M. Giant's
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Thursday, May 08, 2008  

War of Attrition

We've hated the carpet that came with this house ever since we bought it, sixteen years ago. Okay, that's an exaggeration. Before we moved everything in, we had it professionally steam-cleaned and it looked pretty good. For a few weeks. Then we realized that we were probably going to have to break down and buy a vacuum cleaner. But even that wasn't going to keep it looking nice for more than a few days after our increasingly frequent visits from the guys with the van and the big hose.

Tearing out the carpet in the study six years ago was liberating. Doing it in the living room four years ago was also liberating. By that timeline, we were probably due to take care of the back bedroom two years ago, but we had a one-and-a-half-year-old back then and the only liberation we were getting in that period of our lives was naptime.

But this past Sunday, I talked Trash into taking on that final room with me. Normally she's the one who motivates us to do these big household projects, whereas I would rather sit around and read or watch movies or play computer games than spend my weekend renovating the garage, or fixing an electrical outlet, or unloading the dishwasher. But as I pointed out to her on Sunday, we're going to have visitors for the next few weekends, plus Sunday was a nice, warm sunny day, perfect for taking all the shit out of that room through the back door and piling it on the deck for a few hours. That did it.

So by ten o'clock, the spare bed was in pieces in the living room, and the rest of the furniture from that room was piled on the deck along with about half of M. Small's toys. Trash and I tore the carpet out, leaving the back door open so we could keep an eye on the kid in the backyard (or, more accurately, call out to the next-door neighbor every few minutes to make sure he wasn't bugging her too much). I only slashed my thumb on a rusty carpet tack once in the process of getting the carpet out of there, and Trash was almost entirely uninjured. Even better, after almost a week without experiencing any symptoms, I'm fairly confident that my tetanus shots were up to date after all.

Except I kind of tricked Trash. I had more or less implied that we'd just take out the carpet and be done. But before we moved everything back in, I wanted to also take the carpet out of the closet, fix the closet door that's been sticking (a sawdust-intensive process), paint the inch of newly-exposed puke-beige baseboard between the floor and where the carpet used to be, and then sweep and Swiffer the hardwood (which, by the way, is in the best shape of any room we've done this to).

Anyway, short story long, it was late afternoon and all that stuff was still out on the deck. We were kind of putting off the restocking, you see, each for reasons of our own. Trash wanted to leave the bed out and replace it with the futon and frame. The only problem with that plan was that we own neither a futon nor a frame. Whereas I was procrastinating because my usual laziness had reasserted itself.

But a neighbor family up the street happened to stop by, and when they wondered if the sight of all our crap out and exposed to the elements meant that we were being evicted, we both abandoned our reservations and loaded everything back in. Well, we abandoned them temporarily. Which is to say that Trash is still looking for futons on Craigslist and I'm still lazy.

But I'm still declaring victory, because as of now, every bit of that hateful, awful, depressing, stain-magnet carpet is out of our house forever.

Except for one scrap in the basement. I'm keeping that for the cats to pee on.

posted by M. Giant 8:53 PM 3 comments

3 Comments:

"Normally she's the one who motivates us to do these big household projects"

It's the same at my house. Thank God for our wives; if it weren't for my wife, we'd still have "wood" paneling and a lime-green oven.

By Anonymous cjschuette, at May 9, 2008 at 7:24 AM  

I just don't understand the point of wall to wall carpeting. Congrats on ridding yourself of it.

By Blogger Grunt, at May 10, 2008 at 4:23 PM  

Hooray for hardwood floors hiding under carpet. And that is a TOTAL victory. I can't believe you busted your ass like that all day and then claimed your "usual laziness" is what kept you from doing more. I just blogged last week about how how laziness doesn't exist, and you are just proving my damn point here!

By Anonymous danica, at May 19, 2008 at 2:58 PM  

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