North American Weirdness: Floor Edition

Welcome to North American Things That I Still Find Weird Despite Spending Two Decades Here: Floor Edition

I 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.

Example of an acceptable flooring material

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!

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Posted on February 7, 2012, in Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Hah! I could have written that post myself (despite not being Finnish)! I despise wall-to-wall carpeting. In fact, the last time we searched for an apartment to rent, one of our requirements was that there would be no carpeting anywhere in the apartment. And also, shoes in the house… just boggles my mind! Whenever people come over and don’t immediately take off their shoes, I always tell them to take the damn shoes off (though I try to be nice about it… at first). Seems pretty obvious to me!

    • This is what I’m saying – obvious!

      Our first apartment was the basement suite of an old house and had the most disgusting carpet. It actually looked ok but smelled, well like a mold nursery. We are still somewhat suspicious it may have actually led to some health problems. So when we went looking for a place to buy, it was not allowed to have carpets. (Although we do have some on our stairs and that turns out to be a blessing since I’m clumsy at times.)

  2. bahaha I understand all your qualms (although I never thought of carpeting being gross until you pointed it out to me – thanks for that!)

    my husband loves to keep his shoes on all the time. I’ve given up on the floors (we have dogs, I’ve accepted it’s gross, whatever) but I definitely get bitchy when people tuck their shoed feet up on my couch (!!!) or when BFF plops her shoes on my bed (!!!??!)

    • Well I do like to spread fear!

      Yeah dogs add a whole new grossness spectrum. Lately Cassie has had some mysterious stomach issues and left the evidence on our living room rug, which is too big to actually wash myself. So grossness has invaded regardless.

  3. Ha! I completely agree. One of my favorite things about the house we are in now is that the floor is all tile (except two bedrooms, and as soon as I own this place, the carpeting in those rooms is GOING).

    Absolutely disgusting. Rugs that can be washed — yes. Indoor slippers that can be washed — yes. Wall-to-wall carpeting — NO THANKS.

    • That’s so exciting that you’re buying the house! From what I’ve seen, it looks like a lovely home. Especially when all the carpets will be gone ;-)

  4. When I moved out of Minnesota, I realized that not everyone always takes their shoes off at the door, and found it really weird/gross/annoying– you’d just have to clean so much more often with people tracking in all that dirt! Maybe the Minnesotans get their awesome culture from their Finnish ancestors?

  5. Totally agree about the carpeting. Eurhjsdvmpasdklc,al……

    I have never thought about it with regards to the shoes. I only put them on in the house when I am about to leave it. So I guess I still suck.

    • That is clear evidence of suckage.

      Shoes do enter our household and occasionally even traipse across the floor to retrieve forgotten keys/cellphone/etc., but it’s ok because our floors are not made of dirt-loving fibers!

  6. YAY! We’ve chatted about this on twitter, and I wholly agree. With all of this. I’m barefoot in the house all of the time.

    • Yes, it may have been that twitter conversation that eventually inspired me to blather on for a whole post about this topic. I take flooring very seriously.

  7. Another agreer here. I am chagrined that the current place we live in has the oldest, NASTIEST carpeting in the entire universe. Add to that friends and husband who never take off their shoes (husband actually has this thing where sometimes he just nonchalantly strolls outside in bare feet or socks (SOCKS!) and then doesn’t understand why I’m starting at him and making incredulous noises), and basically what I need is a levitation device in my own home to avoid contact with the floor.

    I have managed to make the bathroom a no-shoe zone, however. That is my one small victory.

  8. People think I’m very weird to not want shoes in the house.

    Eventhough I love shoes and I don’t try and and stand in poo.

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