OyChicago blog

Not For Sale

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06/20/2014

When I first found out I was pregnant, I was sweet on the name Jake. I have loved that name ever since dreamy high school senior Jake Ryan discussed his growing affection for flat-chested freshman Sammy Baker Davis Junior. In my world, after “Sixteen Candles” there was nothing but love for a sweet boy named Jake. However:  

“There are so many boys named Jake nowadays.”  

“Don’t you have a nephew named Blake? Blake and Jake? I don’t know about that…”  

And some just simply said,  

“I don’t like it.”  

Well who asked them? Apparently I did. Because many people seem to think when you share something, you are in turn, asking for an opinion.

While I will admit to ultimately not having a son named Jake, I will also argue I didn’t completely chicken out. Having kids named BJ (capital B, capital J – no periods), Ryder, Phoenix and Fray (last name Moses-Rosenthal no less), clearly people could have had a plethora of opinions. But, I waited to share our name choices until it was too late. Not a word until the ink on the birth certificate was dry. Anyone who offered an opinion after that was going to look like, well, a complete jerk. And so, this is why I have been keeping a super-secret, Scooby Doo mystery-reveal all to myself. But I’m ready now! I’m ready to pull that rubber mask off of Old Man Jenkins.

No, I’m not having a baby. I’m having a kitchen! And it’s about time. As my family has gotten bigger, my kitchen has gotten undeniably smaller.  Two melted cabinet fronts (a result of my overly enthusiastic cooking of Ethiopian food) have mocked me for years.  And finally, I’m rehabbing! And it ain’t gonna be beige.

Not For Sale photo

In my kitchen fantasy, (I know it’s a fantasy because it’s clean), I have room, I have light and I have … oceanic teal cabinets with bead boarding. Yup. Oceanic teal. And the deposit is down. No turning back. Come July 7, the fantasy will be realized.  

But when the kitchen demo started, mum was the word. I took the “don’t share the name till it’s born” position.  

“So? What are you doing?”  

“Kitchen.”  

“…?”  

“…”  

I have heard a lot of “resale value” talk when it comes to kitchen rehab. Neutral colors, “inoffensive” (again read neutral) backsplash tile, white walls. But this was not to be the destiny of my fantasy kitchen. My fantasy kitchen would be a kitchen for me. Not a kitchen for just any person who walks through my home with a realtor.  

I chose red, blue, green and yellow backsplash tile (it’s recycled from reclaimed toilets. For real!); my kitchen walls will be yellow and I’m painting the corner built-in red. And although my kitchen might quite possibly be a neutrally dressed realtor’s worst nightmare, I’m OK with that – because it’s mine.  

Feeling nostalgic while writing this, I looked up some bio information on the actor who played Jake Ryan. He has two kids. Their names are Zane and Scarlett. Sounds to me like Jake wouldn’t have a neutrally decorated kitchen either. Maybe I can have him over for dinner sometime…    

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