Passion for polka dots not shared by everyone

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My mother thinks I’ve lost my mind…or at least misplaced it.

I want to have blue and green polka dots airbrushed on my 20-year-old KitchenAide mixer. Granted, the process is not cheap and I would have to wait for a celebration-warranted event to have it done, but I want polka dots on my mixer.

You can blame my perceived lapse in sanity on Alton Brown and my grandson.

Alton Brown is a network food star who headlines “Dining on Asphalt” and is the American facilitator of “Iron Chef.” He also uses the same retro-style plates and bowls I have in my own kitchen on his show, “Good Eats.” How could you not empathize with someone who shares the same taste in tableware?

His mixer is decked out in a red and yellow flame pattern and, while I admire Brown’s chrome and enamel utilitarian piece of kitchen artwork, I do not want anything as flashy. I only want polka dots. What is so crazy about that?

You see polka dots everywhere. They appear on clothing (I have a white dress with red polka dots), stemware (mine have blue and green ones), shoes, and even wrapping paper. (Take your pick: I have blue paper with white dots and white paper with pink and red ones).

As for my grandson influencing my spot-filled wish, you can call it guilt by association with a new catcher’s mask I bought for his birthday. My daughter and I thought it would be “cool” to have his nickname airbrushed on the helmet, so I contacted a studio to see if it could be done.

I have to admit, after learning of our “cool” intention, my husband—a licensed sports official—said it was not such a great idea for an 11-year-old baseball player.

An artist I spoke with said it could be done, with no problem, although he cautioned the artwork would be somewhat temporary in nature because the helmet would be frequently tossed to the ground. As I was walking out of the store, I casually discussed Brown’s mixer and my desire for dots on my own KitchenAide, which wouldn’t get nearly the same workout as my grandson’s helmet.

Again, the artist said it would be no problem, but because the process involved taking off the mixer’s clear coating, airbrushing the polka dots, and then re-applying the clear coat, the cost was about half of what I paid for the mixer back in the late 1980s.

I was still determined to have my own little quirky example of kitchen artwork, but knew it would now be a birthday, anniversary, or Christmas gift, so I told my mother—the family keeper of wishes—in hopes she would pass along my thoughts to my husband or daughters.

The response was not what I expected.

Instead of embracing my whimsical wish, she looked at me like I had grown a second head. She said if she ever paid for painting polka dots on a mixer as a gift, she would lie to people when they asked what she bought and tell them she purchased a piece of jewelry.

Clearly, my mother does not share my artistic vision, but I am still hopeful someone, anyone, will put a bug in a family member’s ear that I really want blue and green polka dots painted on my kitchen mixer. It would make me happy.

What it so crazy about that?

Linda Dillman is a Messenger staff writer.

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