I hate to vacuum. Passionately hate to vacuum. It’s not a mere dislike or simple dreaded task, it is full blown animosity. The only machine I share the same feelings for is Beelzebub of Bobbinhood.
With vacuuming, I have two current machines to torment me and a lifetime of ones that mocked my efforts at clean carpet.
I believe my feelings for vacuuming stem from two sources: my mother loved to vacuum and I have exceptionally long hair. These are pertinent, really they are.
My mother finds vacuuming to be a life affirming activity – so much so that she vacuums when stressed, when ill, when happy, when sad, when the floor is dirty, when she’s bored, and as a preamble to any other housekeeping chore. The vacuum cleaner was the soundtrack of my childhood. Television programs, conversations between friends, secrets whispered into a phone were all drowned out by the roar of the Hoover or Dirt Devil or the Vacuum du Jour. If your mother is a passionate vacuumer, how do you rebel? By only doing it when a) the filth has come to the attention of the Health Department or b) someone is coming over.
Since I don’t vacuum hourly, or even weekly, the debris is a bit challenging what with dogs, cats, a dirt road, and a not-particularly-fastidious human. Add to this 30” strands of hair that wind about the brush bar and you have a disaster.
If I could just vacuum and be done with it, I might do it more often. But no. Alas and alack. Each vacuum adventure begins with dragging the damn thing out, turning it on and finding it will not suck. The suckiest household chore of all and neither machine will snort even a whisper of dust. It has nothing to do with the quality of the machines. I think in a past-life I must have done grievous harm to inventor of the vacuum cleaner. It’s all I can figure.
I have hundreds of dollars invested in vacuums. All of them, after a dance or two about the house, become possessed by demons.
Each session begins with cursing. Then there is the application of scissors to cut the hair into manageable pieces so the beater bar will turn freely. Then there’s the cane I use to poke down the hose to free the clogs of cat hair, dust bunnies and the stray leaf. It can take up to an hour of fiddle farting before any suction is achieved. Just as I stroll victorious through the bedroom pushing the damn thing, it will attempt to suck up the dust ruffle, or the puppy, or a phantom and the belt will break.
I buy belts in six packs. From Amazon.
Another hour tearing the machine apart to figure out how to put the belt on. It’s different each time. I swear it is.
Sometimes, I can’t bear it. Just can’t. So I drag out the backup machine. This one is pricey canister vacuum as opposed to an upright. It’s even more evil as something somewhere is not quite right and the gizmo attaching the thinger that seals the hose to achieve suction often doesn’t. So we’ll play unhook it, clean it out, says a prayer or two, reassemble it, test, rinse and repeat until finally it will attempt to suck.
In anyone else’s hands, the canister would be an overachiever – sucking up furniture given the opportunity. In my hands, it leaps at the curtains which causes a circuit to trip and I have to take the whole damn thing apart to reset the circuit.
I hate vacuuming. I do. I really do.
I vacuumed yesterday. I didn’t do a particularly stellar job at it as machine 1 clogged, wouldn’t beat and broke a belt when I’m all out of belts and machine 2 wouldn’t suck for the first 45 minutes.
Still. There is some of my mother in me. I am enjoying relatively clean carpet.