Damn it, if I keep doing this Pilates floor stuff, I'll have to vacuum, and am I not suffering enough already? I hate to vacuum--HATE IT--and I can't tell you the last time I did it. Actually, now that I think about it, I can tell you: I bought the vacuum cleaner in October 2005 before my mother-in-law came for a visit, and I used it once and then chucked it in a closet. I use a dustbuster for spot-vacuuming, and that's it.
Some of you are appalled, I can see it from here. You're picturing snowdrifts of pet hair and hillocks of Cheerios. But I swear it isn't like that. I read blogs by people who say they vacuum every day or every other day, and I wonder--are your vacuum cleaners possibly sneaking out at night to litter your floors with tidbits, just so they (the vacuum cleaners) won't be out of a job? or because they're lonely for your company?
Or, perhaps your eyesight is better than mine. I'm telling you, the floors look worse every day for a week, and then they don't get much worse than that. Periodically I go around with the dustbuster and vacuum the edges of the room where things accumulate, and the centers where the Cheerios are. That's good enough.
But today, with my sweaty palms on the carpet, I felt differently about the whole issue. I don't know why anyone buys lint rollers, when a sweaty palm will attract every cat hair and cracker crumb in the entire house. Seriously, vacuum cleaner salespeople could take me with them door to door and have me do Pilates/yoga on people's carpets to horrify them with how much stuff their current vacuums leave behind.
After I finished half an hour of the DVD (I didn't do the entire thing because I didn't want to, and because my hands were grossing me out), I crept downstairs to hunt the vacuum cleaner. It's been allowed to run wild in our house for two years now--could it still be domesticated? I brought it upstairs cautiously. Several minutes later, I located the cord, which was secreted in the creature's hide, and pulled it out. I plugged the cord in. I warned the twins, who were looking in astonishment at this foreign tableau: "Don't worry: this is a 'vacuum cleaner'! It's going to make a loud sound, but it's okay! It...'cleans the floors'!"
I figured out that the line inside a circle must mean on/off, but not until after mistakenly pressing the cord-retract button. I turned on the vacuum cleaner--and wooo, look at me, I'm vacuuming, just like a housewife! Wooo! Forward and back and forward and back and SMILE and forward and LOOK HAPPY and back!
And gradually I remembered all the reasons I hate to vacuum. I run out of cord, or I get tangled up in it, or the vacuum cleaner does. The floor is too covered in furniture to be vacuumed. There is too much crap scattered around, and periodically I hear a "clink clink!" that probably means I've vacuumed up something important. The handle is too short (no, I am not "too tall," it is too short), so I have to stoop, and my back starts hurting. The little attachments keep popping off the handle and keep popping off the handle and keep popping off the handle until I want to cry. The canister gets caught on something, and when I yank on it to free it, the cord comes out. And as soon as I start, the "change bag" light comes on--even if I have just changed the bag. Goddamned vacuum cleaner. Hate you.
Anyway. I did the living room carpet, and the living room hardwood. I did the kitchen linoleum and the little kitchen throw rug. I did the hall hardwood, but then I stopped because I ran out of cord, and when I went to plug it in somewhere else, I was overcome with despair at the thought of doing even one! more! minute! of vacuuming. Besides, I didn't want to go too far on what is after all only our second date.
Now I'm all skittish about the floors. After the twins' lunch, I was carrying Edward down the hall for his nap and I noticed he was shedding crumbs off his shirt and I was all, "Noooooooooooooooo!" and whipping out the dustbuster to get every last one off my clean, clean floor. I think this is the problem with regular housework: if you do it, you get into a constant struggle to keep it done. The best it can be is right after you do it, and every other minute of your life you're aware of it looking not-best. Whereas if you don't do it, it always looks pretty much the same and you're free to concentrate on other things, such as baking brownies or watching episodes of Angel.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...