I know there’s a word for this
I know cause it’s in the dictionary
And when I find what it is
I’ll write it down in case it comes up again
I’ll be certain to avoid it
— the prophet aimee mann
Today was the day. I’ve been putting it off forever. But sometimes you have to suck it up and do the thing you don’t want to do. I think Eleanor Roosevelt said that.
I set out to Buy A Vacuum Cleaner.
I must admit that months ago I thought this would be easy. Mo’s beloved monstrosity (which only now can I admit I always hated) finally sucked up its last sock. When Mo went to use it, she discovered that not ONE, but TWO socks had somehow been sucked up into it. I claimed innocence because I don’t wear socks, and if indeed they were vacuumed up it must be because someone left them lying about. Like in the living room or under the bed or in the sock drawer on the day of the Annual Sock Vacuum. These things happen.
And that’s how I ended up at the Wally-Worldmart, fully expecting to happily snatch one and be on my way. How hard could that be?
THERE ARE SO MANY CHOICES!!!! From $40 to $500 (seriously? $500 for a vacuum cleaner? This isn’t a Garmin!). Big and small, cord or battery charger, dog hair, bag or no bag, blah blah everything is turning gray the room is spinning dear god i’m going to die in Walmart. I did the only reasonable thing: Shadowing a couple who seemed properly domesticated. Only to discover they had the EXACT SAME REACTION. We all stared for a while in total bafflement (that might be a word), and then we all left empty-handed. I probably should have bought Mo replacement socks. I am a Bad Person.
And so I went home to do Internet Research. I looked up those silly ball things and the little cordless guys in 700 brands. I remember from marketing that they said you should only offer a few choices, because people get overwhelmed and end up not buying not anything. This is the first time I can recall actually experiencing it.
In the end, I settled on a Dyson cordless thing that did nothing I wanted and was ridiculously expensive. But I WOULD BE DONE!
Having made my choice, I put off actually doing the deed forever, before declaring today that This Was The Day.
I drove to the WallyMart. And there it was, sitting proudly on the little shelf. I took it down. Felt fine. Whatever. $300? I don’t care at this point; get it over with. I went to get the box. Only to find out they had none in stock.
Sometimes you get a sign from God. Or at least a postcard. This was it. “Wish you were here.” Ominous. The rational person would quit at this point. Which explains why I kept going. I remembered that Best Buy had it, albeit for more pesos. Because, of course, they’re Best Buy. One would expect differently from that name. Likely in a marketing class I overslept. I slept through a lot of marketing classes.
So I drove to the shopping center where Best Buy lives. And there was Target, a little oasis where bargains meet designers. I fancied the idea of a Designer Vaccum Cleaner.
I went in to an even larger selection of those stupid cordless things. Google. Google. Google. For every vacuum cleaner, there are invariably two reactions
- This is the greatest device I have ever owned I have no idea what my life was like before this little slice of heaven arrived to accidentally suck up the cat’s tail. I only wish I could give it more stars.
- What a worthless piece of crap the battery lasts five minutes and they seem to have mistaken sucks for suction. I only wish I could give negative stars.
And then it struck me. These things do a LOT of things. Vacuuming your car, getting under furniture, sucking up cobwebs in the corner of the ceiling. NONE of which I’m the least interested in. I think spiderwebs give the place an air of mystery. All I wanted was a stupid vacuum cleaner, and cords have never bothered me. So it was back to Google Google Google for a conventional vacuum while dodging Target employees preparing for Easter. Same result. Best ever/piece of crap. What to do?
Did I mention that thing about a Sign From God?
I was standing in front of a vacuum cleaner, a Hoover. It looked exactly like all the others. Except it was marked down from $149 to $100. AND MONDAY ONLY IT WAS 70 BUCKS!!!! Even Eleanor couldn’t walk away from this one.
I bought it while playing scenes from Animal House in my brain. Whatever happened to Belushi? I haven’t seen him in a movie forever. Whatever.
This gesture of frugality allowed me to go next door to Best Buy and get headphones while still staying under my anticipated budget for the day, give or take a decimal point.
So I bought it. It seems fine. I stuck it in the closet, not having realized the second part of the equation is actually vacuuming.
But at least I know it’s there, waiting for Mo’s socks to come out.
I know there’s a word for this. And when I find what it is, I’ll write it down. In case it comes up again I’ll be certain to avoid it.
You tried to warn me, Aimee. Sorry I wasn’t listening. But I’m listening to you now. Through my new headphones …