Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Somebody give me a bunch of money so I can just buy a damn Dyson already****

I have a, shall we say, history with vacuum cleaners.

I have broken more than anyone ever should in the span of their life.

You see, growing up we didn’t really have carpet.  I think one room in my parents’ whole house had carpet in it, so I didn’t have much experience with that part of housecleaning.  In college I never vacuumed, only because it was a small space with just a rug and who really takes the time to do that sort of thing when there are kegs to stand?*

When Chris and I moved in to our first apartment together, I did buy a cheap vacuum and would use it on occasion, but the carpet never looked dirty so I didn’t include it in my normal cleaning routine.** 

And then we had hardwood floors.

And then we moved into a place with carpet and got a cat.  And so we vacuumed.  A lot.  And by ‘we’ I mean Christopher.  But it was a small space and wasn’t a huge deal.

And then we bought our house.  Our lovely house that the sellers put the cheapest carpet in even though it probably would have cost the same amount to sand and stain the fancy hardwood floors under said skank (technical term) carpet.

And then we had a kid who likes to play in the dirt and isn’t too good at wiping his filthy paws before coming inside.  And it’s really an outside-inside house as we’re always running in and out, tracking in whatever dirt, grass, or sand that crosses our paths.

Also – the dining room is carpeted and both children don’t seem to understand the ‘keep all food on your plate until it goes in your mouth’ rule.  Slobs.

So the carpet, it has seen better days.  I try.  I really do.  I got off to a slow start, mostly just relying on Chris to do all the vacuuming because I didn’t feel comfortable with it and didn’t feel like I knew what I was doing. 

But I figured it was time for me to step up.  When our cheap, craptastic vacuum quit on us my in-laws gave us a canister vacuum, the type of which I soon came to realize that I hate.  I mean, you always have to be lugging this big, heavy bowl of dirt along behind you as you vacuum, and really, isn’t the chore hard enough without making it uncomfortable and awkward, too? 

So anyway, the Christmas before last I decided to take some initiative after we put up the tree, and to clean up the over-abundance of tree needles that were all over my dining room (cause that’s where the tree went, duh!).  So I got out the vacuum I hated and set to work. 

While I was vacuuming there was a sort-of loud noise followed by a smell like burnt metal.  I just kept on working because how was I supposed to know that was bad?  I mean, THIS ISN’T MY CHORE! 

Of course, then it stopped working. 

Someone wasn’t very happy with me.  I won’t say who.  (IT WASN’T MY FAULT, CHRISTOPHER.)              

We tried for weeks to fix it, ordering a motor from a company who first ordered the wrong part, then didn’t order it at all, I think.  The point is it took months to get the right part. 

But in the end it just was finished.  Nothing worked to put Humpty Vacuum back together.

So Chris looked up on Consumer Reports to find what they claimed was the best canister vacuum value, basically ignoring the fact that I hated that type of vacuum.  But again – NOT MY CHORE – so I let him take the lead. 

I shouldn’t have.

He ordered a vacuum that worked fine, though cumbersomely, for about a year.


Now, even though I’m not well versed in vacuum, I’m gonna go ahead and say that means it’s a piece of crap.  First it wouldn’t shut off unless you unplugged it, then it wouldn’t turn on unless you continually held the button down.

Oh yes I did.  I vacuumed one handed on my knees exactly one-half time.

You wanna know what vacuum we have now?

It was my grandparents’.  I’m not entirely sure how old it is, but I think it dates from somewhere in the Reagan administration.  Possibly Carter.  Now this is going to sound super corny but every time I use it the smell it puts off transports me back to their house.  And so I kind of got to where I liked vacuuming, if for nothing but the nostalgia. 

This one has, so far, worked better than any I’ve had in the past.  We had to replace a belt in it – naturally – but it’s heavy duty, weighs a ton and seems to really be cleaning all the dirt up, for once.

Until today.  I was planning on doing a preemptive vacuuming for Adele’s birthday*** party on Saturday – meaning I wanted to vacuum, then try to clean the spots we’ve accumulated in the THREE WHOLE MONTHS since we cleaned the carpet with the big cleaner, then vacuum again right before the party.  I don’t understand where all this filth comes from.  I’m pretty sure it’s all Chris’ fault.

I occupied the kids by shutting them up in our back room with toys and a blanket and let them have at it.  Sebastian is really good about keeping an eye on Adele while I vacuum since she’s terrified of the thing and will just sit in my way and scream until I stop and pick her up to move her to another corner of the room.  And then she screams some more when I come close to her again.

So I just turned the thing on and vacuumed for a couple of minutes when it sort of switched gears.  At least that’s what it sounded like.  It was revving at its normal pace then just got a little bit softer.  And then I smelled it.  The burnt-hair-burnt-metal-burnt-rubber awesomeness that means that I’ve been foiled by a damn piece of housecleaning equipment.  Again.

I took the front off and tried to clean it, hoping that that would get the brush thing (technical term) turning again, but no such luck.

But, good news for people who really don’t care about my long-winded, useless vacuum tale, Chris said it’s an easy fix and he’ll take care of it.

I’m thinking he should also take care of all the vacuuming from now on.

I may not be cut out for this type of manual labor.

*Disclaimer: I’ve never actually done a keg stand, which is probably mostly evident by the fact that I’m not completely sure that sentence is grammatically correct.  Are there kegs to stand?  I DON’T KNOW! 

**I didn’t actually have a normal cleaning routine.  It just sounded like something I should say.

***See how I just nonchalantly threw that in there?  Make no mistake – I am completely FREAKING THE FRACK OUT that my baby is turning 1.  But that’s a post for another day.

****UPDATE:  My college roommate just told me she vacuumed our carpet while I was at work every week.  I told her that if she had told me I would have at least felt guilty about not helping.  It just ALWAYS SEEMED CLEAN!  I never knew that someone was actually cleaning it.  I told you it wasn't my thing.

1 comment:

  1. CRACKING ME UP. That is hilarious. my grandmother has that SAME vacuum cleaner. BAAAHAHAHAHAH


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