â€œBehind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.â€
If you were to walk into our kitchen door right now a couple of things would happen:
- You would scare the bajeezes out of me.
- The cats would scatter like Lutherans asked to clap and sway in church.
- You would most likely trip over the pile of shoes that inevitably ends up right in front of the door.
Letâ€™s dismiss the first two points for now and zero in on that third one. As much as I enjoy our house, I wish the person who laid out the floor plan had been a woman. Why? Because women â€œgetâ€ stuff that men donâ€™t.*
Our kitchen entrance is a prime example. Coming from the garage you take two steps up, open the door into the kitchen, andâ€¦youâ€™re kind of stuck. Thereâ€™s nowhere to go unless you want to track across the floor to set down groceries, keys, or coats. If thereâ€™s more than one person who wants to come in at the same time the problem is compounded.
For instance, my husband and I usually get our groceries on Sunday afternoon. We arrive home, pull into the garage, and park. About then we realize we need to get the garbage canâ€”which sits in front of my carâ€”out to the end of the driveway, so we back out again. We re-park. My husband puts the keys in his mouth, grabs two bags of groceries from the car trunk, and heads through the kitchen door first.
The security alarm starts beeping with a lazy â€œno-worriesâ€ tempo as he tries to kick off his shoes before crossing the kitchen to set the bags on the counter. Depending on the shoes heâ€™s wearing this can get interesting.
In seconds, the lazy alarm tempo picks up the pace, as does my husband. His â€œno-handedâ€ shoe removal turns into some resemblance of a polka.
Meanwhile, I grab whatever else needs to come inside and attempt to enter the door. I canâ€™t, however, because heâ€™s barely inside and still flailing his foot in the air hoping a shoe will drop off. I back up just as the door slams in my face.
â€œHey!â€ I say to nobody. Both of my arms are full, so Iâ€™m having a hard time getting the doorknob to turn. Why did I inherit Dadâ€™s stubby fingers? I think, as I hear thuds, scuffling, and beep, beep, BEEP, coming from the other side of the door.
When I do get the door open I see the grocery bags sitting on the counter. I also see telltale footprints crossing the floor. My husband looks at me with an equal mixture of sheepishness and defiance. â€œWhat could I do? It was tracking to dump the groceries or having the alarm go off.â€
I nod in understanding, and then trip over the shoes he just kicked off because I canâ€™t see over the grocery bags in my arms.
My point? Iâ€™m thinking a woman architect would have seen that bottleneck a mile off. In fact my friend, Janice Billman, designed her house many years ago and has a wonderful transition room between the kitchen and garage. There is space to remove shoes, hang coats, and put items like keys, backpacks, and groceries down until you are ready to go into the kitchen. I know a â€œmudroomâ€ is not a new idea, but it was not included in our house when the plans were drawn up. Janiceâ€™s house is full of thoughtful little touches, and while she is not an architect, she is a wife and a mother. Janice understands the flow of day-to-day living and the subtle nuances that make life so much more enjoyable.
Short of a major remodel, my husband and I are stuck with the kitchen entryway. That doesnâ€™t prevent me from fantasizing, however! How about you? Are there any areas in your home that you think a woman could have, would have, designed better? Or, like my friend Janice, maybe you designed your house or some fabulous details within it. Show some photos of what is working so we can all appreciate great female planning!
*(Yes, I know Iâ€™m gender-generalizing, but no males were harmed in the writing of this blog!)