The Vacuum Cleaner Incident

I have actually made payments on a vacuum cleaner in my lifetime. That’s not something you hear every day, is it? And, understand that when I say I “made payments”, I don’t mean that put it on a credit card. I had a loan from a finance company specifically for this vacuum cleaner. Yep, $120 a month for 24 months. And, this was back in the ’90s, a time that predated the whole “premium” vacuum cleaner fad. So, yeah, payments on a vacuum cleaner.

You’re probably wondering how something like that happens. Well, I didn’t know it when I married her, but my ex-wife will buy anything someone tries to sell her. Well, she used to; her last husband, who I’ll admit is smarter than me, gave her an allowance and she couldn’t buy a bunch of crap they didn’t need. Kinda wish I’d done that. Of course, if I had we might still be married, so silver lining, I guess.

But, when we were married and she had unfettered access to the money, she was forever buying organizational equipment. Baskets, buckets, pencil holders, all kinds of shit, because she was going to “get organized”. But, it never happened. There was just a bunch of “organizational” crap sitting around taking up space. Basically, the stuff she bought to get organized ended up making us more disorganized.

That was bad, to be sure. But what I hated most was when she went to the home show. Every time, without fail, she’d come home with some useless piece of shit or a “weekend” at a timeshare. Once, she came home with a “broom” that looked more like a rake. I can’t remember what it cost, but  I do remember it was a hell of a lot more than a regular broom. And, it didn’t work any better. She did buy a Ginsu knife once and that was the only thing worth a shit that came out of those shows. You know how the commercials always said you could cut cans and wood with those things? They weren’t lying, you could actually do that.

But, the best thing she ever bought, and by “best”, I mean “most infuriating”, was a vacuum cleaner. I was at work one day, and this door-to-door salesman came by the house and started his sales pitch for a Kirby vacuum. He gave his spiel and did all his little tricks and then, once she was hooked, told her it was $1200. That’s right, a $1200 vacuum cleaner. A fucking Dyson doesn’t cost that much today. When she told him she didn’t have that much money, he told her she could finance it. So, she called me to see what I thought. Of course, I was like, “No. We need a new vacuum, but we don’t need that one.” She said, “But, I really like this one!” I said, “We can get one that a quarter of that and it’ll do just fine.” She said, “But, this one has a carpet shampoo attachment!” I said, “NO! We are not spending $1200 on a vacuum cleaner.” And, that’s how I made payments on a vacuum cleaner.

Oh, but it gets better. I fucking hate this goddamn thing. It’s big, it’s heavy, you can’t buy bags for just anywhere. Hell, it still has bags for God’s sake. But, as much as I hate it, it just…won’t…die. Not only that, but every time I open the closet door, it’s there reminding me of the 11 hellish years I was married to that woman. As bad as things are, I can’t bring myself to get rid of it unless it’s broken because, well, I made all those damn payments on it. And, in the divorce, it was one of the few things of which I got custody. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go vacuum the living room rug. God damn it.