In The Drunk Kitchen

drunk-kitchenLast fall, my parents bought and moved into their dream retirement home. They love it, and we couldn’t be happier for them. But it’s often difficult for adult children to lose their childhood homes, though it’s just a structure; walls, windows, a roof. Now and then my siblings and I confess to missing the old house. For me, it’s because that old house had the drunk kitchen.

The drunk kitchen. It’s the place where moms, sisters, daughters, and girlfriends gather with their bottles of wine.

In the drunk kitchen, wine and conversation flow freely while dishes are busily washed and put away without a thought. Secrets are shared. Advice is given. Laughter is heard. Tears are shed.

It’s the room men avoid when a family gets together for Thanksgiving dinner. In a pinch, the guys might send in the youngest to take one for the team and quickly gather every bag of potato chips he can find.

At times, daughters are reprimanded and sisters are defended. When I’m in the drunk kitchen, I actually like all of my sisters-in-law.

It’s the place were new ideas are born. And newborn babies are adored.

The drunk kitchen has been known to help the raging, nearly out-of-control momster reclaim her sanity.

For some reason, my mom has always been the keeper of our family’s drunk kitchen. I don’t know why but the magic hasn’t yet traveled to another kitchen.

I’ve tried to make it happen. I drink wine in my own kitchen with the girls. But it’s not the same. And in my failed attempts to create a new sisterhood sanctuary, I secretly panic and wonder where my daughter’s drunk kitchen will someday be.

A few weeks ago, I met my parents at the old house while a realtor inspected every room, nook and utility to prepare it for sale. There was nothing left but three kitchen chairs.

We sat in those three chairs for a bit. My mom, my daughter and I. We talked about the past. We talked about the future. We made one last memory to be recorded in the walls of that old drunk kitchen.

Does your family have one?

  • kimberwee

    Thank you sis for writing this!! Although its the simple thought, the memories are flowing!! It is still hard for me but I know I will be fine as ling as I can remember and cherish those memories!

    • http://sweetnessoflife.com Kelli

      You’ll be just fine. Great memories are meant to be cherished. :)

  • Anthony

    First of all, I completely understand the “drunk kitchen” concept. This is where things tend to be discussed whether they are good or bad, sad, happy, it doesn’t matter. If it needs to be talked about, it’s talked about in the kitchen. I don’t think there will ever be another drunk kitchen the same as the memories you carry. But it’s not the location that really matters, it’s the people; the loved ones, the ones that you should love (sisters in law), the ones you’re angry with but still love. It’s all about them. You can create another drunk location but if you try to make it the kitchen, it will never compare to your memories and will always fall short.
    By the way, the more I read your blogs and others posts, I’m realizing how I’m kind of getting the short end of the stick here. In our household, as I’ve said in the past, we both do the housework. I am the one who cooks probably 5 or 6 nights per week ( I enjoy it..) and I also do the majority of the cooking for family events. I hear you guys speak about how your husbands don’t do this or that or how they will send in the youngest male child as the sacrificial lamb to grab every bag of chips possible and I’m thinking…..DAMN!! I could SOOOOOOO be having this easier!! I don’t watch sports on tv as I do not wish to live my life vicariously through the successes and failures of grown men who play a game for a living and so now I’m thinking that maybe, just maybe I could get away with it if I turned on something like one of my science shows and included the kids so that way when my wife or whomever says something, I could then say that I’m attempting to educate the kids and am just way too freaking busy to cook.

    Also, we have a drunk bathroom. It seems that when my wife and I paint any particular room, a rather nice Melbec or Cabarnet makes the painting go by much easier. By the time we ended the painting of the bathroom, we had finished off 2 bottles of cab and we’re feeling pretty good!

    Find a different location for a new drunk place. It doesn’t matter where because if men see every woman gathered in a certain location, we’re not stupid; we will avoid that room at any cost and sacrifice any child if we need something from there.

    Just my two cents…

    • http://sweetnessoflife.com Kelli

      It’s always nice to have you, Anthony. :)
      My husband actually does use history and science channels instead of sports. And he does include the kids, too. It’s a win for both of us. I get my drunk kitchen and he gets his TV. Don’t get the wrong idea from this post… it’s not a male-bashing complaint about having to do the dishes. It’s exactly the opposite in this case.

      • Anthony

        Oh…never thought it was man bashing by any means. I find the whole female perspective interesting and it’s actually given me some insight! So thank you for allowing me to be a part of this community.

        • http://mommetime.me/ Amy

          sounds like some really special moments were created!

          Change and letting go can be extremely difficult… great post — enjoyed it!

  • http://michellemossey.blogspot.com Michelle

    I never thought of it that way, but that’s a great name for it! Lots of love and laughter (and alcohol) has been shared in my kitchen too. Actually, it is more like The Drunk Greatroom b/c our kitchen, eating area and living room are all together, but still along the same lines. Great post!

    • http://daintymom.com Martine | Work at Home Mom Writer

      I’m sort of dreading the day we have to say goodbye to my parents house. Not that it’s happening in the near future; my folks aren’t retiring any time soon! But the thought of one day never seeing my old bedroom (now my mom’s home office) or our kitchen (where we had our own “drunk” talks and such) makes me sad. Well, it’s not going to be any time soon. Still, the thought of saying goodbye to the home I grew up in will be painful when the moment arrives!

      • http://sweetnessoflife.com Kelli

        It’s difficult to say good-bye, that is for sure. But it does force one to reflect and recall many wonderful memories that may have otherwise gone unrecognized.

    • http://sweetnessoflife.com Kelli

      Thanks, Michelle! Keep making those wonderful memories in that Drunk Greatroom!

  • momto2boys

    Some drunk kitchens are those that create dishes for your booth in a restaurant. At least it’s been that way for our family.

    • http://SweetnessOfLife.com/ Kelli Nelson

       I like the sound of that idea! :) Glad to have you here at SL&M!

  • momto2boys

    Some drunk kitchens are those that create dishes for your booth in a restaurant. At least it’s been that way for our family.

    • http://kellihood.com/ Kelli Nelson

       I like the sound of that idea! :) Glad to have you here at SL&M!

  • African Wanderlust

    I love this post. I can relate to the idea of the drunk kitchen – mine is where I write, I read, sometimes eat…having recently moved to a new country – it has not yet become the place whether I gather with girlfriends to laugh and share secrets, but here’s hoping!

    • http://twitter.com/HomeCookMemory Brandie

      I moved around quite a bit as a child so I really didn’t have one (or even two or three) childhood homes, or any place to really lose as a child. The drunk kitchen you describe sounds like exactly what I have wanted as an adult…I don’t think I’ve actually achieved that yet, but maybe some time needs to pass before I…or my children…will actually be able to say if I have or not.

  • African Wanderlust

    I love this post. I can relate to the idea of the drunk kitchen – mine is where I write, I read, sometimes eat…having recently moved to a new country – it has not yet become the place whether I gather with girlfriends to laugh and share secrets, but here’s hoping!

  • http://twitter.com/HomeCookMemory Brandie

    I moved around quite a bit as a child so I really didn’t have one (or even two or three) childhood homes, or any place to really lose as a child. The drunk kitchen you describe sounds like exactly what I have wanted as an adult…I don’t think I’ve actually achieved that yet, but maybe some time needs to pass before I…or my children…will actually be able to say if I have or not.

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