North American Weirdness: Floor Edition
Welcome to North American Things That I Still Find Weird Despite Spending Two Decades Here: Floor EditionI was born in Finland but have lived in Canada since I was 11. In the years since moving, my penchant for soap-boxing has combined with nostalgic childhood fairy-dust into the terribly annoying habit of picking on North American ways of doing things. And then telling you about how much better it is across the ocean (conveniently omitting any unflattering bits). This is just one of the many perks of interacting with me! I suppose I should also mention that I continue to live in Canada and have no plans to move, so take that as you will. Not that that makes me any less right.
Back in my young and naive days, I thought floors were pretty simple and basically figured out throughout the world by now, but boy did I ever learn how deeply wrong I was:
Exhibit A: Wall to wall carpeting. Seriously, who thought that attaching a permanent dirt, mold, and allergen trap to your floors was a good idea? Your dog/kid/drunken self pukes on the floor once and the remnants of their revolting bile and partially digested burrito are forever trapped on your floor now. FOREVER. I don’t care if you have some fancy carpet cleaner that your mother in law recommended. That shit is not coming out.
Doesn’t seem so cozy on your feet now does it? Well the little baby mold-spores would beg to disagree as they nestle quietly in their perfect little nursery under your feet, undisturbed by things such as “cleaning.” Insanity I say! My mom and I were pretty perplexed by the whole thing when we arrived – what’s wrong with some strategically placed mats that can be washed?
Wall to wall carpeting becomes downright disturbing when combined with Exhibit B: Not taking your shoes off inside.
I can’t believe this is even an option in anyone’s home. Most of the people I know are civilized enough to know better, but I know this is an issue because an entire Sex and the City episode was dedicated to highlighting the right of extravagant women to wear their Manolo Blahnik’s wherever they please, children be dammed! Because if a toddler ends up sucking on a piece of feces-encrusted gum that came off your shoe, well that’s a small price to pay for not cutting your leg line short. Kid might as well learn the E-coli lesson early! Survival of the fittest and such!
There is a reason we wear shoes outside – to put a layer between us and the grimy, disgusting world – so don’t then drag that shit all over where I eat, sleep, and do push-ups once or twice a year (yes I eat off the floor, what of it?). So what I’m saying is, wearing shoes inside a Finnish home is basically an offence equivalent to killing their firstborn.
This concludes North American Things That I Still Find Weird Despite Spending Two Decades Here: Floor Edition. Stay tuned for upcoming parts of this potentially infinite series!