terrible idea, saying that we wouldn’t be able to get at the short ones and they’d be impossible to get out of the boxes.

I remained calm in the face of this clear insanity, and asked him what he suggested as an alternative. He said something about shelves or something. I don’t think I was really listening, because I was too busy thinking about how my idea was the perfect solution, and wondering what was wrong with him that he couldn’t see it? Especially when, at one point, he said that in a perfect world he’d like to have a deep drawer for the spices. When we opened it, we could look down on their labeled lids. “But that is the same as boxes!” I cried in frustration.

After many agonizing minutes, I finally had to put a stop to the conversation because I was so incredibly irritated. “I got irritated ten minutes ago,” Andrew replied. And it took me the next two hours get over it. He was just so… wrong! And I was right! Right right right! And apparently, Andrew felt the same way in reverse.

But here’s the really interesting part. Andrew and I have been married for almost five years, and we’ve known each other for more than ten, but this was basically our first fight. This is in part because we are both non-confrontational, but also because we so rarely disagree. We either feel the same way about something, or else one of us doesn’t really care. So it’s nice to find out that we are able to remain calm, and take that necessary step away when discussing such highly charged subjects as spice storage.


Becca said...

Oh gosh, too funny. It's dangerous when engineers marry eachother, isn't it? Don't you wish sometimes it was like the 80s and you could proudly hang your spices on the wall in some kind of plastic piece of crap (in either slate blue or dusty pink)?

Swistle said...

You know the best spice system I ever saw was baby food jars nailed to the underside of the cabinets. The lids were nailed, I mean. And then the spices were in the jars, in a long, pretty row. Reach up, unscrew the jar you need, and have no choice but to put it back exactly where it belongs.

One problem: adding a new spice, like if you take up Thai cooking or something.

Swistle said...

I'm remembering about chickens, by the way. Everything always has to STEW for awhile before I do anything about it. Which is a pretty tactless verb to use when discussing chickens.

Anonymous said...

My eyes were starting cross at the boxes, but then you got to the NOT FIGHTING part and I was all WTF?! I remember our pre-Cana class leaders saying THEY never fought and thinking PACK OF LIES. But now there are MORE people who don't fight?! The mind is boggled. Not that P and I fight a LOT, but STILL. Boggled! How does this work? I think it must have something to do with being Better People and, well, that is not going to happen.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe your first fight was about spices and not who is getting more/less sleep at night!

Anonymous said...

"We either feel the same way about something, or else one of us doesn’t really care. "

Hehe, this how me and my husband are usually. It is such a blessing to be a passive, passive person(not always, but usually). Although yesterday we had a "fight" over whether or not our hydro bill goes up in the winter. He bet me our entire life savings which is not much and quite frankly a shared asset, but still you just never know what will set off the rarely controversial types.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to you and Andrew for not being fighters. I am a very sweet, but VERY confrontational person and my non-confrontational husband and I fight ALL...THE...TIME. Teach me the art of non-confrontationalism? Please?

Anonymous said...

It is not strange to arrange your spices alphabetically! In my old apartment we had a shelf that was perfect spice height and very wide -- all my spices were there arranged alphabetically (except when my husband put them in the wrong places, the horror!!!).

We've been in a spice crisis for the past year in our new home. Our plan is a drawer and labeling the lids. Just like a box :)

Katie said...

My spices, for the first two years of my marriage, went into the cupboard above the stove. This was where my mom had always kept them, and so I kept up the tradition, despite the fact that I'm too short to actually reach them and had to either get the husband or a chair whenever I cooked (often). A few months ago, husband took some dowel rods, lined the sides of a drawer with cardboard, plunked the rods in, and voila! The spices now live neatly in the drawer, resting against their dowel supports. They are slanted just enough so that they all fit in there and it's easy to see their labels. (This was demo'd in an issue of Cook's Illustrated. Forgive the clunky description of how he did it . . . I was a liberal arts major).