To vacuum or not to vacuum

The vacuum cleaner has been sitting in our living room for the past week, beckoning to me, its siren song tantalizing me to come to it, plug it in, use it. But I just haven’t found the time, energy, or willingness to heed its call. If I leave it out, I reason, I can’t possibly avoid it for another day. And yet for a week, I have avoided it.

It all started last Saturday: “clean the house” day. Max, wanting to hurry things along, rolled the Dyson from its home, ready to pick up the debris that decorated the carpet. I protested. I was preparing to dust. What good would it do, I argued, to vacuum before the dust flew?

He acquiesced and went to mow the finally-dry ankle-high lawn. A little later, Max trudged back into the house, grass clippings littering the dining room (more to vacuum), giving me the news that the mower had quit.

Max worked on the mower for a while, while I finished dusting and watering the plants, but he had no luck. By this time, I had to leave to do some work at the church, and then I went to my mother’s home to help her and my sister Libby unpack boxes and put things away. Max decided to call someone who could come get the mower and then fix it, and he said he had to wait until that person arrived. I didn’t understand that, what with the newest technology – cell phones, you know, which allow conversations between people at any time.


I was the designated chef for dinner that night, and so I left mother and Libby after a while, went to the grocery store, and then went home to cook. I found the mower still out in the yard, the vacuum still waiting in the living room, and Max fully advised as to the Royals score. There was no vacuuming that night.

Sunday transpired much like Saturday, except that I dragged Max to mother’s house so that he could schlep boxes around. The vacuum stayed in our living room, hoping, I’m sure, to be used by someone, but to no avail.

Max and I both went to work on Monday, glancing hastily at the waiting appliance, knowing that we would not touch it, even after work, because we were to attend a party that evening. On a better note, the lawn mower guru showed up and took the mower in for repair, so something was going right.

I probably could have vacuumed on Tuesday morning, except that vacuuming is really a two-person job: one person moves the furniture around while the other pushes the machine to collect the debris that has collected under and around the chairs. At least, that’s what I told myself. I had to go to yoga, the Farmers’ Market, the grocery store, and then cook dinner for Max, Mother, Libby, and me, so the vacuum was just one thing too much.

And Wednesday was court day. Very little domestic work gets done on court day. The length of the docket, including video arraignments, is very unpredictable. Then I have additional work: warrants to sign for those who have not shown up, discussions with the staff about changes in the law and the best way to implement those, and other odds and ends. Late in the afternoon, I have a staff meeting at church. All these obligations leave no time for vacuuming. So the Dyson sat next to the piano, waiting and wanting.

And Thursday? Max left for his staff session at the Trial Lawyers’ College outside DuBois, Wyoming. He won’t be back for a week. And vacuuming is a two-person job.

Today I looked at the carpet and decided that it wasn’t that dirty after all. I think I will wrap the cord around the little hooks and wheel the vacuum back to closet where it belongs. And then next week, I will try again. I will drag it out, put it by the piano, and begin dusting. I will not, will not, ignore its siren song again.

Sedalia Democrat
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