We’ve always been envious of friends who have done it in every room of their house. So, we finally decided it was now or never: we were going to re-carpet our entire home. We had successfully avoided this huge hassle in the past by moving just as the carpet had worn out our welcome. Early in our relationship, we once moved when the fridge needed to be defrosted. We just couldn’t be bothered.
We knew our carpet was dirty and disgusting when we started wiping our feet before going outside. Also, when friends came over for a cocktail, we told everyone it was a shag carpet. It really wasn’t. It just looked that way because we’ve had dogs and cats for 32 years. Sometimes I walked out of my bathroom while brushing my teeth in order to watch TV in my home office. There were a few toothpaste globs on the floor. I scraped them up now and then. They looked a lot like dinner mints.
In preparation for this big move (of course, we were not moving but we might as well have been), I bought a book called: The Complete Carpet Buying Guide, by Alan Fletcher. The book is wall-to-wall with great ideas.
Mary Ellen kept telling me to put the book down and go to bed. “Just a few more pages,” I pleaded. I still hadn’t gotten to chapter six: Making it all work in the bedroom.
Once we made the decision to go ahead with the project, I stood at the bottom of the stairs and scanned the house. The immensity of the task overwhelmed me. I wondered if we really had to do the first and second floor at the same time.
“Two stories in one day is a lot to cover, Mary Ellen.”
“Isn’t that the attitude that got you demoted at Channel 8?”
When it was time to pick the color, Mary Ellen pretended she wanted my input so she flung some carpet samples on the floor. “Help me decide between the bistro, buff, desert sun, kangaroo, ecru, fallow, fawn, russet, sepia, moose antler, tawny, sienna and Sahara. I want something that won’t stain when you walk into the living room eating your breakfast cereal.”
“Do they have something in a nice Wheaties shade?”
“Dick, this is hard work. Which color do you like?”
“They’re all beige.”
“See, that’s what made it so tough. Time for a beer.”
Before they could install the carpet, this guy named Luke came to measure each room. He strolled through the house, scanning the walls and floors to get the dimensions with this really cool laser device. I asked him how many people called him Luke Floorwalker, and he said I was the first.
Because I am cheap, I was looking for ways to cut corners. (Actually, the carpet installers do that for you at no extra charge.) The idea I came up with was to take the dozens of carpet samples we had and use them to create a patchwork of colors that would cover one entire room. Mary Ellen said that was the stupidest idea I ever had in our entire relationship.
She’s so young to be losing her memory.