Monday, December 8, 2008

My new toy

Years ago, when I was a little girl, my dad gave my mom a Eureka canister vacuum cleaner for Christmas. I remember the colors: maroon and grey. I also remember being utterly appalled that my dad considered a vacuum cleaner to be a suitable Christmas gift. Fortunately for him, my mother did not appear to share that feeling.

My attitude toward that husbandly gift pretty much summed up my attitude toward housecleaning in general -- an attitude that persists to this day. I am a charter member of the Gross-Out School of Housecleaning: when I'm grossed out, I clean. And generally, my gross-out threshhold is pretty high. For example, I've usually needed to to see a lot of Allie's shed hair drifting around the house in the form of golden dust bunnies before I've been willing to haul out the vacuum cleaner to suck up said dust bunnies.

But that changed a little over a week ago: specifically, the day my old vacuum cleaner died, and to replace it, I got a brand new Dyson DC 25 Animal.

The thing is amazing. The first time I ran it over one of my area rugs, I could not believe how much dirt and Allie hair the machine sucked up. And, joy of joys, I didn't have to change attachments to clean the floors after cleaning the rugs (and vice versa). Just one push of a button gets the beater brush rotating on the carpets, and stops the brush when it and the rest of the machine hit the floor. And that ball? Very cool. The company says that the ball enables the vaccum cleaner to turn on a dime-- but unlike so much other advertising copy, this characterization actually understates the product's characteristic: the thing is fully capable of freakin' hairpin turns.

Interestingly, ever since I acquired this machine, my gross-out threshhold has dropped considerably. For the past few days, anytime I've seen crumbs or a bit of Allie hair on a carpet, I immediately run for my new toy and suck the offending material up off the carpet. My husband and daughter have started teasing me: "Hey Susan/Mom! There's a dust-bunny over there! Hadn't you better get out the Dyson?" Amazingly, I'm not even offended.

But while I love love love my new Dyson, that love has its limits. I will not clean any one's house but my own. So don't get any ideas, guys.


Anonymous said...

I laughed as I saw someone buying a "toy" cannister vacuum for their kids this Holiday season at Target. My initial thought is "whew, they start 'em young- talk about brand id brainwashing and gender stereotypes". Just what every kid wants a mini vacuum. Happy cleaning kid (perhaps this is the year where she is slowly "weaned" of toys from Santa. Next year- clothes. Tough luck kiddo, tough luck.

Susan said...

My mother would have been thrilled if I'd wanted a toy vacuum cleaner -- anytime. She has since reconciled herself to my lack of interest in some of the domestic arts and loves me anyway.