Revisiting our 7 Things You No Longer Have in Your Bathroom post, I got to thinking– there are probably a lot of things in your kitchen that you no longer have that the kitchen you grew up with was rife with. So, let’s go into the kitchen!
7 – Small TV
My childhood kitchen didn’t include a small TV, but small TVs were a staple in many of my family members’ kitchens. My aunt would loyally watch her talk shows in the kitchen (namely Montell), while my grandma would watch Martin and chain smoke at the kitchen table. You might scoff and tell me about your flat screen TV taking up little to no counter space, or go on about propping your tablet up to read or even watch recipes. Guess what– these were “small” TVs by 80s and 90s standards, so they took up about as much space as an 80s and 90s microwave, or a Labrador Retriever. These things rendered whatever surface they were on useless on account of the real estate they’d take up. And you think they had cable to watch and follow along with the Food Network? What are we, millionaires? Adjust those bunny ears so grandma can watch Tisha Campbell, damn!
6 – Wallpaper
Either you had one wall covered in wall paper, or all walls waist-up covered in wall paper and the rest in wood paneling. Perhaps you were more conservative in your wall papering approach and simply went with a border. Look, we’re not here to judge. Wait, yes we are– that shit was weird. If you had wall paper (and you did), it was likely made of stripes and vines. It was, wasn’t it? Did it match the garland that was in your kitchen for no apparent reason? I’ll bet it did.
5 – Appliances of Questionable Colors
It wasn’t until I made friends with other people (by accident) when I was five years old that I learned fridges and stoves weren’t all olive green. And when our olive green stove was finally replaced? Completely eye-opening. And when our olive green fridge malfunctioned and all our Pop Shoppe bottles of pop exploded while we were on vacation? Well, let’s just say if you had an olive green fridge going into the 90s, you were pretty much asking for it. I still miss you, Lime Ricky.
4 – Microwave so Powerful and Dangerous that Standing in Front of it Would Give you Cancer
I can’t remember where (har har, you’ll see), but I recall hearing something about microwaves making women sterile. Whenever I’d make popcorn, I’d try to point my crotch toward it, having decided when I was like eight years old that I’d not be having any kids, except that I’m short and our microwave was always at head level. And now me no brain so good. On the plus side, still no kids!
3 – Ashtrays
Harkening back to my TV watchin’ chain-smokin’ grandmother, ashtrays also used to be a staple in not only the kitchen, but in every room. Lots of glass and crystal shallow bowls decorated each table I’d sit at, no matter where I went. It’s a miracle I never found a half-smoked butt in any of my meals. Between this and the microwave, kitchens were notorious for their high cancer levels.
2 – Corded Phone Stuck to the Wall
There was a time where, if you wanted to talk to another human being for whatever reason, you had to stand (or sit on that one weird chair that was kind of off to the side) in the kitchen to do so. Could you walk around? Well, as much as a 6″ cord would allow, sure. And if you had a second in-coming call and even a third to go to voice mail– bitch please, that didn’t even exist. Busy signal. Boo-yeah.
1 – Goddamn Plastic Flowers Everywhere
Photo courtesy: Hooked on Houses.
If you grew up in a newly remodeled kitchen of the 90s, you were privy to quite the cultural phenomenon: green garland on top of cabinets. Gone were the days that the cabinets went up to the ceilings to be painted over time and time again. No, you got some of those new light wood cabinets and there was a space between the top of the cabinets and your ceiling. You know what that means? THAT’S A PLACE FOR MORE THINGS. But what fits up there? Well, our parents weren’t in college at the time so cheap wine and Absinthe bottles are out. Shitty garland it is! Welcome to the 90s.