With the combined weight of two generations and a collective deep breath, we shimmied the 10 X 14 rug into my minivan. It wedged snugly against the front dash, providing an awkwardly high armrest. Its position left me, the driver, with the ability to use only the tip of my pinkey at a precise angle to adjust the air flow and radio. I was ready to drive home from my visit to see friends and relatives with our family’s prized heirloom in tow: an oriental rug from my grandparent’s den. For several years, the rug was stored in my aunt’s garage before she and my grandmother graciously offered it to me…all I had to do was take it to the cleaners and Whoa! Old, new to me, ancestral foot trodden rug.
When I arrived at the rug shop, I relayed to the owner how much I loved this rug—mainly because it belonged to my grandmother who I love dearly and with whom I share a very special relationship. The memories of time spent in my grandparents’ house made my heart swell with fondness. I also reiterated that the rug had been in a non-climate-controlled garage for a few years, and that I was hoping they could restore it to its past glory.
As we rolled it out in the parking lot, let’s just say I saw something that gave the verse “where moth and rust destroy” a whole new meaning. Before our very eyes, live moths scooched their way around the edge of the rug, eating away at the colorful wool, their cocoons decorating the outer rim of the perimeter. I made a sound somewhere between a laugh and a shriek. “I’ve seen a lot of things, but I have to say, I’ve never seen this!” exclaimed the shop owner. I gasped in horror as I thought of being “that customer” whose story could comfort future customers in embarrassing rug situations: “Oh don’t worry sweetie, it’s not near as bad as the live moth lady!” (Gulp).