Rental Diaries, vol. 29

Pretty cabinets

Mary Gray
March 1, 2020 - 13:41

“I’m going to have to zoom in on your face and on the food, Mary,” said my cameraman colleague during a recent filming session in my kitchen. We were shooting a low-budget video about low-budget pantry staples geared at Gen-Z students in Florence.

 

 

“It’s just that you don’t have very pretty cabinets, so a wide shot won’t look all that nice.”

 

 

I raised an eyebrow and almost reacted defensively. But the implicit confirmation that both my canned fagioli and my face were prettier than the rest of the kitchen was a net positive, so I let the comment slide. No small feat! Biting my tongue on matters related to my home, its rented nature notwithstanding, doesn’t come naturally to me. (Biting my tongue on basically everything else is hard, too, but I digress).

 

 

Healthy or not, I tend to look at all the aesthetic elements of my everyday life—my apartment being a prominent one—as extensions and expressions of my rawest self, which means comments about them feel personal. And since renting inevitably involves design compromises, like windowless living rooms and lowest-common-denominator cabinets, my interior decorator deep down is always bursting to tell visitors, you know I didn’t pick that out, right? Seeking validation in this way is probably not the path to inner balance, but it does make for lively discussions.

 

 

My colleague, as it turned out, must have noticed my arched eyebrow, or else had learned a thing or two from being married: “Non ti preoccupare,” he rushed to add. “I know it’s not your fault the landlord didn’t provide you with pretty cabinets.”

 

 

I’m not proud of how much I perked up after he said that, but I did feel better (I’m working on the inner balance thing). The pantry cabinets aren’t pretty, but they’re full, which offers its own kind of bliss. Plus, I store my spices in charming glass jars with pink labels affixed to them, because you do what you can in a rental.

 

 

Read all the Rental Diaries here.

Support The Florentine

The Florentine is still here.

“Thank you, The Florentine, for the support you’ve offered to the city of Florence during such a difficult time.”

—Andrea

We’ve kept our promise to stand by your side during lockdown with real-time updates on legislative changes to inform local readers; with thoughtful words and iconic photography in Healing not Broken, a commemorative special issue; a more frequent and redesigned newsletter; and TF Together, our live interview series on Facebook and YouTube.

We’re bruised, but alive. We’re hurt, but refuse to break. Our advertising revenue has all but vanished, but we are striving to stay true to our mission as the English News Magazine in Florence since 2005. It’s thanks to our readers, the international community of Florence, wherever you are in the world that we are still afloat as Covid-19 relinquishes its grip on Italy and the economic crisis begins to bite.

If The Florentine is here tomorrow, it’s thanks to you.

Please donate to help us continue our coverage from this city we love.

Our request

We’re asking Florence lovers, here in Italy, in the US and further afield, to pledge what you can to guarantee coverage in the short- and mid-term.


Personal Info

Donation Total: €20,00

more articles

Comments