My grandparents had installed new carpet in their whole house last summer, right before they, shall we say, made their biggest move. The new owners didn't like the color, so all that shiny new Stainmaster deliciousness was going to be thrown out in favor of white. (White! Who installs white carpet? I'll tell you who: people with no little kids or pets. And who are not prone to eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while doing Carmen Electra's striptease workout video. And I am so not talking about me... noo...) Since their house is substantially bigger than our house, my mom and I cooked up a plot to get a truck, go to Hilton Head, load up the rug and get the heck back up here, where carpet layers would be waiting anxiously in the wings to nail that yummy stuff to my floor.
Of course, my mom made this plan without actually adding herself to the itinerary, so I dropped Norah off at Jasmine's, rented a way-too-big Penske truck, and headed south by myself, feeling oddly like Thelma AND Louise put together in a pink hoodie. I guess it's some kind of law in North Carolina that certain size trucks have to stop at weigh stations, because before I left I signed a little paper that said that I Promise To Abide By State Highway Administration Laws Including Stopping At All Designated Weigh Stations - and let me tell you, that was some kind of bad-ass. BAD. ASS. I went to weigh stations! And truck stops! I was a TRUCKER! I was going to buy a mesh hat with a naked lady silhouette on it, but I was afraid the real truckers would mock me, so I settled for a Diet Coke and a Moon Pie.
The picking up of the carpet was uneventful, as was the rest of the drive and 99% of the installation. And then, the next day, I discovered that the key to the truck was gone. GONE. I tore this place apart, you guys - pulled the fridge out to look behind it, went through the trash (and oh, how disgusting wet graham crackers feel when you're not expecting them), checked in every drawer in the kitchen. While I was standing there having my nervous breakdown (would they arrest me for truck theft if I didn't have it back by the right time? would I be in trucker jail with real truckers who would kick my ass for being such a piss-poor excuse for a road warrior?) the carpet guy came in and explained to me that HA HA! even though we had 2000 square feet of carpet and only needed 900-some, the pieces went the wrong direction and it really wasn't going to work, and the bedrooms will just have to stay skanky! Then Norah fell and blacked her eye on her dollhouse, the dog threw up on the new floor, and I crawled into a corner and wept.
At 5:30 last night, three days after the entire Plan went into action, the carpet guys left with the trashed pieces, and here I am, parked in the middle of the living room and rocking slightly back and forth on my butt, just to feel how squishy and soft it is. (The carpet, not my butt. Although, let's be honest, that's fairly squishy too.) The key materialized in Rob's jacket pocket (and of course he had no idea how that got there! how odd!) and the carpet guy promised us a 20% discount if we called him to do the bedrooms. So really, it's all all right. But I'm still tired.
I didn't realize - or remember - that major home improvement projects can be so demanding... or maybe it's just that I kept trying to have a life in the middle of the chaos. And here, for your viewing pleasure, is a little piece of that life - I had a baby shoot the day before I drove off into the sunset, and this picture is my favorite for some reason. Maybe it's because there's no carpet.