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Last Tango In The Living Room

January 5, 2012

I feel like I just slept with an ex-boyfriend.

Last night’s dog-eating-diaper debacle created a dilemma. Our floor was a mess, with diaper fragments and little bits of micro-filling ground into the carpet everywhere. But there was no time to clean it up before MJ went down, as we were running late. Plus, the diaper was dry (Mina prefers them soaked with urine, but in a pinch she’ll go for the “unbuttered toast”) so I figured it could wait. I fed my daughter, bathed her, read to her, put her down. All the while the mess in the living room sat.

When I finally got Myra-Jean to bed I went straight into the living room. Under the guilty eyes of my miscreant hound I picked up the bigger pieces of the mess. I felt it would be best not to vacuum, though, until MJ was fully asleep. Plus, I was hungry. So I ate. While cleaning the kitchen. And watching “Parenthood.”

Then Mike came home. Immediately upon entering the living room he stopped. The “accident” was hard to miss; it looked like a dry, white oil spill on the black sea of our rug.

“What’s this?” he asked.

I explained to him what had happened. Then I told him I’d been waiting to vacuum until MJ had gone down. I was just getting ready to break out the Dyson — to let it strut its stuff, as it were.

“You can’t use the Dyson on this. She’ll wake up for sure.”

Huh. He wasn’t wrong. The Dyson, while wonderful in every other way, is a shockingly loud machine. Shockingly. Perhaps I forgot to mention that in my rhapsodic piece about it the other day. It’s deafening. Like a jet engine. I’m surprised it doesn’t have contrails.

Mike and I stood there, staring at the fuzzy nimbus on our rug. I’m not fastidious (ahem– understatement!); I could’ve waited til the morning. But Mike? I knew it would kill him.

And suddenly I knew what was coming.

“You know what we could do?” He looked at me, eyes lit up like a tanning bed.

I sighed. The Electrolux, with all of its many, many flaws, is a relatively quiet machine. Compared to the Dyson, it purrs.

And that is how I ended up with Methusala back in my arms a mere four days after I put him from me permanently.

I must confess — as I ran him back and forth over the rug the old feeling of comfort came back to me. After all, I was with him for so long. I knew his every move, his every reaction, his every vacu-thought. And, as if thrilled at a second chance, Methusala performed his work proudly, quickly, and efficiently. It was hard to imagine what flaw I had found in him before. He seemed the epitome of quiet ability. It was such a pleasure that I found myself vacuuming even when the rug was done. I did the whole living room, then unplugged, moved, and started again in the kitchen. I found that I could not stop.

Until I reached the door of the utility room.

Right on the other side, I knew, was the Dyson, crouched in it’s corner, purple skin glowing in the moonlight, every plastic fiber straining to hear what was going on out here. I was being cruel. I was being disloyal. I was being dumb. And I had to face the truth: the past was the past, and the Electrolux was part of that past. It was time to let go.

And I would. As soon as I finished the corner under the dogbox.

I pulled Methusala in that direction, determined to enjoy these last moments to the fullest.

Suddenly the power cut off. His cord had fallen out of the socket. Right. I had forgotten about that. It happened all of the time. One of the many quirks that drove me up the wall. Sighing, I decided the corner would have to wait. I tugged on the cord to activate the retractor. And tugged again, And again. After thirteen mini-yanks the cord was mostly in, and I was mostly over it. I said goodbye to the Electrolux and putt it back in the utility room next to its successor.

Who I couldn’t look at. Maybe in a day or two.

I’ve heard Dyson’s are very forgiving.

3 Comments
  1. You’re such a good writer, Jessica, which doesn’t surprise me in the least.

  2. I am missing a vacuum cleaner that I have been parted from. Not as much as I’m missing some other things, but some.

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