My Enemy, the Vacuum


You wouldn’t think that vacuuming would be that big of a deal. But I can say with complete confidence that vacuuming is my arch nemesis. It’s one of those chores that reminds me of just how disabled I am and I end up wanting to throw the vacuum out the window nearly every time I use it.

Vacuum cords I curse thee! Seriously, if I’m not getting my foot stuck in the cord or having the cord get stuck on something so I have to bend over to get it unstuck, then it keeps falling underneath the part that sucks up the dirt so I have to keep picking it up. Luckily I’m able to sit on my bed to rewind the cord around the vacuum so I can avoid straining my back for that part. I had a cordless vacuum at one point but it just didn’t work all that well. This one works well but I have to deal with the wretched cord.

Then there’s just getting said vacuum out of the closet. I rent a room in a house so I have very limited storage for things. My vacuum is in my closet along with some other things I have stored and it’s a pretty tight squeeze. I also don’t have typical closet doors, they’re folding doors that only open so far so oftentimes once I actually get the vacuum out, it then gets stuck on the door. Another popular scenario is that the vacuum gets stuck on the tower of things I have stored next to it and then everything falls over and I have to hurt my back bending over to pick it all up.

I have a fairly light vacuum but it still takes some oompf to push it around my small room. The way the room is laid out too, there was only one way I could do my bed so it’s very close to the wall at the foot of the bed so when I’m pushing the vacuum through there, it tends to get stuck on the power strip I have going across my room because only two of the three outlets in my room actually function. I also have very large windows with long shades and long shade pulleys that have more than once gotten stuck in the vacuum. It’s a real joy trying to get something like that out of the vacuum so it can function. And if you melt the belt in the process because the vacuum mechanism can no longer turn because of what you got stuck up there? Lord help you.

I also have a rug over by my closet that never ever stays flat on the floor no matter what I buy to try get it to stick. It’s forever getting a big bump in it which is a tripping hazard so I get to bend over to flatten that out all the time too. Vacuuming only worsens the bump in it.

My room isn’t bad sized but it’s narrow so the amount of obstacles I encounter just trying to vacuum it (which usually takes about 5 minutes), is just silly. But at the end of the day, it’s seemingly mundane chores like this that I’m thankful I can still do. Being able to open the impossible lock on the garage door feels like a triumph. Cleaning my sheets and putting them on the bed, a real high point. But Lord Vacuum, someday I will defeat you!

photo credit: BriarCraft Vacuum Cleaner via photopin (license)


3 thoughts on “My Enemy, the Vacuum

  1. When you write posts about the frustrations of daily life, I’m reminded of how much 98% of the world, myself included, takes for granted. I have a feeling that in the not too distant future, I’ll be hearing some similar stories from my son (were he to give an even passing glance at housekeeping anyway!). I hope I remember the points you bring forth here, so I can share that “you’re not the only one” feeling with him. And it’s not that I’m celebrating yours or others’ frustrations, just that he won’t have been alone in his.

    1. It’s funny because even I don’t always stop to think how hard seemingly mundane things can be. I’ve just gotten so used to the way I do certain things because they’re difficult or what not that I sometimes don’t step back and reflect. I actually get my clean gene from my dad so you never know, your son might be a cleaner just waiting to come out 🙂 That “you’re not the only one” is probably the most rewarding and powerful feeling in my experience so I hope than even an ounce of what I write here will be able to help him somehow.

  2. Hi Jackie,

    My cat and dog would agree with you that the vacuum is the source of all evil and a curse upon their very existence. The vacuum doesn’t even need to be plugged in before kitty goes running for the hills finding the tightest darkest corner she can squeeze into while waiting for the chaos to end. While the puppy goes into full bore attack mode (mind you this is a 12lb toy poodle) barking, lunging, and spinning in circles as if the vacuum is consuming the very ground she stands upon. Reading your comment to Wendy I am continually amazed at the minds ability and flexibility to adapt adjusting baseline to what is considered “typical”. To where you do things the way you do them, because that’s how they’re done; because they need to be done. Tasks are no longer easy or hard, the perspective and narrative has changed.

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