Granite Counter-tops — Punch In The FaceFebruary 22, 2009
Granite counter-tops. The ultimate symbol of GEN X’s obsession with materialism and our need to look good even if we don’t feel good. Hey, I got ’em, and they make me feel great. That’s right: they look good and they treat me even better. They shine and wink at me when I walk by. They tuck me into bed at night. They tell me all sorts of crazy stories about the time they spent in Central America. But, secretly, I hate them because I need them:
ME: I can’t be a selfish, soulless loser. I’ve got granite in my kitchen, dammit.
GRANITE COUNTER-TOPS [gleaming in the sunlight]: You got that straight, brotha.
Don’t get me wrong — I’d love to be able to blame our collective obsession with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and wide-plank hardwood floors on Flip This House, Flip That House, Flip Their Houses, Flip Run’s House, etc. But I can’t. I can only blame the obsession on our over-inflated ego’s and collective sense of entitlement. Need proof? Watch any of the shows mentioned above (I’m not sure when Flip Run’s House actually airs . . . I think sometime after Making the Band and before Brett Michaels Picks A Skank — check your local listings for exact dates and times) or their progeny: Moving Up, Property Virgins, House Hunters, House Hunters Int’l, etc., and you’ll invariably see the following scene:
NARRATOR: Chelsea is a 31 year-old social worker and her boyfriend Brandon sells sunglasses at a kiosk in the mall. They’ve been searching for the perfect home for them to share and their tastes are very specific: Brandon needs a 1,500 square foot theater room. . .
BRANDON: I need some space where me and my boys can chill.
NARRATOR: . . . and Chelsea requires a chef’s kitchen with glowing granite countertops, heated floors, oak cabinetry, and two chef’s ovens . . .
CHELSEA: I’d really like to get into cooking someday.
NARRATOR: . . . but, so far, they are very disappointed in the properties that are in their price range. Let’s see how they react when they visit this modest 2-bedroom ranch in their price range.
[CHELSEA AND BRANDON ENTER THE KITCHEN, SEE WHITE APPLIANCES, FORMICA COUNTER-TOPS AND LINOULEUM FLOORING, AND IMMEDIATELY BEGIN TO VOMIT]
Well, we can’t blame Chels and Brandon for having high standards, can we? After all, their collective income is just above the poverty level, so they deserve to live like a cross between Russell Simmons (before he split up with Kimora) and Martha Stewart, right? Not quite. Before jumping on the Chels and Brandon rationalization train, think about this: what did our parents do when they were faced with the same situation (i.e., buying a starter home within their budget)? They bought it, moved in, got out the Fantastik spray, cleaned off the older counter-tops and — gasp — put their stuff down on it. That’s right — they lived with it. So, when you’re applying for a $50,000 home equity line of credit to update your kitchen, ask the age-old question Gen X never seems to ask ourselves: Do I really need it?
Answer that question for yourselves, kids. And, as always, do as I say, not as I do — I gotta get back to wiping down my beautiful granite counter-tops. In fact, as I look at my reflection in the granite right now, I can hear them saying something to me.
ME [leaning over the granite, listening — searching — for the wise message]: What? What are you saying to me?
COUNTER-TOPS [To me, in a loving hush]: You’re a winner.