I used to think it was pretty strange that in Japan, you are expected to take your shoes off when you enter someone's house. I grew up in a cold climate in the days when wall to wall carpet was a novelty. Although, come to think of it, Gramma had a 'sitting' room that had an elaborate pattern. That room was almost never used.
When we bought this house, it had brand new cushy, light beige,wall to wall carpet. I got into the habit of walking around stocking-footed because it was comfortable. I soon noticed a puzzling trend. When people came over, they took their shoes off at the door.
I tried to stop them. I was embarrassed that they thought I cared more about the carpet than them. It took a long time for me to realize that the era of wall to wall carpet got everyone in the habit of taking their shoes off at the door. It took me longer to realize that regardless of people's expectations, I was not going to take my shoes off in their homes.
I've noticed that the few people who do not take off their shoes, don't bother to wipe them on the doormat either. This resulted in dirty spots, distracting from the stains of spilt food. But most of the large expanse of carpet looks pretty much unused.
Except where is doesn't. There is a trail of flattened carpet from the stairs to the kitchen where I've carried in groceries for twenty five years. Also, around the dining room, food has been spilled. In the middle of the living room a splatter of paler carpet commemorates the time Ryanne shook her milk bottle before she realized that the lid was loose. Who knew that milk stains are impossible to remove?
It is time to replace it, but if we put in a practical, modern carpet, would I still spend my days in stockings? I'm kind of spoiled. Too bad there isn't a way to dye a carpet.
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