OK, I admit it. I don’t like change.
When Olof married me 16 years ago after eight years of commuting from the Bay area, I knew it was important for him to have his own space in my house since he’d had to give up his own. Since Rory had just left for college, I told Olof that room was his to do what he wished.
Who knew I married someone with no taste?
What I REALLY meant when I made the offer, of course, was that he was free to do what he wanted with the furniture. Buy more. Decorate at will. No Air Force souvenir too tacky.
What I wasn’t prepared for was his decision to dump the wall-to-wall carpeting and shutters in favor of hardwood floors and blinds. I still remember the dagger that went through my heart when he announced this.
I grew up in upstate New York in a house with hardwood floors and blinds. The floors were cold, noisy, high maintenance and uncomfortable to sit and play on. And those Venetian blinds? I spent my childhood in enforced labor dusting those suckers slat by slat on Saturday mornings.
From the time I was six, my dream home included only wall-to-wall carpeting and shutters. OK, so shutters have slats, too, but my dream included a cleaning lady.
Meanwhile Olof was peeling back a corner of the wall-to-wall. “Great!” he said. “There’s hardwood under here. All we have to do is rip out this crummy carpet.”
Crummy carpet? Could this marriage be saved?
I have to confess that I delayed, stalled, cajoled, and otherwise resisted removing my beloved carpet and shutters. But ultimately, a deal’s a deal, even if the dealer was a total idiot to ever have made such an ill-considered promise to the dealee.
The day the floor refinishers showed up to take out the room’s carpet, I panicked. In my heart I knew this was a terrible decision, one that Olof was going to regret once the sterile Siberian floors were exposed and the nasty charmless blinds in place. But we’d never be able to match the carpet again.
Which is when I hatched upon a brilliant idea.
For a large undisclosed sum, I hired the floor folks to roll up the carpet and pad and wrestle it up into the crawl space in the attic. (No garage in this house.) Who knew carpet could be so heavy? But when Olof realized the error of his ways, I could say, “Tada! It’s not too late! The old carpet is still here!” He would be in awe of my prescience and creativity.
The floor guys saw it differently. “I just hope you realize that that carpet is up there permanently, lady,” they groused. “And we wouldn’t advise standing underneath it in an earthquake.”
When Olof came home from work that night, he admired the newly sanded floor awaiting its first coat of urethane. “You’re taking this all remarkably well,” he said. “I would have thought you’d be on your third glass of wine by now.”
I smiled beatifically. “Olof, my little