x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

A rug time and a place

Placing home decor is just another way to get to know your life partner.

A few ill-placed rugs have the potential to uproot a happy marriage and leave it cowering in fear before the wrath of an unreasonable wife. Mr T, I'm afraid, learnt that the hard way.

Confident in the furniture placement of our apartment, we felt the time was right to roll out our rugs. We had two: a cream and beige I placed in front of the kitchen sink, and a white one I insisted would be perfect for our dressing room. Obviously, these are the choices of an amateur, considering the tendency for spillage to occur in a kitchen, and the highly expected possibility that shoes come on and come off in a dressing room environment.

Nevertheless, I was adamant that the rugs would be safe in the places I chose for them. "Just be careful," I warned Mr T. "You're not allowed to spill anything on the kitchen rug." He was also not allowed to put his shoes on in the dressing room. He, of course, obliged his irrational wife.

I then purchased a third rug; another cream and beige masterpiece, made of canvas and jute, perfect for the entry way. It's the first thing you step on as you walk through the front door.

Beads of sweat broke out on Mr T's forehead when he first realised that the new rug was granted such an impractical home.

"How am I supposed to avoid this one?" I told him not to worry; jute is a very durable material. "Am I supposed to take off my shoes outside, before I enter?" I assured him there would be no need.

My benevolence lasted barely a day. Black skid marks on the side of the rug and dark shoe prints on the jute had me raging in no time. "Look at my soles," I told him, waving my shoes in front of his face. "Those are your footprints, not mine!"

We went back and forth for weeks, debating whether to move the rug, lamenting the decision to pick such a light coloured floor covering, dancing around it to avoid contact, flattening ourselves against the wall every time we entered or left our home.

The other rugs fared just as badly. I've dropped more items of overly ripe fruits and vegetables in the past week - strategically in front of the kitchen sink - than I have in my entire life: a semi rotten avocado's green flesh burst on to the rug, as did the juice of a plump tomato. A tea bag, on its way to the bin, detoured and landed on the rug.

Mr T is adamant that he will not be blamed for the rugs' demises. Our home is his obstacle course: he leaps over the one by the entrance, tiptoes around the one in the dressing room, hops and skips to avoid landing on anything white, beige or cream. His rug dance is now second nature.

Catching him mid-jump over the hallway rug one day, I asked if he'd like me to move it once and for all. "I'll do it right now, just say the word," I promised.

"Nah, no need, I've got this," he told me. Then he nodded his head at the avocado green and tomato red stains on the kitchen rug. "But if you like, that rug over there might like a new home."