Well, we managed to get the carpet installed in a day, but the installers didn’t leave until about 8:30 PM (they arrived about 10:30) so it’s been a long night of trying to put the house back together. I started out taking photos and even made a little collage to post to Facebook as the festivities were just beginning, with the intention of adding progress photos throughout the day, but that didn’t happen.
That up there is, of course, is our old Berber carpet, which has been thoroughly trashed over the last 12 years. In really thinking about it, it’s surprising it got as ragged as it did; we don’t have kids, never entertain, and while we do have pets, it’s not like they’re elephants or anything. And yet, that Berber has completely come apart in the past five years. I’ve read reviews of Berber that are less than stellar and complain about the sort of snagging and unraveling we experienced – especially coming from people with indoor pets – but the extent of the damage we experienced still seems extreme. I actually took a picture of some of the worst bits, but then decided there was no way in hell I wanted to share that mess with blog readers, so you’ll have to look at the photos above for your only reference.
While I do not want to go all First World Problems here whining about sitting around in a warm house all day watching other people install carpet in my home, I have to mention that I am still out of sorts about the whole experience. There is something about strangers coming into your home and ripping it apart that’s unsettling; it’s not just the presence of the strange people but also the weird secrets that tearing apart reveals about the home’s owners. Or at least it felt that way to me. And it’s not just how small and simple and shabby the floors looked once the carpet and the pad were removed, although that was disconcerting enough; it was the little patches of rotted wood in the bottom stairs, and the strip of fallen wainscoting we’d haphazardly stuck up on the bookcase that fell down when the men were stretching the carpet in the den, exposing our laziness. Every piecemeal, patchwork, slapdash, and half-ass “repair” we’d made to our home over the years was on full display, and while I’m sure this is not a unique experience, and I wasn’t exactly embarrassed by it, I still felt as if dirty little flaws were being revealed – to me as much as to anyone. Not to mention the surprises that occurred throughout the day – the yellow jacket’s nest the installers discovered in an upstairs wall (spent the rest of the day killing them, and obviously have to take care of that ASAP) and the air conditioning unit on the bedroom side of the house that decided to stop working mid-day (we were all boiling by the time they got done). So, we get to take care of that now, too. Secrets and surprises, all tied to a sense of disarray and, I guess, this homeowner’s guilt that I’ve fallen down on my duty.
But for now, this step at least is done, and I’ve tried to put the house back together and regain that sense of security I had before, when I was convinced it was all rock-solid and indestructible – but I haven’t settled back into that yet. I’m still seeing it with all its ugly guts exposed, and it’s odd. I don’t know if that makes sense to any of you – but Simon gets it. He’s kind of skittering around the house hesitantly, sniffing everything as if it’s all new now, and not just the carpet. As if we tried our best to set the house right when it was all over, but we didn’t quite get it done, and things are still off-kilter. As am I, obviously, given the weird tone of this post. I mean, it’s just carpet. And by the way – holy crap, is this stuff soft. The Berber we had before was hard and unyieliding, and we went from that to this carpet called SmartStrand that is marketed as the softest available, with more strands per fiber, organic materials, lifelong stain resistance, blah blah blah. But it’s seriously so soft it’s almost puffy. It’s actually lush. I am a hard-core shoe-wearer who never takes hers off, but I can’t bring myself to wear flip-flops or even my Uggs when walking on this new material. I bet when I jump on it for pictures it’ll be like landing on a huge marshmallow.
I think I need to go to bed now. This post makes very little sense. And also has very few pictures, because I’m still feeling weird about this whole home invasion, and I kind of want to spin a safe and new cocoon that doesn’t include outsiders. Sorry. Those of you that know me will understand. 🙂