"Hi Bella, how are you?" My mom's Swedish accent sounding in my ear as I cradled the phone.
"Well, Mom, the good news is: I've fallen in love. The bad news is..."
I love my mom. Both herand my dad have been the epitome of tolerance and acceptance throughout my eclectic love life, which has ranged from my boyfriend living with us when I was a teenager to my fierce lesbian separatist days in my twenties to being with a female to male transsexual in my thirties.
"Mom, I've fallen in love with the Miele."
Yes, it was true. My mom had left her Miele vacuum cleaner at my house for 6 months while she packed up her house on the East Coast before moving to California. It was worth more than my current car. Candy red, hummed like a well tuned Lamborghini, and boy, can that machine clean!
I think I'm going to start a new movement: Appliance Love. We all know how attached some folks are to their cell phones and lap tops, let alone the Hitachi, but it is time to start coming out from the utility closet and declare our truths. Some of us have longer, more meaningful relationships with our household friends than with humans.
I see parades going down Pacific Avenue, led by the Precision-Drill Dust-Buster Squad, followed by the Microwave Marching Band, and of course, the Automatic Coffee Pot float will be one of the main attractions. I'll be Grand Marshall, my Miele beside me as we cruise in a well decorated convertible, throwing replacement filters into the cheering crowd. Everyone will chant, "2, 4, 6, 8... Take your fax machine on a date!"
Next we'll petition governments for the right to marry. I mean, there's domestic partners & then there is DOMESTIC partners, right? "To have and to hold, from this day forward, until death or the end of the warranty do us part..."
I made the gross mistake of attempting non monogamy with my Miele. Yes, I admit it - I let my housemate touch her hose, fondle her attachments, and (gasp!) change her bag. Now, I love and trust my housemate to the core, but my whole world shifted when I heard those words, "It just doesn't seem to be picking up like it used to..."
So yesterday I sat out on the back deck and took the Miele apart. Five years of accumulated cat fur, dust, threads and hair had worked its way in every conceivable crack, corner and crevice. I used screwdrivers, scissors, exacto knives and two different kinds of tweezers to lure the secrets out of my Miele. Who knows, maybe I'll try my own brain surgery next.
At a certain point my daughter came out onto the deck. She surveyed the vacuum cleaner parts spread methodically over the deck, my deep plum velvet skirt covered in grey lint, the look of glee in my eyes as I snapped open this and screwed shut that. She listened to me prattle on about how much money I had just saved by spending hours of my time doing this.
"Mom," she said in her funny drawl, "You are all the husband you will ever need."
Afterwards, I took the Miele upstairs to clean out the furnace for a test run. That's when I thought, my life sucks. But in a good way.
Have you Loved your Appliance Today?