Shagging It

We figured it was about time. After, all, we’ve been in this house for 27 years now. Raised two kids here. Spent many, many hours planting gardens – and finally coaxing a lawn to grow. New porch, new addition, new roof, new windows, new siding. Even added a new boiler, when the old one finally blew out.

So it was about time that we finally made the big move.

Yup…we decide – with a tear in the eye- to finally rip up the ol’ shag rug in our bedroom.

The color of that stellar Harvest Gold carpeting – which matches our equally old refrigerator and dishwasher – is about 30 years behind the times. Had we waited a few more years, it may have become popular again, given the way styles recycle themselves. But, by then, we would have been down to bare plywood. And that would be too tough on the feet. So I continued ripping the shag up in strips – with even more gusto.

You might ask why we hadn’t ditched that shaggy rug years ago. It was, after all, 32 years old. We’d replaced the original carpets in every other room over the years – all of them shag – and some of them twice. Even put hardwood flooring in one kid’s room. But as with all things, we tended to take care of our own bedroom last. You know how that is when you have kids – give them perfection first; attend to yourself years later.

But 32 years is a charm, I guess. Weeks before buying the new carpeting, I started prepping the room. The kind of home maintenance that I really don’t enjoy anymore – painting our bedroom walls, the ceiling, the baseboard, the doors, the window frames. Everything. Just in anticipation. I also stuffed all the furniture in our daughter’s bedroom – I don’t think she was in there at the time. We did cram a lot of stuff in there.

Then I cut up the old shag rug, which was as bare-thread as a rug could be, with a padding underneath that made paper look thick.

We were a bit hesitant about where to buy the new rug. The last one we bought was installed by a couple of Vietnamese guys contracting for Home Depot. Very accommodating guys, considering we had a total language barrier. Hard workers. And they only broke one lamp muscling that rug around. They even called me after they had left, and I think they were trying to say they wanted to pay for the lamp. But it’s hard to negotiate when neither party really knows what the other is saying. So I just let it go, because they seemed to have done a good job – until, over time, a nice mountain of rug built in the middle of the room. They tell me that’s what happens when you don’t stretch the rug at one end.

So we thought we’d go local this time around. It’s the thing to do anyhow. And at least we’d know where to go with any problems that arose after the fact. And we thought we’d have them fix that mountain in our living room carpet too.

So we paid a visit to a local carpet store. With a bit of a twinkle in his eye, the salesman “just wanted to let us know” that there is a new rug style on the market these days that is all the rage. It’s spelled three different ways – frisee frise, frieze – but pronounced just one way – fri-zay. Very French. He thought we should look at it. Now we’re easy like Sunday morning, so we agreed to take a peek. To our horror, it looked suspiciously like the shag rug we had ripped out of our bedroom. We almost wretched. Then found some carpeting that fit the current times.

Everything went smoothly with the installation. I stayed home to let them in – and listened to some pretty cool tunes (circa the timeframe of our old shag rug) as they blasted their radio over the next two hours. Then they were gone.

I rushed upstairs just to dig me toes into that soft new carpeting and savor the fresh new smell. It was a good feeling. And I think we’ll make sure to replace this rug before another 32 years goes by. Otherwise I’ll be 89 years old – and probably wouldn’t know what a rug is…

Visit Londonderry Hometown Online News every Tuesday Morning for another one of Joe’s great columns! Select “Share this story” and tell a friend Joe is back!


Joe’s Two Cents – It’s Great To Be Alive is Joe Paradis’ first published book and gathers 40 of his most popular stories, enhancing them with humorous photography. The book is a compilation of forty of Joe’s best short stories.

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Joe Paradis is one of Londonderry’s most popular columnists and authors. Visit his web site at www.joes2cents.com today and order his latest autographed book, “It’s Great to Be Alive!”

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