Friday, September 18, 2009

Any day that begins by cleaning the living room with a leaf blower cannot be entirely bad. It's possible to clean your living room with a leaf blower when you have removed every scrap of carpet and all but one piece of furniture. I know this because that's what I did. The other day I decided I had enough of my carpet. Whether or not my X is speaking to me for the time being, whether or not I ever get replacement flooring, the carpet had to go. You shouldn't walk into any room in your house and actively hate it. I was actively hating the carpet every time I set foot on it, which was a LOT. That's a yucky way to feel in your own house.

So, I decided on Wednesday that I would get rid of the carpet and paint the floor. If I only knew how, I would install a drain in the center of the floor, now that's my kind of cleaning. After the kids went to bed on Wednesday night, I got out the industrial strength X-acto knife and started cutting. It was liberating...until the boys popped out of their room for a glass of water, then I felt a little like I'd been caught wrapping presents on Christmas Eve.

The looks on their faces were priceless; I could tell they thought I had come completely unhinged. They both had this cautious, wide-eyed stare and asked, "Uh, Mom? What are you doing?"
"Taking out the carpet," I said cheerfully.
"Uh, why?"
"Because it's filthy and disgusting and I don't want it in the house anymore." Apparently I was far too chipper about this.
"Uh, okay...?" [backing away] "'night." Yep, I wonder how they'll look back on this when they grow up. Like, "Remember that time Mom ripped out the carpet for no reason and she was all like, 'tee hee, whatever'? That was fucking nuts." Events like this are exactly why god invented therapy.

Anyway, the whole de-carpeting process would have taken less than an hour if I hadn't stopped to pay attention to Glee and Top Chef. Even so, I was done in less than two. And it was way more disgusting than I'd anticipated. The amount of grime a carpet can accumulate over 15 years, even with occasional steam cleaning is really astounding....astoundingly gross. I am so glad I took it out and can't believe I waited so long to do it. I would much rather have no floor at all than a foul one I couldn't stand to be around. So, carpet gone, padding gone, I'd moved furniture into the dining room temporarily and moved it back for the night just so the kids would wake up with a smidge of consistency the next morning.

After they went to school and my out-of-the-house business was done I came back and shoved the furniture BACK into the dining room. I went around prying up tacking strips with a crowbar...awesome. Scraped errant padding fuzz off random glue squiggles while talking on the phone. Kids came home; kids went out to play...I even managed to make steak and baked potatoes for dinner. I felt practically heroic.

Today after necessary facebook time and the exact amount of coffee to be wildly dangerous I got out the leafblower. I had designs on blowing all the dust out the back door but settled on concentrating it in a corner. The shop vac sealed it's fate. Triumph! Mixed the degreaser and got down to business scrubbing the floor. About midway through I had a revelation, "Hey, this is men's work. Men don't get on their hands and knees and scrub ANYTHING. If I were a guy, what would I do?" So, I poured the degreaser on the floor, let it sit for a few minutes and went back with a light scritch-scritch scrub...and Voila! The second half of the room was done in half the time as the first. Duh. And fuck Martha Stewart by the way...she makes everything retardedly difficult. I bet if I did it Martha's way, I STILL be doing it...with a soft bristled toothbrush and sanity nowhere in sight. She's probably getting kickbacks from all the Prozac prescriptions she's inspired over the years.

Alright, I realized before the kids got home from school that I had to make some kind of place for them to sit. I fashioned the furniture in the dining room into a sort of den-ish arrangement and went to push the TV cabinet in there too. I was all psyched because it was on casters and rolled really easily now. Until it hit a cord. Which caused the cabinet to stop moving of course but thanks to the laws of physics, the TV, the gargantuan, pre-millenium TV kept moving forward. Out of the cabinet. Top first onto the bare concrete floor. "Oh!" I cried out. "Nononononononono!" I said as I rushed to survey the damage. Frantically disconnecting cables, shaking like crazy, "No. No. No. No. No. Please no. Please," was all I could say. I tried to revive it, but it's official. It's dead.

Had to take a minute to deal with that and get my head back on straight. Called my sister. She started throwing plans at me. "Don't worry, the boys don't need to watch that much TV anyway. You can watch your shows online. Dad has that extra TV, you can use that. What about the other TV in the playroom?" I thought, "I know, I just need a second to process what the fuck just happened here. No, it's not the end of the world. No, I'm not going to cry it's just that I was all motivated and ready to go and do the next thing and I can't DO that now because I have to do THIS. Yes, thank you for your encouragement. Yes, I'll move it with a skateboard; good idea. Okay, let me go figure this out."

So, I did. And then somehow randomly managed to spill orange juice all over myself and the kitchen floor. And then my youngest came in crying because he'd gotten punched in the face by a neighbor kid who isn't my favorite. When he was taken care of I continued with my floor project rinsing off the degreaser and thinking, "You know what Today? Do your worst. I am not giving up on this." I thought I must be paying back some kind of karmic debt because I have officially exceeded my WTF quota for the day...the year...the decade. Seriously, if you only knew.

And then I remembered how I started the day. Woke up on time, got the kids on the bus without major incident, had enough coffee to be nuclear and cleaned the room with a leaf blower. Awesome. So it wasn't a totally bad day after all. If Tomorrow wants to hassle with me, Tomorrow better bring his lunch.

1 comment:

92.9 The Wave's Jennifer Roberts said...

You, my dear, are a DIY decorating maverick!! I bow to your determination, grit, and perseverance! Can we see pictures, possibly?
But, sorry about the TV.... that does suck. :(