It all began back in the fall of ‘04. We needed a vacuum. Fast. We didn’t have many options (meaning cash) so we huffed off to Walmart in search of one. Darc and I even fought about it. He wanted an upright, I hate uprights. He wanted a bagless because of his allergies, I wanted one that used bags. I wanted a canister vac, he said they didn’t work as well. He said the bagged ones cost too much with having to buy bags all the time, I didn’t want to deal with dumping the dirt-filled cup. Looking back, I don’t know why he got so much input about a household tool he doesn’t use. Not that he wouldn’t use it, but it’s one of those things I consider MY job. I never expected him to work all day, deal with a commute, then have to come home and vacuum too. Yes, in the past when he bought tools he’d ask for my thoughts, and they amounted to one thing – if this is the one you really want and you’re sure you’ll be happy with it, I don’t mind spending the money. We ended up with a bagless upright vacuum. (In his defense, Walmart didn’t even have a single canister vac on the shelf, bagged, bagless, or otherwise.)
After the first time I used it, I hated it. I hated having to push the whole heavy thing around in front of me instead of pulling it along behind. I hated having to empty that stupid dirt cup into the garbage with clouds of dust bursting up into my face. I hated that I couldn’t even fit the damned thing under the coffee table, no, I had to move the coffee table to get the stuff underneath it. There are not enough words in any language to describe my loathing for that vacuum, nor the vehemence with which I feel that loathing. You think I’m joking, or exaggerating to make a funny point – I’m not. I tell you true, every time I had to pull that horror out of the closet, my heart started racing, my palms got all clammy, my hands shook, I broke out in a cold sweat – and my daughter ran screaming to hide under her blanket. I probably marked her, vacuuming while I was expecting her. She probably felt my abhorrence of the thing and now she’s scarred for life.
The last few months, the vacuum hasn’t worked right. The rotating brushes stopped rotating whenever they hit the carpet. On the floors it was fine, spitting the crumbs out behind it to ping me on the shins, but carpet? Not happenin’. The brush was fine, the belt was fine, I could turn it with my fingers – and you know I took the stupid thing apart to figure out what the hell was wrong with it. Nothing. It just didn’t feel like working, I suppose.
I pulled the monster out of the closet today because it’s been a while since the last time I used it. I just couldn’t get past the dread, but you know, carpet shouldn’t crunch and I knew my time was up. I don’t know what I was thinking – maybe that it would magically heal itself? I fought with it. I took it apart again. I went over the same speck of lint 20 times. My fury rose to a fever pitch and I decided that I wasn’t going to take it anymore. I unplugged it and set it by the front door to go out with the trash and pulled out my little canister Dirt Devil that was designed more for RV’s than apartments. I only got that one a couple years ago because the stupid upright types don’t work on floors.
Later on, I personally rolled that fiend out to the dumpster.
I decided life is too short to continue dealing with a stupid piece of machinery that aggravates me so much. I decided there’s no practicality in holding on to something I hate so much. See, I tried to convince myself that it was better to just suck it up and deal with the hated vacuum than to spend the dough getting a new one. Yes, it will cost money to get a new one, when we’re finally able to do so, but in the meantime, better to manage with my little “dorm vac” that doesn’t cause my blood pressure to go through the stratosphere. My sanity is worth the price of a vacuum to me. Well, it’s worth a lot more, but you know what I mean. I will never buy another bagless upright though. EVER. I won’t even take one for free. Why torture myself? I’m neither a martyr nor a masochist and I’m not sucking it up anymore!