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Thursday, August 07, 2014

That's real life, baby

The carpeting was basically new when I decided to pull it up. We’d only lived in the house a few months and I’m pretty sure it was one of the things the previous owners replaced to spruce up the place—along with a lick of fresh paint—before putting it on the market. As I nudged the corner away from the baseboard, I found hardwood. It didn’t look too shabby. And that was all it took. I yanked and fought the staples and tore the beige piles into long strips before working them into carpet versions of Swiss roll cake.

Once the carpet was stacked on the front porch, I stepped back and looked at my handiwork. Yes, rows of hardwood planks lined the room, but they were much rougher than I originally thought. There were large dark spots, gouged spots, entire sections that would need replacing. Paint blobs were splattered everywhere. In the span of a morning, the living room became a construction zone. It still is six months later. And it probably will be six months from now.

We’re about to meet with a structural engineer to see if some walls can come down. If so, the floors will need some work which means they’ll have to wait until after that other little project. Yet my husband recently thanked me. And he was serious. No, he does not enjoy that the soft living room groundcover is gone and that the dilapidated floors are now blatantly obvious. But he saw my actions as a reminder of how I approach our relationship. “You’re not afraid to see what’s under stuff,” he said. It was the highest of compliments.

We both learned in our previous marriages that not talking about stuff doesn’t make it go away. Not dealing with stuff doesn’t make it go away. And the only way to find out if you have wood floors under that beige wall-to-wall stuff is to yank it out. Even if it means there will be a mess of stuff to deal with as a result. I guess you could just say that I pulled up the carpet a year too soon. And that’s okay. I didn’t shy away from the prospect because there would be ramifications. I went into it knowing it would be messy. That’s real life, baby.

For now, my husband is reminded of my awesomeness every time he walks in the front door.


  1. Steve Hays1:44 PM

    Your willingness to pull out brand new carpet to be authentic and meet your needs, reminds me well of a friend of mine who, just having gotten out of graduate school, decided that he wanted to do a different career then he just studied, and immediately start working for that - with no regret or angst; i.e. do what you want now, no excuses, no regret, just focus and gratitude for the moment. Thanks for the reminder to do this!

  2. Steve, it probably helps that I didn't pick the carpet or pay the carpet store (although I paid indirectly through the purchase price of the house). And I'm not saying that I haven't had any regret--every so often, I look around and wonder, What have I done?? The floor used to be soft and lovely...