Weekend Wanderer: Finding the Perfect Rug


weekend wanderer

I have been stymied by the rug at my front door, which has gone to Marion’s bar in Nepal

Just to talk about Marion for a minute, because obviously I’ve been thinking about her a lot – that bar is a discrepancy in the movie. Aren’t we meant to infer Marion’s father died abruptly, marooning her in Nepal? Doesn’t she own the bar? Yet she’s saving to get back to America?  

Is it really less expensive to buy a Nepalese bar than a ticket home? 

I mean, I don’t like to impugn Indiana Jones movies. But I also don’t like my rugs to unravel. So I guess I’m just going to be all kinds of unhappy here today. 

That’s what happened — the rug unraveled, just fourteen months after I bought it.  

I loved that rug. I have spent 20 years searching for the perfect rug to sit at my front door. From the comically small to the ill-advisedly white, none have been the right fit. 

Until this one.  

Did it cost a little more than I would have liked? Yes. Did it have more tassels than a girl reasonably needs? Yes. Was it beautifully and perfectly jute?  

You bet. 

And yeah, sometimes it got scrunched up beneath the sofa it was supposed to gently skim. But it was so pretty and so functional and so Pottery Barn without being Pottery Barn, I let it go. 

It was a lot like me, that rug. I’m a little tightly wound, and never manage to stick the landing when fast-forwarding through commercials, but I make a mean chocolate chip cookie.  

So my husband lets the other stuff go. 

When a tassel detached from that perfect jute rug, I forced myself to stay calm. It was fine, I said. We can live without one tassel. We could even live without two tassels. It was really fine. 

Then, bits of jute unraveled in the body of the rug. I consoled myself those fuzzy little tufts added to the aesthetic of the rug.  

I was wrong, of course. Those fuzzy little tufts made the rug look impressively worn. Sad. Dilapidated. Like the Double Deuce at the beginning of Roadhouse

You don’t want the beginning of Roadhouse greeting you as walk in the door. You want the end of Roadhouse, when the Double Deuce is rocking and Patrick Swayze lives happily ever after. 

Then, on one especially brutal day, all the tassels fell off. 

Every single one. 

After that, the decline was quick. Those tassels, apparently, were the rug’s linchpin, its keystone. Everything depended upon those tassels. When they were gone, the rug simply dissolved. 

Each day I’d arrive home not to Patrick Swayze and Kelly Lynch getting it on in the lake. Rather, I’d come home to loops of jute littered across the floor.  

It was like when my cat died.  

Our beagle exhumed that cat from her backyard grave. Then, out of love or sheer delight in being the sole surviving pet or an inexplicable need to smell like rotting flesh, my beagle rolled in my dead cat’s corpse.  

As he trotted to the back door, bits of my cat dropped from him, leaving an incriminating trail from my back door to my dead cat. 

That’s what it was like when bits of the rug fell off. Like finding bits of my dead cat on the lawn. 

And on my beagle. 

The rug was dead. I had to accept that. My rug — my beautiful if slightly flawed rug — was dead. 

How could I ever replace it? Sure, sure, I could buy the same rug. But I have a friend who, after her cat died, couldn’t get another cat. Watching another cat die was something she just couldn’t stomach. 

I understood that.  

Also, I wasn’t spending that kind of money on structurally questionable tassels. Just, no. 

And I’d like to say that I didn’t realize stories about frayed rugs required two dead-cat analogies. I’d like it to be three, because threes are better than twos.  

But I think I’m out of dead-cat analogies.  

If my search for the perfect replacement rug was the fable The Princess and the Pea, I’d be both the prince and the princess of that tale. As the prince struggled to find the right princess, so did I with rugs. And each rug, like the princess’s pea, pained me. 

The corners perpetually turned up on one. Another was rippled with undulations, like a lake on a windy day. Yet another was too flimsy to get trod upon daily by a goofy beagle, two teens, and a husband roughly the size of Paul Bunyan. 

But, like boyfriends, tissues, and trains, another rug came along.  

It is not tasseled. Nor is it jute. It’s not even the right color. But it is here to stay. 

It’s kind of like my first cat. She wasn’t tasseled or jute. She wasn’t the color of my other cats. 

But she stayed. 

Until, you know, she died. 

And there’s that much-desired third dead-cat analogy. 

So I think this means I’m done. 

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