A few years ago we remodeled our kitchen and, as was popular at the time, bought all black and stainless steel appliances. I loved the look of them, all sleek and shiny. We also had granite counter tops installed, in a very dark, speckled blue. In hindsight, or more accurately, in my nearsightedness, this was a bad choice for the kitchen. I’m blind as a bat anyway, and while I thought hiding the dirt was a good idea at first, I quickly realized it hid it so well, the health department might show up. The black stovetop is certainly great because you don’t see any burnt stuff on the burner pan but, in fact, you don’t even know it’s there until you smell it burning for the second time. Conversely, the stainless steel surfaces show every fingerprint and towel swipe. You end up cleaning your cleaning.
The counters are another matter. You can’t see anything on them smaller than a golf ball. I just recently lost two liquid Advil capsules on there for a week. I only found them when I squished one with a stock pot. I have to get eye level with it to even see the stuck-on stuff. I have taken to running my hands over the surface in order to feel the offending bits. I have discovered maple syrup rings, catsup splotches and other indistinguishables the hard way. This usually involves a very important piece of paper that gets stuck as if were decoupaged. If you have ever dealt with granite, you will also know that it needs to be polished in order to stay shiny and non-porous. This also helps with my Helen Keller approach to cleaning it. However, I have over polished it and had dinner plates slide right off and on to the floor like Starsky and Hutch over the hood of their Gran Torino.
I am now in preparation of the holidays so I am in cleaning overdrive. I lean down and squint with one eye and run my hand over the counter slowly as if I am feeling for splinters on newly sanded wood. I kneel down, I close one eye, I move around to a different angle, I squint some more. I turn as if to walk away and whirl around quickly as if to startle it into giving up more grime. It’s an obsession. This has prompted my husband to nickname me, “The Granite Whisperer.”