Have you heard of the idiom to sweep something under the rug? It usually means to try to hide something embarrassing, like getting into a fender-bender while applying mascara or texting your boss a sexy message meant for your husband. Things like that are meant to be glossed over and forgotten, banished into the distant past, and swept under the rug.
This weekend I learned the true meaning to the phrase as more than just figurative language.
We had a group of rowdy, rabble-rousing friends over for a few days. After a night of debauchery, we returned to our small home to wind down when I felt the twinges of a headache/meltdown begin after watching the gang share a bag of Doritos. Junk food alone does not usually cause this reaction, observing them use their pants and couch instead of napkins to clean their orange fingers does however immediately cause this reaction.
It was then that I excused myself to bed and allowed whatever mischief and bad behavior was left of the night to play out unhindered by the likes of yours truly.
And it did play out.
What I found the next morning was a pile of dirty white socks, Gatorade bottles, half eaten brownies, and two kittens concerned with the ever-changing environment and weekend tenants. Naturally, the boys were still fast asleep.
Then, I discovered the white plaster chips and flakes on the floor from something that had shattered. I first thought it was a hole in the wall and prepared for my head to explode. Thankfully, my head stayed in place as there was not a hole in the wall and my temper subsided. I looked up to the shelf and found only a ring of dust and bare place where something had once been standing. As any good detective, I began an interrogation of the suspects who were busy snoring on the Dorrito dusted couches. They waved me off as the guilty often do.
I started to gather evidence. First, the white chips and flakes by the door, then an arm, and a head were located under the back of the couch. While I was low to the ground, I noticed the lump under the rug. I didn’t have to move the rug to know what it was; they had literally swept the broken statue of dancing lovers under the rug.
So I scooped it out from under the rug and held all of the pieces mournfully in my hands. The boys tried to make it right later in the day by reassembling the piece into something that they considered modern art. In retrospect, I should have put man-proofed our home before the gang arrived, removed all fragile knick-knacks and thingamajigs, and felt happy the figurine was the only causality of the weekend. I’ll try to remember this peaceful gratitude as I continue to find treasures lost in the couch and swept under the rug for the next few days.