The White Rug

Some things you do as a kid, you just never forget.

Either the mischievousness was ingenious, the consequence was traumatizing, or a valuable life lesson was learned. My childhood memories mainly consist for the first two reasons.

But back to my story.

I was going to spend the day with my “grandpa” Danny which was a special occasion for me. One, I loved my grandpa, and two, he let me get lost in his world of books. Being the grown-up little boy that I was, I had just mastered the art of polishing my shoes. An art of which I was extremely proud.

So after donning my newly polished black shoes, my mom dropped me off. My grandpa’s house had wood floors so taking off my shoes was not a requirement, plus I thought I looked rather sharp with my shiny shoes. After I caught him up on all the latest and greatest events in my little world, he smilingly showed me his newest book acquisitions.

It didn’t take me long to find a book that interested me. Then off I went to my favorite spot – the white shag rug in the guest bedroom. It was a thick white rug by the window that always called for me to curl up on it and read myself into oblivion. And that’s exactly what I did. But a white rug, a wriggling boy, and freshly polished shoes do not play well together, and that day was no exception.

I mentioned that shoe polishing was a newly acquired skill of mine, and the finer points of polishing I had not yet mastered. The main problem here was that I had failed to remove all the polishing paste from my shoes. The leftover paste morphed into long random and very black streaks on the very white rug.

A couple hours later when the book was done, so was the rug. As I got up to put the book away, I saw the havoc I had wreaked. But I remained undaunted by my destruction until I realized that the soap and brush handed to me by an extremely solemn grandpa availed nothing.

I think I remember this white rug so well, because I didn’t get experience the consequences I expected.

If this had been my dad’s rug, I would have toiled for months, for mere pennies a day, to replace the rug. Had this been my mom’s rug, she most likely would have cried over it’s loss, or even worse yet, kept the rug as a constant reminder to me of my horrible sin.

But not my grandpa.

He watched me scrub hesitantly, then determinedly, and finally frantically; but with no results. He knew the black marks wouldn’t come out and so did I. But he also knew how stubborn I was so he wordlessly let me continue scrubbing. How could I dare stop scrubbing? I had ruined my grandpa’s rug and I was determined that my scrubbing efforts, at the least, would exhibit my remorse.

I hated the shoe polish.

I despised the whiteness of the rug.

I swore to never polish my shoes again.

I promised myself to never again walk on any rug with shoes.

The latter promise is the only one I’ve kept, along with a deep resentment for the color white.


2 responses to “The White Rug

  1. Your mother keeping the rug to remind you of your sin…deep resentment of the color white…I laughed out loud several times while reading this. Great stuff! Glad you discovered me so I could discover you back!

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