I spent yesterday evening broodily staring at a rug that I bought earlier in the afternoon which was meant to replace the one in the living room. I wasn’t sure it was really working.
It’s predecessor started life with us as a respectable (if foolishly chosen) off-white but has become so covered in stains and sundry blobs of indeterminate nature despite frequent steam cleanings and the no-food-on-the-carpet rule, that even I, with my low-lighting policy and general air of denial regarding child-related squalor could no longer pretend that it was not completely and utterly revolting.
As luck would have it I was given a rather generous gift by my father from Pottery Barn (it isn’t a barn and they don’t sell pottery) this Christmas in the form of a lamp which, as it turned out, didn’t fit in our house – either physically (literally no space) or with our decor ( I use this term in its loosest tense). So I had returned it and thus had a fat gift card waiting for an opportunity to be spent. Admittedly I had peeked at rugs a few weeks ago but decided it wasn’t really a critical purchase after talking it through with Husband. He said that Two, in particular, was not likely to be any tidier or cause less wear on a new carpet (of course I was looking at off-white again) so what was the point of blowing a perfectly good gift-card opportoonity (this last said with heavy irony in a psuedo American accent, most odd with his German one peeking through) on something that would look the same as what we had in just a year or so.
Good point, Husband. And I concurred.
But this was before Two got his horrible cold this week and went on two different antibiotics.
Which gave him hideous diarrhea.
And made him want to take his nappies off himself without telling me.
He was watching a very interesting program about cats at the time so he thought he’d just sit straight down again once he was free of the offending diaper.
On the rug.
I’m wondering if that visual that will remain as indelibly in your mind as on my carpet
I did a quick cost-benefit analysis and I cleverly worked out that it was going to be much, much, much better, both financially and emotionally if I spent that gift certificate on a new rug from Pottery Barn and as luck would have it there is a branch not five minutes from our house so the three of us tootled down and made our purchase.
I waited until the children were in bed before I unrolled it to have a look and it’s very pretty – perhaps too pristine and pale – so I thought I’d look at their online catalogue to see if there were other colours that weren’t available in the store in case I wanted to exchange it for something else.
After about 20 seconds I was incredibly bored by rugs. And all of their other furniture. I idled over to the Pottery Barn Kids (it isn’t a barn, and they don’t sell pottery or kids) website to see if there was anything interesting there.
There was. But not necessarily in a good way.
I clicked on to Boy’s Rooms first.
They are arranged by theme. Some were absolutely fantastic! Constellation themed rooms with summer and winter skies on carpets and wallhangings ( I want one!) Astronomy bedsheets! Rocket ships on pillowcases that you can have monogrammed (if you are that sort of person which I am absolutely not). Safari rooms! Weyhey! I’m an explorer! Elephants, Lions! Pirate bedrooms – sail the seven seas , Arrrr! Construction bedrooms; build your own fantasy, yeah! Junior Varsity bedrooms! You can be a sports star! You can do it because you are ALL ACTION!!
Then there were Girl’s Rooms.
They were not really themes as such. They were labelled by different girl names ‘The Morgan room’ ‘The Emily room’ etc. “Brooke’s French Rose Room”
Most were pink. A lot of them had flowers. One or two may have included a bird or a butterfly and there was the odd fairy floating around.
Every single one of them was fit for a princess who would be sure to wait for an action-oriented, safari walkin’,space-hoppin’,sea-farin’, sports-playin’ prince to rescue her.
You can be feminine and loveable because you are PASSIVE and DECORATIVE!
I really thought we were past this kind of stereotyping. But apparently not
It annoyed me so much that I decided on principle to take the rug back to the shop. When the sexy 20-something sales assistant asked me in a bored corporate way why I was making the return, I gave her the reasons I have outlined above.
She just about stopped herself from rolling her eyes, gave me one of those fixed, glassy
I have to be polite to you because you are the customer smiles and said brightly, in her, like, California way
“Oh, gee, I’m so sorry that didn’t work out for you, I can’t give you your money back, but I can give you a gift card for that if there’s nothing else you want right now”
this roughly translated as
Shut the fuck up, I’m, like, totally uninterested in your middle-aged militant views
I would have laughed, but it actually made me a bit sad to think that her attitudes were the legacy that Five was going to inherit.
When did feminism become a four-letter word?
A friend of mine saw a college girl wearing a t-shirt the other day that read
“Too cute for math”.
Too cute for math?? WTF??
How about “I enjoy paying good money to be patronised!” or
“I am a person who likes to participate in my own humilation – why not join in, and denigrate the rest of my gender while you’re at it!”
It’s been a while since our mothers burned their bras – the feminist consciousness raising of the ’60’s and ’70’s led to the political correctness of the ’80’s and somehow gave leeway to a backlash in the ’90s and now we have a generation of young women who really seem to have no idea of how hard their rights have been fought for – and how far there still is to go. In many parts of the world women are still not allowed outside without a man’s permission and yet in a country as privileged as the USA, where a person of any gender or race has the opportunity to study and work, a young woman will spend cash on a product (probably made using the labour of oppressed 3rd world women) to boast that her mind is not being used.
This is not progress, ladies.
The stain on my carpet seems fairly insignificant compared to this.