At this point we’ve largely recovered from the effects of the Great Septic Tank Freezing and Subsequent Sewage Backup Event of 2013. All contaminated materials have been disposed of, and the new drywall has been installed, spackled, sanded and painted. Moldings have been replaced. We’re still waiting on the delivery of the new carpet and its installation but that should occur very soon.

I must confess, I was a little concerned about the carpet. The reconstruction company people offered to bring us some samples that we could pick from, and I would have been perfectly fine with that. But, they also mentioned we could go to Lowe’s or Home Depot, and pick something out there and they would order it for us as long as it fit within a certain range of prices. This, I thought, was an option that could consign me to untold levels of frustration, boredom and annoyance.

See, here’s the thing. You tell a guy – “go pick some carpet out” and he’ll go down to Lowe’s, and he’ll be done literally within seven minutes of entering the store. Call it fifteen minutes if he has to find the carpet department on his own, because he’ll never ask a salesperson where it is, since it has to be right over next to the tile section, right? But, if you inject a woman into the equation, and here I’m most definitely not talking about Mary, and not just because she’s reading this over my shoulder, the mean time to carpet selection could stretch into days.

I thought there was a chance that we’d go, look at over a hundred and fifty swatches, and then have to make a deposit to take a book of the swatches home to see how they would look in the ambient light in the family room downstairs. Then, there would be a long discussion, which would consist primarily of Mary saying things like, “How do you think the Atmosphere 101 looks here, as opposed to the Rolling Stone 214?” Where exactly do they come up with these names? I mean, Atmosphere? The atmosphere has no inherent color of it’s own, unless you live in Beijing during a temperature inversion, in which case it’s not really a color, but more like a increased density, with overtones of a noxious odor, and a hint of a burning sensation when it’s drawn into the lungs.

To my surprise, it took us under fifteen minutes to make a decision on the carpet, and that’s taking into account that Mary didn’t insist I ask someone where the carpet department was located. As it turns out it is next to the tile department, but that took ten minutes to find. Once we located the carpets, there was a few minutes of mute headshaking as I pointed out this sample or that sample, and once a,”Michael, the Seventies were over thirty three years ago, they’re never coming back and neither is that particular design of shag carpet.” And to further show off Mary’s awesomeness (which to reiterate, is in no way influenced by her reading this over my shoulder), in less than five minutes she nodded her head once as I finally pointed out the correct shade, texture, nap, weave, and material of the carpet that would be perfection itself in our home, and we were done.

For the record, the style selected was a plush pile with the color designation of Atmosphere which, also for the record, is a kind of beige color. As far as I could tell, approximately ninety-three percent of the color selections available were some variation of beige, or beige-like or had beige under and/or overtones. Mary, still awesome (and still liable to read this, later, so it will not require any additional revisions at a future date) assures me that they are all different and that we will be happy, for the next several years at least, with Atmosphere.

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