Organized crime in the kitchen cabinet

There are some things most men simply should not do.

Messing with a woman’s kitchen is one of them.

In an unprecedented move, the husband recently attempted to relocate my waffle maker. He said the cupboard he put it in made more sense than the cupboard I had it in for years.

He claims the look I gave him left burn marks.

When our oldest daughter and her husband recently moved, our son-in-law went ahead of the family and received delivery from the moving van. Since it was going to be several weeks before the family arrived, he unpacked everything — everything except the kitchen.

He’s a smart guy. Aside from the fact that his own mother says he could starve to death in front of a fully loaded ‘fridge, he is intelligent, capable, resourceful, reliable and appreciative of a good meal. He knows that a woman’s kitchen is her domain. He knows that a woman likes to organize cookware and tools for accessibility, workflow and convenience. He knows a woman likes to set up her own kitchen so that she can find her paring knife, zester and jar of whole nutmeg with her eyes closed.

All of which makes the following hard to explain. For some reason, he changed his mind and decided to unpack the kitchen.

“You’ll like it,” he told his wife by phone.

“I don’t want criticism, only praise,” he said.

“How hard is it to set up a kitchen?” he said.

If my better half had assumed the task of setting up the kitchen in my absence, I know exactly where he would put everything. Coffee, coffee filters, crackers, chips, all foods salty and or crunchy, would go in the most easily accessible cabinet. He would keep the second most accessible cabinet clear for the Top Ramen, Hamburger Helper and mac and cheese in the blue box, which he would later buy by the case.

He’d take one look at boxes of dishes cradling dinnerware, china, pedestal plates, serving pieces, tea pots, demitasse spoons and miniature trifle bowls, and put two forks, two coffee mugs and two plates in a cupboard and move everything else to the garage.

Men and women both organize by logic and convenience, but logic and convenience can look very different in different brains.

Our son-in-law set up the kitchen by – drum roll, please – color.

It made perfect sense. He opened boxes, saw red dishes and white dishes. He put all the red dishes in one cabinet and the white dishes in another. White 9x13s, white square baking pans, white serving bowls joined the white dinner plates, salad plates and bowls. Anything clear glass —drinking glasses, juice glasses, measuring cups, glass bakeware — went in another cabinet. Everything dark or metal, including cookie sheets, soup pot, muffin tin, cast iron skillets and a black salad bowl, went in another cabinet.

What did he consider the most frequently used item needing prime real estate?

Quesadilla maker — front and center.