A couple of months ago, I went over to a friend’s house for dinner. It was the first time I’d actually spent any time at her place, so I got the nickel tour: bedroom, living room, bathroom, dining room, kitchen. She’s a big baker (unlike me. Please see my post from a few days ago…) so I admired her new, fancy KitchenAid standing mixer and agreed that it was the best color. (I have learned that KitchenAid owners are sort of like new parents–every mixer is the prettiest and the best.) I also admired her wine rack. The rack was actually a series of wine-bottle-sized, wrought iron corkscrews that are suspended from the ceiling. I told her several times what a cool piece it was, and how great it was in the space and forgot about it.
Well, I forgot about it until I saw my friend again this weekend and she gave me an early birthday present, which was (you guessed it) an identical suspended-corkscrew wine holder-thing.
And I was horrified.
When I was recovering from the shock of what was actually in the box with a big, toothy “thank you” (thank goodness I am a better actress than I am a baker…) my friend said, “I was going to get you this other thing [read: something I actually, really wanted], but then you said how much you liked my wine bottle holder so I thought I’d get you that instead.”
Me and my big mouth. I did admire the wine rack–in her space. The thing fits in with my friend’s style and is an interesting conversation piece. It is cool. I do love it in her kitchen. I just didn’t ever expect it to end up in mine.
I feel a deeply personal attachment to my culinary space–the way many women feel attached to their wardrobes. You know, that attachment that prompts comments like, “I love that top, but it just really doesn’t fit with the style I’m going for,” or “I know everyone always says I look great in this dress, but I just don’t feel comfortable in it.”
You have to understand. My kitchen is a series of rummage sale finds and Goodwill treasures that have combined into a vintage bacchanalia that is essentially an homage to the days when homemade cookies were the norm and kids had to talk on the phone in front of their parents because the phone was still attached to an outlet in the kitchen wall. I mean, I paid actual, real money for a painted plaster wall-hanging of a bunch of bananas and cherries. On purpose. I also (though I love wine) seldom have more than one bottle of it in my house at any given time.
But now, I’ve got this giant, super modern-y, suspended, corkscrew, wine-bottle holder-thingy. And I have to figure out what to do with it, because my friend was so excited to give it to me and so I know the next time she comes over to my house ,she’s going to expect to see it. I can’t tell her the truth (i.e. “I don’t want to put it up because it doesn’t match anything and I’m just going to keep bashing my head on it and then getting hit on the back since I’ve only got that one bottle of Cab and the thing swings…”) I’ve bought myself a little time, because I’m moving soon, so I’ll claim I “don’t want to hang it up just to take it down again,” but in the interim, I need to come up with a way to use it that won’t annoy me or offend her.
Right now, I’m thinking maybe an herb drying rack? Possibly storage for my extra dish towels? (If any of you, dear readers, have some genius, out-of-the-box ideas, I’m all ears…)
Meanwhile, I’ve learned my lesson. I cannot overemphasize the importance of word choice when praising other people’s belongings. And let’s just say I’m planning on phrasing my compliments like this from now on:
“This is so different from my style, but I love this Fill-In-The-Blank-Here in this space!”