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Friday, February 06, 2009

My Issues

First--thank you to everyone that came out or offered 'wish I were there' vibes for the signing last night. I appreciate it. I loved visiting with everyone that came--it really is a fun moment to have your friends around you and saying how cute the cover is and how excited they are to read it. I have the best support!

Now, back to my issues.

Because so many of my books deal with contemporary issues, people sometimes think that I have dealt with some of those particular challenges in my own life. Thankfully, no. That's not to say that I don't love a couple addicts, that there isn't mental illness in my family tree, or that I'm always nice to my husband--but overall, no, I've never been sexually abused, addicted to pain pills, married for convenience, had my identity stolen or my daughter kidnapped. I've never been divorced, or held at gun point or so sick with my pregnancy that I might die. But that's not to say I don't have issues.

One of them has reared it's ugly head today and I am trying very hard to stay calm, filling myself with positive affirmations, and keeping things in perspective.

Alas, I might lose the battle.

So, here's the thing. A couple weeks ago, Northern Utah (where I live) got drenched with rain. We already had a bunch of snow on the ground and then it rained for almost 3 full days, turning us into a cold soggy mess. But, a mess that stayed outside so it was okay. A week later I went into our spare bedroom downstairs and found the carpet was wet. Apparently, the rain gutter had been draining into the window well of that room during all that rain, and the water had come through the window, drenching the floor. We called a disaster clean up place who sucked out the water, pulled back the carpet, and put blowers on it all to dry it out. That's all good--well, okay, it's not GOOD as in wonderful, but I can handle minor household disasters like that from time to time. It's good for my blood pressure to spike under the "This is so not fair!" dramas of such things. I can handle it and move on. The plan was to dry it all out, replace the sheet rock affected, and then re-stretch the carpet.

And then Lee says "Maybe we should just replace the carpet."
"In the whole basement?" I ask, wondering where he came up with five thousand dollars.
"No, just that room."
My mouth goes dry and I clench my teeth. "We can't do that," I say.
"Sure we can, that carpet is crap anyway."
"Yes, and if you put good carpet in one room, the rest of the basement will look even crappier."
"No, it won't."
"Yes, it will! You know how I feel about floor covering, Lee, don't push me."

See, I believe all floor coverings should be the same. Since carpet is impractical in kitchens and bathrooms, I've accepted that it's usually necessary to have two types of floor covering in a house--but they should all match and all the carpet should be the same and all the tile or linoleum or hard wood should be the same--and only one of those options! Yes, the basement carpet is really lousy--but it matches! It's hard enough for me to accept that upstairs and downstairs doesn't have the same carpet, that we have TWO types of tile, and that we, gulp, re-carpeted the living room a few years ago because off white right off the kitchen is just no good. Luckily, the new carpet only touches tile, but just because it's not as bad as it could be doesn't make it right!

Do you see it? Three types of floor covering in four square feet. I know, it's horrible, isn't it?

Here is the current carpet in the basement--it's a commercial grade, very tight Berber.

The seams are coming apart, there are a few spots that are totally unraveling but I prefer it to the nauseating aspect of carpet clash--you know, where two different types of carpet touch each other. Shudder. I just hate that. I mean, I really, really hate it.

And yet, I might not have any choice--Lee's afraid the carpet won't be salvageable after we finish the repairs. So I must pull on the fortitude inspired in me through my faithful ancestors, I must absorb into my soul that life will go on. I'm sure I'll grow from the suffering, but that doesn't mean I'll like it.

And so, you can see why, when it comes to fiction, I choose those things that are detached from my personal pain. Sadly, there are some things, such as carpet clashes, that I hit a little too close to home to write a story about. Every author has to draw the line somewhere.


Kristina P. said...

I will fast and pray for you during this trying time.

Melanie Jacobson said...

Oh, my gosh you're funny!

Hey, my sister called me up and wanted me to recommend the next selection for their book group. They wanted something for a tea party thing. And I told her they should pick "Lemon Tart." Woot!

Stephanie Black said...

When we were overseas we lived in a house that had green carpet in the hallway, blue carpet in two bedrooms and peachy-orange carpet in two bedrooms. And the blue and the peachy touched the green. Just thought you might enjoy picturing that.

It was really a very lovely house, too.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I think Kristina has hit the nail on the head. Much prayer. Much fasting.

I'm just impressed that Lee actually offered to do a recarpeting - usually husbands are the ones to dig in their heels.

LisAway said...

I'm so sorry. Really. I'm not sure which is worse, the carpet dilemma or having a child kidnapped. I wish you the best with this. (I think your different flooring looks nice. It gives character to each room. I hope we can still be friends.)

I'm glad you used "nauseating" instead of nauseous. I would too, but apparently the original correct way to say it would have been the latter. (according to Annette. And the dictionary. Glad that's changing, as I've never used nauseous "correctly")

Luisa Perkins said...

Oh, I feel your agony; I have much the same issue with flooring options.

A few years ago, we decided to carpet the upstairs, and I had weeks of angst trying to choose something that would go with both the boys' room decor and that of the girls' room. We finally found a solution, but it was indeed a trial.

Don't get me started on the fact that the renovated part of our downstairs boasts Brazilian Cherry floors, while the non-renovated side still has Red Oak. They meet in two places: gah!

Brooke said...

I understand. It is a difficult thing to have mis-matching flooring. I never knew how much it would bother me until I got linoleum and laminate floors - BOTH. Uugh. At least all my carpet matches. Good luck.

Annette Lyon said...

Due to a basement flooding issue, we ended up with a big closet having a different carpet than the rest of the basement--visible from the top of the stairs. Drives. Me. Nuts.

Anna said...

I guess I'm the strange one. We have two different colors carpet in two bedrooms. Tiles in the kitchen/washroom/bathroom, laminate lock together in the front room, hardwood in one room.

The carpets are different color. The laminate and hardwood are both different colors, different sizes width, and lay different directions, and they touch each other.

I grew up in a house with multiple flooring and different colored carpet for different rooms. I never knew different, but I like the different colors and types of flooring. They are all neutral, so I think they match alright.

hi, it's me! melissa c said...

You are so funny. I honestly don't think it does clash to have different flooring for different rooms. In fact, I LOVE to do that. It gives each room it's own personality.

If they touch, well, so what, that gives personality too.

I HATE how my house is the same ugly forest green carpet in every room. I hate that my beautiful blue heaven has awful green carpet.

Or that Heidi's pink paradise had ugly green carpet, or that my lavender bathroom also has the ugly green carpet.

It was obviously a man who decorated this house and we've never had the money to fix it.

My advice would be to just go with it. Enjoy the diversity. You lucky devil! You get new carpet!! WOO HOO! No fair!

Don said...

The first thing we did when we moved into this house was pull out the brand new carpet and replace it with tile. Yeah, it was medically necessary, but man, what a pain.

Then there was a push to replace the hardwood floor with more tile. Fortunately that hasn't happened yet.

Yeah, floor coverings can be quite the pain.

Karlene said...

Please, please never come to my home. We have different carpet and linoleum in nearly every room. It was that way when we bought it 12 years ago. I fully intended to replace it soon after we moved in but... uhm... well.

Anyway, glad your signing went well. Wish I could have come, but I had to work.

Grace said...

Hi Josi, it is my first time here and I just want to say that I enjoyed reading your post. :)

Redhoodoos said...

My husband and I have wanted to re-do our flooring for years. Because we can't decide on carpet or hardwood, it just sits. Ugly!

Good luck.

Can't wait to read your book!!

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

Wow, you're almost as weird as me...

Lara Neves said...

Your issues are worse than any of the above mentioned that you write about.

Poor you.

Julie Wright said...

HA! I love the idea of new floor coverings. My whole house is filled with varied and firghtening floor coverings. I feel your pain acutely my friend.

Heather Justesen said...

You make me laugh! Though, I have to admit, my basement is going to be half cream colored tile (bathroom, pantry, my office), laminate (my husband's office), and a different color of tile for the family room...whenever we get ambitious enough to empty the room so we can see the bare cement that's there now.

I did balk at the idea originally, but at least the other tile will be shut behind doors most of the time.