All I wanted to do was clean with as much impressive vigor as I could possibly muster. But this vacuum… it had so many little moving parts. I happily managed to vacuum the carpets of the house, but I needed to get the corners and crevices. I stared at the hose, pulled out the nozzle from the back of the cleaner, and pressed on a button with a “hose” symbol….
No suction came out of that hose.
Why wasn’t this working?
I stared at the couch and wondered if I could just lift the entire vacuum all the way up onto the couch… but … no… it won’t reach all the crevices in between the cushions.
I tugged and pulled and this pipe, and that brush thing, and looked for the button I was so clearly missing. I tried again.
Joaquin was at work and we are leaving in a few days on our first week-long trip together. He likes to keep the house clean and in good, comfortable condition when leaving so that we can return without feeling stressed.
He is right. I am easily stressed. And so I agree! A clean house would be a delightful thing to return to after a five hour flight! Let us clean the house together!
You see, because I am between sources of hourly income right now– all four part-time jobs put on Summer pause… I choose to do my part in the house, something I don’t normally get to do too much of because I’m always… always… ALWAYS.. working.
But, you see, this was my choice. I chose the noble path of “following my dreams” because “It’s not about the money, it’s about what I get to do.” I put a lot of time, money, and effort into being able to live a life that is fulfilling, does not leave me sitting at a desk, and adds to my wheelhouse of all sorts of life experience! I’m a performer, an educator, a comedian, a singer, and a community outreach activist! I have three hundred dollars to my name right now! Aren’t you PROUD?
The clock showed there was about forty five minutes until he returned home and I wanted to show that I could be good at cleaning. I could be domestic.
But I can’t figure out this goddamn vacuum.
I can see that this little curved end of the hose is meant to lock into something… it’s not a nozzle… or the stretchy- extendable pipe thingy that helps you clean ceilings.
Is there a name for that?… Whatever, it’s stretchy- extendable pipe thingy now.
I push another button. Still. No. Suction.
A bead of sweat starts to trickle down my mid back as it nears noon and the house is growing hot. It’s supposed to get up to ninety degrees today… Good thing I went for a run in the early morning! I always try to run in the morning because it helps me stay goal oriented for the rest of the day. Nothing balances out a stressed out mind like a good cardiovascular workout!
Why. is. there. no. suction?
I have a degree… I am a feminist…. I believe in equal pay for equal work… I preach body positivity… I believe that I am just as smart as any man AND I CANT FIGURE OUT THIS VACUUM CLEANER.
I could wait for Joaquin to get home and help me but that would make me a failure. I would have to sit and watch him do exactly what needs to be done in 1.6 seconds while I hang my head in shame, looking dumbfounded. I can’t change a tire, I can’t remember the names of all the actors in any movie except for ‘Titanic,’ I can’t eat grilled cheese without getting heartburn, and I can’t properly vacuum my damn house.
Look, I never played with legos as a child. I never dug around in the dirt! I never really learned how to use a computer. I can’t memorize the years of important events in history. I never received any praise for taking things apart and putting them back together again… I was told to put on pretty dresses and stand there and sing songs because that’s what young ladies do…
Suddenly, the entire torso of the vacuum cleaner pops right off, the flat thingy that goes across the carpet is sitting on the floor, the rest of it in my hand… I BROKE THE FUCKING VACUUM.
And then I realize… It’s supposed to do this! I was pushing the button that separates the two pieces by accident … what a clever design! The pieces separate so that you can carry the thing around while you suck up filth out of the stretchy-extendable pipe thingy. I’ve seen white, brunette ladies with bob haircuts do this in commercials for Swiffer and Oxyclean! I didn’t know our vacuum did this! .
I’m still sweating and I still haven’t figured out how to make the suction thing happen. I’m starting to feel like the biggest idiot this world has ever seen. What a fool I have been all these years… I am the reason America has a glass ceiling.
I notice the accordion- like hose dangling from the back of the vacuum now. It has a hole on the end. I turn the motor (is it a motor? I don’t know… a car has a motor… what is this part called? The tornado torso? The windy inner demon? … I don’t know…) Air is sucking out of an open pipe— AN OPEN PIPE.
I turn the vacuum off, and slide the little nozzle of the hose sideways, and screw it to that beautiful open pipe….
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN WE HAVE SUCKAGE!!!!
I have never been so happy to clean ceilings in my entire life! Couch crevices? SUCKED. Oh a cobweb? SUCKED. Dust around the moulding? SUCKED.
Drenched in sweat and as if a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, I used all of the little moving parts of that glorious vacuum cleaner, and BY GOD I did not ask for help!
I am a sad, privileged, woman who JUST figured out how to use her vacuum cleaner, and I will CLING to this moment of adulthood glory for as long as possible.
As a side note, I also broke my french press today while doing the dishes.
Later dudes. xoxoxo