My husband and I are crazy for each other, but on Saturday mornings, we’re even crazier for our vacuum cleaner. I always knew we both loved things that were see-through, but when we bought a new model with a clear canister, we immediately decided to stop renting movies for entertainment because quite frankly, nothing excited us more than watching a week’s worth of dirt accumulate in the canister.
Two weeks ago, we started the vacuum and ignored the fact that it sounded exactly how my grandmother sounded every morning when she used to clear her throat repeatedly. As my husband skillfully pushed the vacuum back and forth across the carpet, the canister remained empty and the carpet was devoid of the lovely lines the vacuum usually left behind. Not a grain of dirt or a clump of pet hair swirled around inside that beautiful transparent tube. I quickly put down the tub of buttered popcorn I had been eating while watching my husband vacuum and gasped, “Is it broken?”
“I’m not sure,” he said while holding up the canister in front of his face and peering inside. He had the same expression on his face that he did when I asked him about car repairs—complete and utter confusion. “Well,” he commented while wrapping up the cord, “It could be the belt, or the brush, or a filter. I’d better run this over to the Vacuum Doctor.”
After he left, I stared at the carpets and wondered how long it would take to fix my only form of entertainment on the weekends. Dusting made me sneeze, scrubbing the toilets left me feeling empty, and no matter how much I tried, I just didn’t feel the same way about my mop as I did about my vacuum. Nothing could ever replace my beloved vacuum with the clear canister. When my husband returned with the news we wouldn’t receive the vacuum back for two days, I sighed, sank into the couch cushions, and absentmindedly ate kernel after kernel of buttered popcorn.
“You okay?” my husband asked as he sat next to me and patted my knee.
“I’ll be fine,” I replied, “Two days isn’t that long.
Then a major snowstorm hit, the city was paralyzed for a week, and the Vacuum Doctor had possession of our vacuum so long that he had to file for temporary custody. Meanwhile, our carpet was slowly starting to look like it was wearing a fur coat there was so much pet hair embedded in it.
After a few long days, the streets were finally cleared enough that my husband could drive over to the repair shop. “I’ll get the popcorn started!” I yelled excitedly after him as he drove away. When he returned an hour later, I could barely contain my excitement. He was barely in the door and I had already managed to plug in the vacuum. As it roared to a start, we both looked at each other and grinned.
“Do you want to do it this time?” he asked politely.
“You know how I like to watch,” I answered as I grabbed the popcorn and sat on the couch, mesmerized by his every move. As he pushed the vacuum back and forth, we both peered inside the canister that was quickly filling up with more dirt than we ever imagined. “Look at that!” I yelled over the motor as I pointed at the clumps of pet hair and grains of sand that swirled inside like a tornado.
“I’m going to vacuum up that trail of bread crumbs to the bedroom I left for you the other night when you fell asleep on the couch,” he shouted. As he sucked up every last one of those crumbs, I closed my eyes, listened, and knew there would never be a more beautiful sound than sand and dirt crackling inside my vacuum.
When the canister was full, we carried it together to the trash can to dump it out. As we peered into the garbage and stared at the large pile of dirt, I said softly, “Let’s do it again.”
“I’ll make the popcorn,” he said as he smiled.
I stepped on the pedal and the vacuum roared to a start once again. As I pushed it back and forth, I knew there was no other place I’d rather be … that is until I accidentally sucked up the dog’s stuffed squirrel.