I moved into a new apartment three months ago, and I still have lingering paranoia about ruining the hardwood floors. You have to put coasters on all the furniture, the landlady said. Put pads on everything or else the floor will get scratched. I won’t say I’ve mopped the floor once since I moved in (I sweep fairly often, as I hate getting sand and pebbles stuck to my bare feet – more on dirty floors here). But I will say I notice tiny marks on the floor and squeal out to my partner, “IS THIS MARK NEW?!” – to which he replies, “Probably not,” or grunt, or nothing at all, because I was squealing at too high a frequency – at least once a week. My paranoia stems, of course, from fear of depleting my security deposit, and I’m fairly careful (read: “uptight”) about all the things that fall into that category. I don’t put holes in the walls and I worry about the plumbing. But I really worry about the hardwood floors.

Some people are homemakers because they can’t work. Some are homemakers to look after their children. Others might stay at home for their animals. Me – I am not disabled, nor do I have children, nor pets. But if someone else won my bread for me, I would be a stay-at-home mom for the hardwood floors.

There, under my watchful eye, not a bump, not a scratch would go overlooked. I could truly discover which marks rub off and which ones don’t. Who knows – I might even mop.


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