Honest to god, we really do need a new vacuum cleaner.
But when he calls from the store for Mother's Day suggestions, I cannot convince him this is a good idea.
He thinks he's being set up.
"Oh no," he says. "You've probably got your blog all queued up just waiting for me to walk in the door with a vacuum cleaner."
"Come on," I say. "You'll probably get a cojones discount."
"How about a video camera?" he says. "Or a device that will turn the old video movies into dvds?"
"We really need a new vacuum cleaner," I say.
But he doesn't trust me. He has this paranoid idea, based on nothing more than experience, that we are competing: If he can manage, against all odds, to produce a Mother's Day Experience that conforms to all traditional expectations, he wins. If I can get him to fuck up by, say, getting up early and making breakfast or cleaning the bathroom or in some small way making the day about the children (Who wants ice cream?) then I win.
He is on guard from the moment he wakes up and catches me cleaning the bathroom.
The old vacuum cleaner has been acting up for months. What could be more convenient? He is already at the appliance store.
"Be a man," I say. "Besides, I already have everything I need."
"Right," he says. He smells a trap and comes home to take me out to lunch.
"Anywhere you want to go," he says.
From the back seat, the kids spot the yellow arches. "McDonald's!" they say.
"Fine by me," I say.
"No way," he says.
He drives around for a long time until he finds the kind of restaurant where you can drink white wine over a big salad while sitting on the patio listening to music by Alanis Morissette and Sting.
It is very nice. But I am relentless on the subject of vacuum cleaners. I make another round of appeals to his masculinity. Then I say, "it's not like Valentine's Day. And I am not your mother. It really falls on the children at this age."
I do not meet his eyes when I say this. I am so close.
But after five minutes of trying to compare vacuum features, I am too bored to continue.
"Let's leave," I say. Vacuuming can wait. It's Mother's Day. "Who wants ice cream?"
Mother's Day 2008: All over but the vacuuming
I have two vacuum cleaners. One, a canister to do the lino. Her name is Shelia. I’ve had Sheila for maybe 30 years now. She is really a big wad of duck tape and plastic at this point. Me and Sheila been around longer than both my marriages. Then there is Doris. Doris is a Hoover up-right and kicks ass on carpet, but lino, not so much. She is a wad of electrical tape and plastic. I thought about getting her a tattoo once. I know what you mean, can’t live without those girls. I’m a hopeless romantic that way.
Posted by: Audubon Ron | May 11, 2009 at 10:24 AM
I have a Dyson. If I was physically capable, I'd have sex with it. Well, if it was physically capable and wouldn't end up in a back alley hysterectomy.
Anyway, I had a point and that point is that vacuums are sexy. The end.
Posted by: Mr Lady | May 11, 2009 at 10:53 AM
I LOOOOVE my Dyson (although not in Mr Lady's Biblical sense). But I say if you want a vacuum for Mother's Day, you should have a vacuum--though I do understand how a husband might be leery of that desire being a trick.
Posted by: MommyTime | May 11, 2009 at 11:57 AM
My friend Ruth asked her husband to put up a window box for mother's day. She didn't want him buying something expensive. So far he has bought her a horse and a trip to Paris, which she paid for. She can't afford any more presents from him. So the kids primed the window box, her daughter painted the first coat, and her husband, who watched hockey for three and a half hours, bitched that because he had to work on the window box he didn't get to spend any time with her on Mother's day. The window box is still in the garage. Don't ya just love Mother's Day?
Posted by: Paulita | May 11, 2009 at 04:28 PM
Mother's Day is such a minefield. It should be outlawed.
Posted by: Sue | May 12, 2009 at 12:29 PM
Who knew there was so much love for vacuum cleaners out there? I must be doing it all wrong.
Posted by: Suburban Kamikaze | May 12, 2009 at 12:54 PM
Ice cream sounds good to me! Mint chocolate chunk from Ben and Jerry's....who can beat that?
Posted by: Turnitupmom | May 13, 2009 at 03:44 AM
I have that Hoover, I love it.
Posted by: Mel | May 14, 2009 at 01:02 PM
I'm eating ice cream as I type-- it's delicious! I have a vacuum but it's some cheap one...works okay though!
Posted by: Bethany | May 14, 2009 at 06:10 PM