It was mid November when I got the call.
“Hey, Lisa, it’s me. Guess what…they’re here! The twins arrived yesterday afternoon!” my 40-something neighbor Sandra cried joyfully on the other end of the telephone.
“Are you kidding?” I replied. “Isn’t it a little early? You weren’t expecting them for a couple more weeks. How do they look? Did everything go okay?”
“Oh, they’re just beautiful, and everything went fine. I can’t wait for you to see them. When can you come over?”
I hesitated a moment, a twinge of envy coiling in the pit of my stomach. Here I was, 42 years old, with a beautiful one of my own at home, and suddenly and unexpectedly I was jealous of my friend. I’d always been perfectly content with my lot in life, or so I’d thought, but now, in light of Sandra’s news, I realized that maybe I hadn’t been so happy after all…maybe I wanted what Sandra had.
I wasn’t getting any younger, either. You never know what the future holds, and I could practically feel the sands of time slipping through my fingers, which anxiously wrestled with the telephone cord while Sandra waited for my response.
Call me selfish, but now that my neighbor had her new bundles of joy, I wasn’t sure I was up to visiting. “Maybe I’ll stop over in a few days, when things are more settled down over there,” I told her. “I wouldn’t want to be a bother, or get in the way.”
“Oh, no, you have to come,” Sandra said. “I can’t wait to show off the new arrivals!”
We were talking, of course, about Sandra’s new double ovens, the delivery that had come a few weeks ahead of schedule. The baby she was in fact expecting was due to arrive some time in the middle of December, but for the moment, I was more interested in her new appliances.
I’d hate for anyone to think I wasn’t grateful for what I have. I really, truly appreciate what life has given me. I love my family and my friends, and so far we’ve been fairly healthy (you don’t have anything if you don’t have your health, right?). We have a perfectly nice house in a perfectly nice neighborhood. I really like my car, a serviceable Toyota, and we vacation in Rhode Island, my favorite place in the whole world, every summer. There’s not much for which I’m lacking, I honestly believe.
When it comes to my kitchen, however, I have to admit I’m a bit of a Greedy Gus. If I didn’t like to cook and we never entertained, I don’t think I could so easily justify my avarice. After all, look at the many celebrities and entrepreneurs and socialites that have huge kitchens with center islands, granite countertops, walk in pantries and top of the line, state of the art appliances, and never even use them!
Do they really need stainless steel Viking ranges and Thermador warming drawers and Sub-Zero double side-by-side refrigerators and whisper-quiet Bosch dishwashers and Wolf double ovens if they’re always going out to dinner? Or if their personal chefs and housekeepers and assistants are they only ones who ever actually touch them?
If I had even a fraction of these goodies in my kitchen, you can be sure that I’d be using them, with relish.
One is the Loneliest Number
Ever since we moved into our house 12 years ago, I’ve wanted a double oven. We simply don’t have the space in our kitchen, however, and I’ve always managed to make do with the one oven we have. We’d have to remove an entire section of cabinets – upper and lower – to accommodate a set of double ovens, and then I’d have even less storage space than I do now.
If Jessica Simpson, Donald Trump or Paris Hilton (these three probably don’t do nearly as much cooking and baking as I do) were to visit my home, they’d find me scrambling for counter space, rearranging the items in my crowded cabinets and wracking my brain to come up with a way to cook two different dishes at two different temperatures in my one oven.
Just once, I’d like to have the chance spread my cooking and baking supplies out while I’m working, or maybe roll out a pie crust that didn’t hang over the edge of my counter. In my dreams, I’m baking an apple pie and roasting a turkey in two separate ovens AT THE VERY SAME TIME!
When I finally did make it to Sandra’s to see the new arrivals, I couldn’t help but gasp with admiration. Two gleaming, white double ovens now served as the focal point to her kitchen. Like any good friend, I oohed and ahhed over the beauty of the twins.
Before I left, Sandra and I discussed the upcoming Christmas holidays. She and her husband already had two beautiful children, and the new arrival was only weeks away. “Are you going to wait until the baby gets here to take pictures for your holiday cards?” I asked.
“That’s what I’m planning, but I don’t know if we’ll actually be able to find time to take a group shot once the baby’s born,” she replied.
“Why don’t you forget the kids, and take a picture of your new double ovens for your holiday cards?” I suggested. “That way, you’ll have the photos out of the way, and the family and friends on your mailing list can see how beautiful the ‘twins’ are for themselves!”