Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wall-to-Wall Carpet and the United States

I live by myself. After four years in college with roommates, I was of the opinion that roommates were a good thing. They helped pay rent. They put food in the fridge that you could surreptitiously steal. They gave you someone to talk to so you didn’t talk to yourself. All good things really.

Then I moved to Sweden and after a while became a horribly selfish person that lived in an apartment the size of a large bathroom and talked to himself. Something needs to break the silence right? And admit it, talking to yourself is awesome. You always agree. You’re always right. Granted, you should never do it around others, turns out people look at you funny. Who knew?

So when I moved to the great Midwest, I did not look for a roommate. I found an apartment three times the size of the one I had in Stockholm for less money. I had room to move. Of course, I could no longer sit on my couch and cook all at the same time, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.

The problem is I have carpeting. Wall-to-wall carpeting. Something that I never realized was so ubiquitous in this country until three years in Sweden. There I could get away with a broom and a dust pan. Everything was some sort of hard floor. Whether it was wood or nasty linoleum, a broom would suffice. Here, carpet is everywhere. While it is quite nice on my feet, it causes a cleaning problem. One which can only be solved with a vacuum cleaner. A dust sucker if you will.

I have been in my apartment for well over four months. I did not own a vacuum cleaner until about a week ago. You do the math. I have never been more excited to vacuum. Ever. I had begun to use my feet as vacuum cleaners, walking barefoot to let whatever nastiness may have accumulated on the floor to stick to my feet. Did I mention that I was single? Seriously, I’m a catch. I would then stand over the trash can and wipe my feet off. It was strangely satisfying, but not at all effective.

Technology is amazing, and an old vacuum cleaner donated by my parents made its way to the great Midwest. Finally. Since, I have vacuumed twice in hopes of fighting through the accumulation of gunk. It’s working. Slowly, but surely. And I am assimilating to the carpeted ways of the US.

Welcome to Swedish-America. And the single life.

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14 comments:

  1. Carpets are disgusting. To get it really clean you should in addition to vacuum cleaner also have one of those steam cleaners. But I guess that's överkurs? :)

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  2. Typo, 6th paragraph, 1st sentence.

    Carpets are a hassle. Have to be careful not to spill things. And try playing with cars or LEGOS on them? Disaster.

    Once, I resorted to putting socks on my hands and swept my hands across the carpeted floor. I'd like to say it achieved the desired effect.

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  3. I understand dogs can be useful in licking one's feet clean, but then you'd have dog hair to deal with. Perhaps you could borrow a neighbor's dog? I'll try to think of other solutions while awaiting your response.

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  4. How I missed your hilarity. You will find a nice girl who lives in an apartment with hard wood flooring AND owns a vacuum cleaner. You just wait and see.

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  5. I noticed during my stay in Portland that those hallways covered in carpet made sure my shoes were clean once I got inside the apartment, making it more realistic to keep my shoes on Amerikan style (although the apartment I lived in did not have any carpet).

    CB

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  6. Oh, wall-tolwall carpeting, something I do not miss. Tried in vein to convince the Amerifam to skip the recarpeting and go with flooring - but alas.

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  7. I'm not a fan of wall-to-wall carpeting, either, especially for my apartment (I can handle it for work offices).

    I have a featherweight vacuum that vacuums area rugs and the hardwood floor. It's very light (I have no arm strength) and $25! Not all vacuums have to be industrial strength or huge to get the job done.

    Hope all's well and that you're off to a wonderful, healthy, happy 2011!

    ٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ ٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶

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  8. You are hilariosly funny! I've been a stalker to your postings for a long time...

    I've come to understand that the swedish habit of removing your shoes inside in most other countries come across as weird, but I've always wondered about the amount of nastiness you're dragging inside? How many times a day do you have to clean the floors?

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  9. LOL - "I would then stand over the trash can and wipe my feet off". Hahaha!!!
    I miss you dear friend :)

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  10. lmao. This blog always proves to be entertaining.

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  11. I have all wood paneling (it's the new style for realtors apparently) and I hates it. My wife and I both are having severe allergy and sinus problems because the dust just cycles through the A/C and never gets caught and cleaned, as it would in a carpet/vacuum cleaner. Plus, I love silence and I can her a pencil drop from anywhere in the house. We just bought a few 300 dollar shag carpets (after 2 years) and it was lovely. Rolling around on the carpet for hours and hours making sweaty, toe curling love in the afternoon, night, and into the next morning and then afternoon. -sigh- it is much harder to clean up after that type of thing. One of the few downsides of shag I suppose.

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  12. @00100: Dust problems happen with the AC even if you have carpeted floors. Make sure to change the filters, get the more expensive ones if the regular ones don't work for you. And see if you need to have your air ducts cleaned (the duct cleaner contractor will of course say you do).

    I'd imagine most allergy sufferers will do better with hard floors than carpet. Hard floors are easy to keep dust free, just sweep and mop.

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  13. Oh and making love on a nice luxurious carpet is great of course. But the usual nylon wall-to-wall carpet is horrible for that IMO, watch out for friction burns... Better with: Beautiful hardwood -> add a nice plush rug (how about sheepskin?) -> in front of fireplace...

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  14. It was only one year with wall-to-wall carpets. I'm excited to say that the place I lived in afterwards had hardwood floors. Although, I would still walk around barefoot and wipe my feet off into the trash can...

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