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Friday, March 03, 2006

Family Tradition

Last summer we got a new kitchen floor.

The old one was olive green and black and was the original floor – circa 1973 – of our house. During the course of our occupation, the color started to wear on my wife and I, plus the seams started to curl up. But money was tight so we went about our lives, sucked it up and just dealt with it.

Years past, and two boys later, and it was apparent that the vinyl floor was in need of repair. The constant barrage of makeshift hockey games, toy monster truck rallies and general tomfoolery rendered the floor all but useless.

So we sold some stocks and invested in some faux Italian marble tile vinyl from one of the local chain hardware stores and had it installed. It’s quite nice actually and soon became the springboard to give the kitchen a much need facelift: the yellow walls and cabinets were painted white, our olive green range and hood were replaced by a hand-me-down white stove from my sister-in-law, and the pantry was removed giving the kitchen more space for our growing family.

But there is one problem with the new kitchen floor: I cannot keep it clean to save my soul. I Wet Swiff it on a weekly basis yet there always seems to be a crumb, a leaf, a harden strand of spaghetti staring back at me.

Some days I feel the floor mocks me. “Nan, nan, na, nan, na, you can’t clean me.” I have visions of early ‘70s Saturday morning cartoons; of a Syd & Marty Croft caricature come to life out of the floor dancing with its gaping mouth around me, it’s Witchey Poo apparition of a boss floating over said creature’s shoulder.

The other day I dropped a knife and it stuck into the floor.

I thought I heard someone say “ouch.”

It then occurred to me that maybe I should do like my family did – have a carpet in the kitchen. Growing up I never knew how odd this was until late elementary school when friends started to visit my house and I theirs. “Why do you have a rug in your kitchen?” my friend Tommy asked me in 6th grade. “I don’t know,” I said. “What don’t you have a rug in your kitchen?”

There was only one person who could answer to this question, my father. So one morning over breakfast, I asked my dad why we had a carpet in our kitchen. “Nobody else I know does,” I explained to him. And, typical of my stoic defense contractor dad, he replied, “I don’t like cold feet.”

I don’t like cold feet either, nor do I like to fight the fight of keeping my kitchen floor clean. I think it just might be time to take up the family tradition, I think it might be time to start thinking about putting carpet on the kitchen floor.

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