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31 March 2013 @ 08:24 pm
Title: Painting My Kitchen
Author: SingsongRandom
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: implied Jack/Liz
Spoilers: “Chain Reaction of Mental Anguish”
Summary: Liz tries to figure out the art of psychological interior design.
Disclaimer: I do not own the 30 Rock characters. The following story is based on the song “Painting My Kitchen” by John Bucchino, which I do not own either.
Author’s Note: Listen to the song before you read!

"Well, Jack, my therapist has officially lost it," Liz says one morning as she struts into Jack's office.

"I see you've decided to spare your coworkers the pain of listening to unfavorable stories of your childhood and see a professional," Jack says, smirking. "In what way has he 'lost it’?"

"It's a woman, Jack, my therapist is a woman."

"Now that makes more sense," he nods in understanding, then rises from his seat to pour himself a drink. He offers her a glass but she shakes her head. "No, no, it's - she wants me to paint my kitchen."

"Paint your kitchen?"

"I know, right!? How crazy is that?"

"Very," Jack says, casting a sideways glance from the mini-bar. "The paint fumes would cause yet another mental disruption in the brain lodged in that tiny head of yours."

Liz sighs. "No, no, she wants me to write about painting my kitchen. I should've said that."

"You're right, you should have."

Liz makes a face. "Aren't you supposed to be helping me, mister mentor?"
“That’s the purpose of having a therapist, isn’t it? The only difference is, you’re paying to speak to another person and yet you come up to my office every day for free. I should start charging admission.”

Liz groans and storms out of the office.

"Painting your kitchen?" Pete asks, confused.

Liz shrugs. "I don't get it."

"Neither do I," says Pete. "You can't even draw a straight line to save your life. How does she expect you to renovate a whole room in our place?"

As they turn the corner to get to Jenna's dressing room, Liz says, "No, she wants me to write about painting my kitchen. And don't call it 'our place.' That's weird."

"There's always a reason why emotional doctors assign certain tasks to their patients," Jenna tells her. "For instance, when I went to that celebrity psychoanalyst two years ago, he told me that I have a lot of deep-seated abhorrence for blonde actresses who aren't me. He said I needed to release my anger through physical activity. So that's when I took up sewing. Now I have a whole closet filled with 'I Hate Jessica Simpson' sweaters."

Liz raises an eyebrow. "O-kay...So what do you think is the method to my therapist's madness?"

Jenna looks thoughtful for a minute. "She's probably going to make a judgment call based on what color you paint the kitchen."

"Well, I was thinking of red."


"Yeah. Why, what's wrong with red?"

Jenna shrugs and turns to face her mirror. "Nothing. If you're in denial about every aspect of your life."
Liz rolls her eyes. "What is that supposed to mean?"

Jenna clicks her tongue a few times, keeping Liz in suspense for a few moments. "Well," she finally admits, "I would take red to mean that you're frustrated. There's someone you’re into who you can't stop thinking about, but you can't get him in your bed. And that bothers you."

Liz's eyes widen. "You got all that from me saying I'd paint the kitchen red?"

Jenna nods excitedly. "I'm not as stupid as people think I am. Also, you're pretty predictable."

Liz narrows her eyes but Jenna doesn't seem to notice her friend's irritation.

"What other color would you paint it? Remember, not red."

Liz sighs, reluctant to continue the conversation. "I don't know, blue maybe? A really deep blue. Like, a couple shades darker than Jack's eyes."

Jenna gasps, and Liz thinks that maybe there's been some kind of breakthrough. "Spit it out, Jenna!" she demands.

"Two things! One: deep blue is an expression of utter despair. Two: you just mentioned Jack's eyes!" Jenna practically leaps from her chair. "Do you know what that means!?"

"Not really," Liz mumbles.

"It means you're in despair, and you love Jack!"

Liz shakes her head furiously. "No, no, no. That is ridiculous. Why am I even listening to you? Shut it down, Jenna, you're totally wrong. If anything, I'd be in utter despair because I'm in love with Jack."

"You just admitted it!"

Liz sighs. "I did not. This conversation is counterproductive. Blërg." She rises to her feet and as she walks out the door, she hears Jenna call after her, "Just get a Kelly Ripa dartboard like I did!"


"You should paint your kitchen green, Liz Lemon," Tracy says. "It's the color of money, jealousy, and my neighbor's dog after I dyed it green."

Liz looks at him. "What?"

"I think jealousy applies best to you. You're poor, so you have no money, and you're allergic to dogs, so you couldn't dye one even if you wanted to." Tracy grins, satisfied with his nonsensical explanation.

Liz bites her lip. "Jealousy, huh?" Sure, she had coveted some things - Floyd, Jenna's fame, Jack's time-share in Spain. But those things don't eat at her, and can’t remember ever being truly envious another's possessions.

"Wait a second. I am NOT poor."

Tracy puts a hand on her shoulder. "You just keep telling yourself that."

Liz sighs. She knows one thing - there is no way she's painting her kitchen green.

"Nevermind, Tray," she says, somewhat exasperated.

Before she walks away, he says, "Watch some Home Improvement, Liz Lemon. Tim Allen knows where it's at."

“Gee, Miss Lemon, I’m sorry, but I really don’t know,” Kenneth says. He’s sitting at his page desk, smiling up at Liz, who looks rather discouraged.

“Why the kitchen?” Liz wonders aloud, getting distracted. “Really. Why not the bedroom? It’s almost like it’s been abandoned. I haven’t had a guy in there forever. Perhaps a new paint job would help that whole situation…Right?” Even though she seems to be speaking more to herself, she looks at Kenneth when she finishes her sentence. Slightly uncomfortable, he gulps. “Right,” he says in agreement.

“I need someone to watch Top Chef with in there.”

Kenneth is relieved.


Liz sits in the therapist’s waiting room, anxiously thinking to herself. This woman is sadistic. She knows I’ll fail and then she’ll realize I don’t handle defeat well. A self-diagnosed perfectionist, Liz is aware that the journal with unorganized notes about how she would paint the kitchen describes a room in a fun house rather than one in an apartment.

“Liz Lemon?”

She looks up to see that the therapist has emerged from her cave (where she probably keeps the souls of all the other patients who have been forced to write about interior design) and motions for her to go inside.

Liz lies down on the couch in the office and faces the therapist, who is looking stern, with her arms crossed. “So, Liz. What did you learn from the assignment I gave you last week?”

She wants to feel like she’s had an effect on you, Liz tells herself. You just need to win her approval for this one session.

So, she improvises.

“I think that painting one’s kitchen involves more factors than I initially thought,” she begins. “And it’s about change. It doesn’t matter what the kitchen looks like at the end – but it’s about how you handle the whole process. Each color plays a role – it stands for something in my life. And I can’t paint over any colors once I’ve applied them to the walls. They’re there.”

The therapist looks impressed.

Liz doesn’t know if she even believes anything she’s just said, but it sounds accurate. She recalls the discussions she had with her friends at work, but doesn’t mention them to the counselor.

Because it would be too difficult to explain.

Current Mood: contentcontent
Current Music: Painting My Kitchen - John Bucchino
zodiac_sign: Audrey Hepburnzodiac_sign on August 27th, 2013 08:44 pm (UTC)
This could totally be a episode. You've got the responses pegged down. They were very accurate!

Well done :)
singsongrandom: lemonsingsongrandom on September 5th, 2013 02:00 am (UTC)
Thank you! I was worried about getting the voices right, so I'm glad you think so. :)
Gab Rose: admissiondemilybones on October 7th, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC)
Nice one :) Very in-character. The line Tracy said about dyeing the dog green is definitely something the writers would have had him say!