The Rug Rigamarole

June 19, 2020

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Sometimes online shopping just isn't worth the trouble. Here's my tale. What a rigamarole.

Braided rug rolled up on the floor

When I was little and something was a hassle, time consuming or involved a lot of steps, my mom used to say, What a rigamarole! 

It was a fun word to say, kind of a tongue twister, and I used it often myself.

Did I bother to look it up? Nope.

I don't think I asked my mom what it meant either. Even as a small child, it was pretty obvious.

Something was a complete mess. A waste of time. Annoying.

And indeed, that's exactly what it least according to The Free Dictionary.

rigamarole - a long and complicated and confusing procedure

Well. There have been a lot of things lately that I could label with this word...getting food delivered, curbside pick up procedures or trying to schedule routine appointments that keep getting moved out and then canceled and rescheduled and re-canceled.

However, the biggest rigamarole to date involved a rug.

An eight foot round rug.

A rug I didn't even keep. During a pandemic. In the state hardest hit.

Now. You may ask why exactly I needed to do this, during this perilous time? And I honestly have no good answer.

I guess I was looking for a distraction from the situation. Looking to feather my nest instead of looking at the tv, or perhaps I was looking for a new view in the place we'd been relegated to for months.

Whatever the reason, I was bent on getting a new rug. And it was not an easy task.

If you remember, last year, I was in the same situation. I needed a new rug and had to find one online.  Eight foot round rugs are not easy to find in stores. No one carries them.

Red and white cottage kitchen nook without a rug on the floor

And frankly, I didn't need an 8 foot rug, I needed a 7 foot one. That's an even more difficult find....but last summer, after many - many - hours online, I located one I loved.

It just didn't seem to go with my new sink skirt. Too busy. I craved a more neutral palette.

Ideally, something that resembled jute or sisal. However, not jute or sisal, since my allergies would prevent me from walking in the kitchen with either one of them on the floor.

With all this in mind, I hopped online and started shopping. I couldn't find anything plain enough in a brown, in my desired size, in a traditional carpet. So I started looking for basic braided rugs.

I knew that I could cut one of those down to size. Of course, they were pricey. And to cut a $1000 rug down to size? Um. No.

Back to the drawing board. Long story short after a lot of searching I found the perfect rug at Overstock. Good price, great colors - neutral brown tones - and braided. I could cut that sucker easily to fit my cottage size space. Perfect.

Shades Of Brown Tweed Rug
And done.

Or not quite. You see, I wanted to make sure I could send it back for free, on the off chance it wasn't perfect, so I paid the $19.99 to join Overstock's Membership club. I could get free returns even for this monster of a rug.

More perfect. I rolled the dice and placed my order.

When it finally showed up I was so excited. It looked great through that heavy cellophane shroud.

Unfortunately, I couldn't open it right away. We were advised to let things sit awhile before they were brought in the house. So alone it sat in the vestibule for 3 long days.

Then, with gloves, I carefully cut it out of its cocoon, trying not to damage too much of the plastic, in the very unlikely event it needed to go back. Because it was perfect right?

Mmm...not so much. When I was done sweating from lugging it into the kitchen and prying it out the packaging and moving the furniture out of and then back into position, it was very clear that my perfect rug was not brown. At all.

In fact it was green.

Green. And not like a mossy green, like the family room rug, that just might blend, but a teal green. Almost blue. Close up you can see it.

And blue was not brown.

I sat there staring at it, exhausted, defeated and having a hot total denial when the kids walked in.

There wasn't any conversation, they barely paused on their way downstairs. They just looked at the rug with a quick glance and said, almost in unison, That rug is blue.

I was not giving up.

It's the lighting. It'll be brown in the morning.

My husband was quick to give his opinion, as well. A man of few words, he offered a simple No. He didn't elaborate. He didn't need to.

As you can already guess, my brown rug was still blue in the morning. I was so sad.

(I know it looks brown but it wasn't- trust me)

Braided rug half unrolled under round table in the kitchen

It'd be nice if the rigamarole ended there, but we were only halfway done, folks. I still had to get this sucker back to Overstock.

UPS was only open a few hours a day, we were observing a strict quarantine and hadn't left the house and frankly didn't want to since the numbers here were spiking and that rug was too big for any UPS dropbox.

It took me three days to get UPS on the phone to arrange a pick up at my home. That service cost me $11.00.

It took me another few days with Overstock chats (they shut down their phone center) to realize that I could indeed return it for free, but only for a credit.

A fact I wasn't concerned about when I bought the rug, since it was perfect. Remember? Once I thought about it though, what was I doing with a $250 credit??

Nope, so after I paid for the membership, I didn't use it after all. I printed my own return label for $29 so I could get my cash back.

Then I moved all the furniture off the rug and back into place, rolled that sucker up, shoved it back into the plastic and used the last bit of packing tape I had to slap the label in place.

And as I sat there, again, sweating my way through another hot flash, I put $10 in an envelope with a thank you note for the poor UPS guy who was working through the crisis so I could have the privilege of shopping online for an unnecessary kitchen rug.

At least I'm self aware.

So how'd this self inflicted torture tale end?

Well, you're not going to believe it, but I told my husband to bring the old rug upstairs and I'd put it in place for a bit. He did a great job, but placed it upside down under the table.

Kitchen rug flipped back

And unbelievably, IT was perfect. Somehow, someway the muted pattern and light neutral tone on the backside was just what I wanted and had been searching for...for weeks.

Murphy's Law.

Hours spent in front of the screen, weeks to receive a rug that didn't look anything like it did online.

Fifty dollars in shipping fees and tips.

And too many hot flashes to count.

All to end up with a rug I already owned.

Mom was right.

What a rigamarole.

Do you have a word like this?

  1. What a rigamarole! Glad it all worked out in the end

  2. Hello Kim,
    Oh my dear friend, what a rigamarole indeed. I feel for you. Oh my. I do love the word, rigamarole.
    We had no luck finding a new rug for the kitchen sink area. I think I will wait until I can physically look at rugs. Maybe? Or I may get myself into a rigamarole.
    Loved this post.. you do such a great job writing.

    1. Thank you, Carla. You're always so kind to me and my words! I have to say, when I get frustrated, I do think to myself that the silver lining in these situations is that I know there will be a silly story to tell. Laughter makes it all worth it. Although, a new rug would be nice, too. I hope you find one, too.

  3. OMG Kim buying rugs on line it the hardest thing. They never look like the pictures on line. You are right they are a pain to return. I have been looking for a rug for my living room/dining area for almost a year with no luck. The only good thing about some sites like Overstock and Wayfair they have reviews and if you click on them some people put pics up of the rug in their house and you can really see the colors better. Happy Friday and have a great weekend.

    1. Kris, it was a nightmare. In the old days I used to order online and return to the JCPenney Home Store in town. It was super simple and the store even had a few on the floor to see. No more. I think I'm sticking with what I have or no rug from now on. Too bad I can't DIY one myself!! Ha!

      AND...yes, even though I didn't keep it, I did leave a review with a picture for others to see the real deal. I hope it will save someone else from their own rigamarole! Enjoy your blooming yard!! xo

  4. What we get ourselves into, it was quite a rigamarole, i felt terrible for you and glad all worked out. My mom used that word too.

    1. Marlene, that really says it all, doesn't it...what we get ourselves into! Yes, exactly!

  5. This is so funny, I'm sorry that it was a hassle, but it's like a comedy routine! Better luck next time my friend.

    1. Hahaha. I know. It was a mess...but funny in hindsight. And thank you!

  6. Oh my. Glad it all ended up well.

    1. It was silly, Lorri. Ordering large items like that is tough enough under normal circumstances. I don’t know what I was thinking.

  7. Oh what a tale!!!! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry:) RIGAMAROLE is a word I've heard and used many times. I love the ending of your rigamarole though!!! Another (better) word for your story is SERENDIPITY...finding something by accident. I learned that word in my high school senior English class:) Glad everything worked out.

    1. Serendipity indeed!! I just wish serendipity showed up before I spent $50 on the rigamarole! 😉

  8. Well now, that's a rugamarole if I ever heard of one... lol! Bless your heart... and isn't it funny that something as simple as an upside down rug fit the bill. There is something to that Murphy's law, or whatever it is! I feel your pain for all you went through. Not having done it for a rug, but other things... searching high and low for something to work, when it's right under my nose. I have heard of the word rigamarole, we used to say it a lot as a kid. Hadn't heard it in a long time... bet I'll find a use again for it pretty soon, lol!

    1. Marilyn, I love your RUGamarole comment. Now that’s funny!!

  9. Kim, I am so sorry the rug did not work out. Most of the time, I have great results shopping online. I do remember that crazy word.

  10. This was definitely a two thumbs down online shopping trip…makes me miss shopping in person for home decor.

  11. Oh Kim, so sorry for the Rigamarole, it's been so hard in our States. Will it ever end?

    What a fantastic accident in the end and a great mistake your husband made.


    1. I really hope it all ends soon, Cindy, unfortunately, I don’t see that happening. And during this time, I guess, it best to stick with what you have. Lesson learned!!

  12. What a fun to read post. You are such a great writer! Like you, I am ordering things online to feather my nest because of this pandemic. And what a gorgeous view you have from your table!

  13. I am sorry you had to go through all of that rigmarole. Often photos online of an item look totally different than when you see it for yourself. I am glad it worked out for you. I want new pillows for my couch too but I will wait until I can go to a home store look at them. I remember my mom saying that too. 😀

  14. I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that to end up with a rug you already had, Kim. Life sure can be crazy!

  15. Noooooooooooooo :D :D :D that's just so wrong. Oh dear Kim, so sorry you had to go through all that just to flip your old rug over. My Mom used rigamarole all the time too. I had no idea how to spell it before you wrote it though.

  16. I loved this post. I use the word rigamarole all the time! And I feel your paint. I have actually sent 4 rugs back to Amazon in the past three weeks. I just can't seem to find the perfect one. I am so glad it worked out for you. Who knew an upside down rug would work! Kudos to the Husband! The next rug I order, if I do not like it, I am going to turn it upside down :-) Hope you are well.

  17. KIM!! I loved this story and was chuckling to myself... I know it was not a good experience for you under these circumstances but it did entertain me because I know far too many people this has happened to!! Our malls and almost all stores have opened up and they are jam packed...I think the trend has sifted and people are loving shopping in stores again so they can actually see what they are getting!! I was never a big online shopper, only for what i could not find in the stores. Living next to the largest area of shopping in my County, I have everything just at my fingertips and I do enjoy the thrill of the hunt....It will be interesting to see if people will fall back into online shopping or stay enthralled with the brick and mortar stores that they long had left before all of this happened....
    Love your "new" to you rug!!
    Thanks for stopping by!!
    Stay safe, healthy and happy!!

  18. Me again!! I forgot to mention that my Mother used to say Rigamarole all the time!! You brought back so many memories!! Thanks!!

  19. If it makes you feel any better, things like this happen to me often! I've tried buying rugs online, too and they haven't worked out. In fact, I have a round rug that I ordered from Wayfair for my husband's office and it looked terrible. But it was too much of a pain - and too expensive - to return, so we're stuck with it. I need to photograph it and try to sell it on FB Marketplace.

    But now...we want to see a photo of how your upside down rug looks! :-)

  20. Forgive me for smiling as I read this. I know it was all such a hassle but you wrote about it so entertainingly, making it sound like an adventure, not a bore. But to end up with the back of your old rug looking just right is the cherry on top of the sundae! Oh the trials we put ourselves through!

  21. Kim, yes I am familiar with the word, but haven't thought of it in awhile. It is so hard to send back something of that size especially trying to get it back in the original packaging. Hooray to you for being able to do that. I do like the new "old" rug put back upside down. Maybe I should have tried that with my rug but, luckily, there was another room for it to go in..Stay well my friend..xxoJudy

  22. Don't you just love all those hidden fees they tack on? I can just imagine. Well, maybe you can find something to use your $250 on. I've been there with one of those braided rugs. It didn't look right either when I got it in my house. And aren't those suckers so incredibly heavy???

  23. So funny, though it must have been disappointing. I have to say - the blog is looking lovely, so polished. Well done! I'm sorry I haven't been around lately, it has been crazy busy at work and hardly any time for anything else. Summer is my busiest time of year at work, I'm not always happy about it but I am this year, first to even still have work and second to take my mind off things. Our numbers are spiking again and new restrictions are being put in place. It is scary out there.


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