The vacuum cleaner at home went kaput around Christmas. For an interminable amount of time, the room-mate and I dilly-dallied about fixing it – do we spend 200-odd dollars fixing a five-year old appliance or buy a new one? And simply buying a new one wouldn’t do, it had to be a good one. Something that made us want to clean up. Well, it didn’t have to, but we talked about it all the same.
On Tuesday, ‘Drea the Awesome informed me that fixing the old one was out of the question. It was too old, the repairman said, and it couldn’t suck any harder. I know that last line sounded ridiculous, deal with it. I agreed that I should be the one to buy the vacuum cleaner, it was only fair because 80% of the items in the house belonged to her anyway. On Wednesday, ‘Drea pinged me again. “I have the perfect model”, she said. All the reviews on Amazon seemed to agree with her choice, but $500 for a vacuum cleaner? If it were possible to slowly back out towards the exit when you are in a GTalk conversation, I would have done that. My Indian self decided to opt for Civil Disobedience instead – let’s just not bring up the topic again, I thought, until the house got really really dirty, and then maybe we would buy a cheap-ass vacuum cleaner and be done with it.
But I read some more of the reviews. And the world re-aligned itself in my head, slowly.
It helped that on Thursday, ‘Drea pinged again. “20% discount coupon at Best Buy”, she said. Say the word ‘discount’ to an Indian guy, and things become much, much clearer. “Fine”, I said. “Let’s do it.” On Friday, we realized that there was an even better deal to be had at Costco. All self-doubt vanished. I actually began to look forward to Saturday, just so that we could buy the damn thing. And we did. And came back home and finally took down the Christmas tree, and unleashed the new Dyson DC25 in my room. My heart sang along with the vroom of the motor, and I moonwalked as dust rattled into the canister, swooshing in from awkward recesses and stubborn little corners. And it even worked on wooden floors! ‘Drea and I took turns cleaning the living room, where pine needles and cat fur jostled against each other, and where, under normal circumstances, one would need herculean levels of self-control to not fling the previous vacuum cleaner against the wall. It felt…empowering. Suckadelic.
Or maybe it’s just my brain trying to calm myself down after this act of financial cold-bloodedness.
By next Wednesday, 50% of the items in the house will belong to me. That’s because 134 cubic feet of books and comics (weight: 1100 kgs) land at my doorstep. And with that, my books officially have had more adventures than me. Most of them were bought in the US, and have traveled from here to India, and now they’re back in the USA again. I occasionally freak out at the thought, because 134 cubic feet feels like a lot of space in a two-bedroom apartment, but deep, calming breaths are being taken. I will be fine. Everything will be fine. Right?