Sunday, July 16, 2017


So I guess we're getting new carpet.

A few weeks ago my mom called me up and made me an offer. Well, "offer" might imply that we had a choice...instead she informed me that she and my dad do a lot for my brother and sister. They watch my sister's kids full-time, and my dad helped my brother remodel his old house, and he's currently helping my brother build a mini-barn shed on his new property. Because they do so much for my siblings, she said, they want to do something for me. And that something is new carpet in my living room and hallway, as well as painting the living room. 

At first I fought with her a bit...I don't need anyone's help, and I can paint my own house. Even though I regularly solicit advice and input at work for my students and among my friends and internet acquaintances for my own children, I don't ask for things that help me. I take care of myself. But as my protest bordered on rudeness and anger, I began to think, Yeah, they do help my brother and sister a lot. And it would be pretty sweet to have free carpet, and new paint that wasn't the result of my own effort. So I acquiesced, and my mom told me to start looking at flooring samples.

So yesterday I strode confidently into Home Depot like a Real Adult planning on making educated flooring decisions. Fifteen minutes later I left with three laminate samples, two carpet samples, four paint chips, and no idea what I was doing.

My mom had suggested that I just get samples that I thought were pretty. Unfortunately, I can't shake the feeling that there's a choice that's right...the perfect intersection between durability, ability to enhance our house's resale value, price, and appearance. I'm still looking up flooring options because I don't just want to like my carpet, I also don't want to be wrong.

I went through the same thing when I bought a car back in 2014. I researched that car like it was my second job...I read Consumer Reports, looked up information online, kept a list of available cars at just about every dealership in the city, and finally settled on a Hyundai Santa Fe.

I totaled it within a month. The thought of replacing it was so overwhelming that I put off buying a replacement for years. We had gotten by with one car before that, and we went right back to what we were doing. When my husband found a full-time job it meant buying a second car again, and I bought another Santa Fe because I couldn't bear to re-do all the research. Unfortunately, my first Santa Fe was a first generation Santa Fe, and the one I have now is a second generation Santa Fe. FYI, the first generation Fes were awesome vehicles, as are the current iteration of the Santa Fe (the third generation). The second generation Santa Fes were not that great, which means I made a wrong choice, and I'm still mad about that.

I know someone who needed a car and just sort of went to the car lot and bought one she liked. I'm still a little stunned at her approach, and jealous that she could just get what she wanted without worrying about being correct or making the best decision humanly possible.

I know I have to pick out something...but living with plywood subfloors seems like a pretty reasonable option at this point. The splinters would distract me from the feeling of having made a wrong choice.

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