The Kitchen Table

“Yeah, they’re cute and fun,” my wife, the artist, told me a few weeks ago, “but they sell.”

When I realized she wasn’t talking about Cabbage Patch Kids, she continued her detailed and passionate explanation. 

“People love them,” she added, “and they’re collectible too.”

Um, so, not Cabbage Patch Kids. Maybe Shopkins? Hatchimals? What else? Furby? Does anyone even remember that hamster-like owl with adorably creepy ears? 

“Are you even listening to me?” she asked, having seen the all-to-familiar distant gaze starting to float across my face like clouds across the sky. 

Almost immediately, I snapped out of my fog. I’m pretty sure I had been listening a few moments ago; before my Cabbage Patch Kids reflection turned into Furby terrors. 

She had my attention now. 

She was explaining to me about where these tiny, vibrant four-inch by four-inch paintings had come from. 

Pieces from their construction — yes, construction — had littered our kitchen table for days. 

Unlike her typical art, these paintings incorporated more than paint. She calls them Mixed Media Minis (Triple Ms? MM&M’s?).

Tiny pieces of glass, beads, shards of mirror, tiles, decorative paper, molding paste, and other art supplies had been unrelentingly spread across the expanse that we normally use to feed our two children. 

I had been on a since-forgotten tirade about keeping our kitchen tidy. Not looking for “crystal clean,” just looking for “teensy bit tidy.”

A few minutes ago, I had been on a since-forgotten tirade about keeping our kitchen tidy. Not looking for “crystal clean,” just looking for “teensy bit tidy.” At the very least, I wanted to see the surface of the table; preferably for more than one day.

As I would soon learn, working against my better judgment to be able to see the table’s surface was my natural penchant to ask questions. (Probably why I was a journalist in the early days of my career.)

I wanted to learn why the construction of these paintings was making a mess of our kitchen, especially when she had a perfectly useful studio in our basement. 

So, I asked.  

Her response completely unravelled any hope of seeing the surface of that table. It may as well be the surface of the moon. I’ll never see it in person.

I had expected, “I have no space left down there” or “I need a waist-high surface.”

Both of which would have been grudgingly acceptable responses, but definitely not enough for me to relent on my one-man crusade for a “teensy bit tidy” kitchen. 

Instead, I got: “Every painting I sold at Art Walk was a Mixed Media Mini.”

The damage was done. My tirade was stopped in its tracks. There would be no seeing the surface of that table. The moon moved further away.

Her statement led to many, many… many other questions, but I had learned my lesson for today.

If these Mixed Media Minis were a best seller for her business, I was on board. Our kids’ empty tummies could wait. Days, weeks, months, or however long it takes. 

My wife, the artist, needed the space. Let’s go.

1 Comment

  1. Jacki+den+Otter

    They are pretty cute.