The shag was a drag, now the rug doesn’t bug.

When we moved in to this house we bought a thick, green shag carpet for the family room. Living room? I never know which room is which. It’s where the FAMILY spends most of its time LIVING. That room. The rug held up decently for the first two years, but eventually it began to show wear and tear. There was a gob of gum smooshed into the corner, long since having turned black, countless Lego men had wandered into the jungles of The Shag, never to be heard from again, and the area in front of the couch was completely destroyed by heavy traffic. Every time I vacuumed that thing I would find delicious chokables the baby would be more than happy to put in her mouth if given half a chance. Basically the rug had become a death trap.

While cleaning up a spill – I can’t remember if it was dog vomit, baby pee or some other delight – I noticed the towel I was using had turned BLACK when I blotted the rug. It was from all the filth hidden within the shag. I decided I was going to wash the rug.

(If I had a time machine this is the time I would go back to and say, “Don’t waste your time or the water!”)

I hauled that gross rug out to the driveway and hosed it down. Murky water oozed out of it, along with a few almonds, several plastic beads, and 8¢. Next I slogged it over to hang on the fence to dry. It took two days of blazing California sun, but eventually I deemed it dry enough to come back inside. It was clean, but it wasn’t pretty. Cleaning it couldn’t restore its threads to their former fluffy glory. This is what it looked like after I cleaned it:


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I was disgusted with it, and wanted to throw it out immediately. Jesse imagined it having been woven from teeny tiny hundred dollar bills, and declared it a perfectly fine rug. We put the furniture back and went about our lives, but I made no secret of my disdain for the grubby rug.

The next day I was running errands and when I came home I walked in the door and was immediately hit by the smell. Good Lord. It smelled as if we had kidnapped every wet dog in the county and forced them to huddle in our living room (family room?) overnight. It was baaaad. Jesse agreed. Off we went on a family adventure to find a new rug!

After checking a local home improvement store and deeming all their rugs “too old lady” we ended up at Target. I fell instantly in love with a mustard yellow rug. Jesse looked at me askance. “Mustard yellow? It will be way too bright.” Much to the amusement of a woman browsing nearby I answered, “Just trust me already. You love our house. You like every design choice I have made so far. Just go with it.” He hemmed and hawed a bit more, then we discovered the rug I loved was more than 50% off because it had been an internet order return. SOLD!


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So now our room-of-family-living has a cheery mustard yellow rug that is fluffy soft to walk on! I’m no dummy. This isn’t my first rodeo. I know that this cheery rug will only look pretty for about seventeen minutes before little feet and dirty shoes make it look like a New York City bus stop, but the fact that it’s not shag means I can hopefully shampoo it occasionally. Hurray for cheerful rugs!

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  1. Laura Passarelli

    This was so much fun reading! The highlight of my evening. The words you choose bring cheerfulness about our everyday living. The shag became a drag and mustard yellow is awesome. Changed the whole “living area” bringing out the beauty of your furniture. (Hey, I remember those pieces!)


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