So way, way back in the old country none of us had much of anything, some of you who read my old posts know that everyone had kind of the same stuff, so to speak.
The biggest difference in peoples’ apartments was the amount of books they owned. Some of us had big libraries, some had none and its not because they didn’t want to collect books , it’s just they probably did not have room in their tiny rooms, but there is one more thing…..
….Rugs! Yes, Rugs. Every Soviet family had to have a Persian rug- either on their floors or even better, on their walls! To hang a rug on your wall meant that you finally made it and you have a certain status.
My beloved grandma Pearl was very upset that her only daughter doesn’t have the rug on the wall for everyone to see. She was saving every penny for years and finally one fine day I came home from school and saw a beautiful rug on a large wall in our main room (mind you we only had one bedroom apartment, where my parents, my brother and I lived), which served as a living room, dining room and my parent’s bedroom. Yes, grandma was happy now, as her only child finally had a a status! She made it! She had a rug on her wall just like everyone else.
Lets move forward few years, I am getting married and once again there is a question about the rug.
– Kids are getting married – my mom said and we are getting them their own Persian rug. I will stay in line for months if necessary, but my daughter will have a rug just like everyone one else in the family.
-Mom, we really don’t care about it, we love our hardwood floor and we don’t want
to cover it! – I tried to reason with her.
– It’s not for your floors, you will hang it on your main wall!
– I don’t like rugs on walls! – I tried again.
-You don’t know what you’re talking about, papa and I are getting you a rug.
Who am I to argue with my parents?
We were the lucky one, we didn’t have to wait half of our lives just like our parents. We got ours right away as a wedding gift, look who has a status now?!
Proudly we laid it on our floors in our studio apartment and yes and to my moms horror we walked on it….
By the time we were ready to move to the USA the poor rug was stepped on, peed on by our newly born and seen some pretty nasty stuff by lots and lots of friends who happened to stay in our place when we were away.
– Mom, can we sell our rug, we don’t need it in America? – I asked .
-What? Do you know how hard papa and I worked to get this rug for you?
-Do you think there are no rugs in America? -I was trying to be a smart ass about it.
-It’s not the point! This is your wedding gift and we are packing and shipping the rug with the rest of our belongings.
To my moms disappointment, every apartment in America had carpet. We rolled
our wedding gift and put it away with the rest of the stuff we brought with us
like bedding sheets that don’t feet American beds, towels…..and…whatever else…
My mom still proudly lays her Persian rug on top of her carpet and then complains to me that she has developed dust allergy.
– Mom, did you ever consider to put the rug away, maybe this will help you with your allergies- I asked her once, twice few times, but she wont listen to me.
Our rug for the past 20 years was rolled up in the basement, but recently it found a new
home. My son found a brand new love for our Persian rug, he maybe inherited some of my grandma Pearl’s genes, he took it with him when he moved to Chicago.
– Hey son, be careful with it! It’s my wedding gift!