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PROSAPIO: Unhinged — misadventures with my kitchen cabinets

Have you ever switched cars and turned on the windshield wipers instead of the turn signal? Or maybe entered your phone password on your garage door keypad? Or turned left out of habit even though you are driving somewhere else entirely?

Then you understand the situation that is currently driving me crazy in my kitchen.

As I type this, I’m a little concerned about going into my kitchen without paying close attention. Because my kitchen is the land of “partial soft close.”

If you are unfamiliar with the phenomenon of soft close hinges, let me explain. There are hinges that prevent you from slamming your cabinet doors. They are like little magical doormen who gently close the cabinet door they are assigned to every single time. I’m sure there’s an actual spring device in there, but suffice it to say soft close hinges are mysterious and wonderful and I’ve wanted to replace every single hinge in my world ever since I found out about them.

The only problem is it’s the kind of thing that’s easy to forget about. You see, a soft close hinge is one of those things that doesn’t come to mind until the moment you are in the kitchen, and you close a cabinet door with your elbow. Then it goes BANG, making you almost drop the can of green beans you got out. Then you think, “Yeesh, I need a soft close hinge on that door.”

Then life goes on and you are back to figuring out which button makes the streaming service show captions in English and not in Dutch, which seems like an odd second option.

Then there is a miracle. You’re at the hardware store and as you are looking at a bunch of handles you don’t need, there they are: soft close hinges. You remember! You actually NEED those!

Unfortunately, you discover they come in two different sizes. No problem, you think, your house is pretty average, it’s probably the one that appears to be the most common, the one they have the most of in the little bin. So you buy only two, just to be safe.

Then when you get home you find out that you have two that are the wrong size because it turns out that the most common one is the one they have the least of in the little bins. Which makes sense now that you think about it.

After a few months of this, you managed to accumulate enough soft close hinges for about four doors.

You have an executive meeting with your fellow door slammer and determine the priority doors. In go the soft close hinges.

Now the real fun begins. Because those doors you no longer worry about slamming? The ones you carefully picked because you use them all the time? Those doors train you to slam the other doors ALL THE TIME.

Which is why I’m nervous every time I open a cabinet because now I have to try to remember if it has a soft close hinge or not.

One of these days we’ll accumulate enough hinges to replace every single one in the kitchen. Then we’ll just be afraid of the downstairs bathroom where all the doors slam.

I’m sure we’ll remember that, though. Right?

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