Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sucking Off The Sofa

It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I hate to vacuum. It's not that I jump for joy over any type of housecleaning but I particularly hate to vacuum. No, I don't know why. It may be because I have always had animals so I have always had animal hair, which I find annoying so I choose to ignore it as best I can. It may also stem from Saturday morning housecleaning when I was a kid. One week I vacuumed and dusted, the next I alternated with my sister and cleaned bathrooms and washed floors. I really hated cleaning my mother's house because no matter what I did, no matter how long I spent, it rarely if ever suited her. I imagine that somehow contributed to my dislike for domestic duties. Or it may just be because my vacuum sucks. Or rather doesn't suck.

I used to have a big, black dog (see previous post with photos of said big, black dog). At the time of coexistence with big, black dog, I had a plush, bluish-grey sofa. Yes, I call it a sofa. Not a couch. Not a divan. A sofa. Just accept it and move on. This particular sofa was a hide-a-bed. Handy for those drunken relatives who don't want, or need, to drive home. I bought it with money I earned writing greeting cards. Yep, they pay you to write insipid crap. I loved that sofa. When I divorced the first time I took my computer (of course), my books (what are ya stupid? Got to have those) and my sofa. I moved that sofa all over Indiana and into Illinois where I moved it three more times. At this point you're wondering why I previously mentioned big, black dog. Because when the dog was being a pill, I'd tell him "go lay down" and he'd go lay on the sofa - his end of the sofa. The other end was mine.

Now this dog did his twice daily patrols of the farm his entire life, checking on cows, goats and chickens and keeping an eye out for trespassing critters which he would then chase off or shake....really hard, depending on the type of critter and his mood at the time. After 4 years or so of the slightly less than clean dog laying on the sofa, it wasn't really bluish-grey anymore. I discovered this when I flipped the cushions over and found that the underside was a different color than the upperside. Imagine that. Having kids in the house didn't help the situation but I have to place the majority of the dye job at the dog's feet or, to be accurate, belly.

When I moved from Illinois to Iowa (briefly), I auctioned off the not-so-bluish-grey-anymore sofa and bought recliners. I inherited a really ugly hide-a-bed from my grandmother so the chairs and ugly sofa settled into the new house with little fanfare. As did the dog. This time around, there was a sheet on the sofa which was removed in the rare event of visitors.

When I got divorced again, I took my computer (of course), my books (like I'd leave them behind) and the ugly sofa and moved into the smallest house on the planet. There really wasn't room for anything more than the ugly sofa. Two people, two dogs (one a really big, black dog) and two cats in a three room house doesn't really allow for a Better Homes and Gardens full page layout. We still kept a cover on the sofa though as I didn't want to be wallowing in miscellaneous animal hair any more than was absolutely necessary given the circumstances.

After living in the smallest house on Earth for a couple of years, we bought this place. Nice, isn't it? We brought the ugly sofa with us and I started looking around for a love seat or a couple of chairs that would match - sort of. Four furniture stores, with a bunch of ugly furniture none of which matched my ugly sofa, later we ran into (not literally) a beautiful, black living room set in the display window at a ridiculously overpriced furniture store. I looked and then I moved on to look at ugly stuff that might match the ugly sofa. Nothing. As we were leaving, I again looked at the living room set and sighed because it was way too expensive and wouldn't match the ugly sofa anyway; plus the set wouldn't fit in my new living room with the ugly sofa. My new husband looked at me like I was an alien and informed me that we didn't have to match the ugly sofa we could, heaven forbid, get something else and get rid of it. I'm cheap or more politely put, I'm frugal, so the thought of tossing out a perfectly good sofa, albeit ugly, didn't come easily to me and since I don't live in Kentucky, I couldn't just put it on the porch or the lawn.

Nice huh?

I him-hawed around until he talked me into it and we brought the gorgeous set home and gave away the ugly sofa. What could better? Black furniture, big, black dog. A wonderful match that. All of which leads me back to vacuuming. When the big, black dog went where big, black dogs go, we got small, light colored dogs. If you'll recall, the new living room furniture is black. Black sofa, black love seat, light colored dogs. Not good. One of the interesting things about cattle dogs is they look like normal dogs with normal dog hair when in reality, they have 400 pounds of static filled hair which is constantly flying off of their bodies at the speed of light right onto my black sofa. And black love seat. And green dining room rugs. And blue blanket on my bed. This requires a great deal of vacuuming if one doesn't want to look like a yeti in jeans or suffocate while sitting, walking or trying to sleep. Did I mention that I hate vacuuming?

So today we were half expecting company which means someone has to vacuum. I had the choice of cleaning out the garage and reinstalling the downstairs shower enclosure (unfortunate plumbing incident) or vacuuming. Sadly, I was delegated the vacuuming. Normally the Sicilian does housecleaning but today I had to and I was not pleased. I hate my vacuum. I hate that it won't suck up dog hair from the green rugs and that, rather than sucking things up, it blows things around on the hardwood floors. Two hours later I had vacuumed two rooms and there was still dog hair. Hubby emptied the filter for the second time and I took a break to smoke and tweet for a bit giving my blood pressure a chance to come down before resuming vacuuming duties.
The final job in my vacuuming regimen is to suck off the sofa and love seat. I have three vacuums in the house. An upright Dirt Devil, a Dirt Devil Broom Vac and a Dirt Devil Power Reach that was a gift to the Sicilian who likes to be tidy. I just realized those are all Dirt Devils. I hadn't known than until I typed it so how bizarre. Anyway, the upright has a flexible tube thingy and a high speed brush thingy that I normally use to suck off the sofa, but yesterday the high speed brush thingy got stuck and wouldn't high power brush. I tried the power reach which made quite a bit of noise and got the dog alarmed enough to start barking like a lunatic but didn't suck the hair off of the sofa with any degree of accuracy so I moved on to the old standby: the broom vac. I've had a broom vac since I was about 22 and got my first decent furniture, while living with three cats. I love this thing. It's been the only vacuum I've ever found that will actually make the hair go somewhere besides the sofa and surrounding airspace. This particular broom vac is old and tired but after a while, it did the trick. No more hair. I had to go over the sofa several times because hair migrates, you know, and the broom vac, being old and tired, wasn't up to its normal standard. But hooray, no dog hair. For about 15 minutes. Finally, being relatively hairless, I stood back all pleased and proud of myself and 10 minutes later got a call that company wasn't coming after all. Such is my life.


Jes said...

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum I {love} to vacuum!! I hate that with the kiddos and the hairy-than-you-could-possibly-freakin-believe dogs I have to do it several times a day . . .but I do love it. It probably helps that I have a Dyson animal (a suprise b-day gift from Dad a year ago) which rocks on pet hair, that Dyson guy is a genius!!

P.S - Your beloved grey sofa-bed did not sell at the auction, I have it in my garage, and with lots of elbow grease and a steam cleaner is actually (mostly)grey again . . .LOL.

Naimhe said...

No shit? That's too fucking funny!

Stacey said...

I am with Jes, constantly vacuuming. Not only do I have 3 dogs, 2 of them make it a point to lose a couple pounds of hair daily. Not the boxer, though! These are the husband's dogs...oh, well! Not to mention we heat with wood stoves...I go through a vacuum at least once a year....Thankfully, I bought a sofa that matches the dogs.

Sherry W said...

I absolutely hate to vacuum. When company comes I say "If you're not afraid of dog hair, have a seat". If they are people I like they also have dogs and plop their asses right down. If they don't have dogs, I don't want them here anyway and dog hair on the sofa (I say sofa too!) will keep the assholes from lingering too long.

Naimhe said...

Funny you should say that. Hubby's best friend has this bitchy girlfriend who freaks anytime an animal gets within 5' of her (she's a neat freak) so I make sure the dogs are out if she comes over. It ensures she won't stay long.

Griffox said...

I was just going to comment that I wouldn't mind vacuuming so much if I had a ridiculously expensive dyson. I agree that the dyson guy is a genius. Just wish he could figure out how to make his vacuum affordable.

Jane Doe said...

I have 2 cats and there is always cat hair everywhere. I also have some type of vacuum curse in which any vacuum I own will not last more than 2 years. I even bought one with a 5 year warranty one time to combat that curse, but wouldn't you know I lost the warranty papers and of course Sears could find no evidence of said warranty in their computers. Cursed, I tell ya.

Anyway, my whole point is that I can relate to the vacuum/pet hair thing.

BTW, you have a great blog, I love it!

All the best,


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