When I was a kid, if there was a carton of milk on the kitchen table, someone would say in a warning tone, “Grandma’s looking in the window.” At first, I didn’t get it. My grandmother lived 1,500 miles away and was frail. If she’d come all that way to look in our windows, shouldn’t we invite her in?
Eventually, I figured out it was because my mom would have been mortified if her mother had ever come to our house and seen a packaged product on the table. Drinks were portioned into glasses or served from a pitcher; condiments were always in a dish.
It’s the way I do things to this day, although these rules are violated daily by my children. The other day, I caught my littlest one admonishing her sister for putting down a hairbrush “on the counter… where we prepare food,” in a pitch perfect imitation of me that dripped with the kind of in-on-the-joke sarcasm only a six-year-old could muster.
They can make fun of me all they want, though. Who leaves a hairbrush, or any other haircare product, someplace where food is prepared? In addition to hairbrushes, haircare products, and packaged products, here are 8 more things that don’t belong on your kitchen tables and counters (according to my grandma, my mom, and me, at least).
It’s hard to imagine my children ever inheriting my rules for what should and should not be on kitchen tables and counters, but I’d like to think that maybe in thirty years or so, when my daughter leaves her hairbrush on the counter for the zillionth time, she’ll feel just the teensiest stab of paranoia that I’m looking in the window.