My mother once complained wearily to her GP that “everything I do gets either eaten or dirtied”. Fast forward 30 years and here I am feeling the same way. I often wonder how she managed to be the amazing mother, wife and general superwoman that she was with 5 children – 3 kids are enough of a handful for me. She always used to say ‘hard work cures the blues’. She wasn’t referring to any medical conditions here, all she meant was when you’re having one of those days where you’re in a funk, don’t sit around and feed it, get out and do something. Get working, achieve something and you’ll feel better.
One particular morning recently I was home with Miss 2, the house looked a fright and I was feeling horrid. I find that manoeuvring kids through the before-school morning routine is like leading a herd of blindfolded goats with amnesia through a maze. After a few random outbursts and basically having my spirit broken by their selective hearing and never ending mess, I had run out the door to school leaving dirty floors, clothes everywhere and unwashed dishes all over the table. I returned home determined to clean. That will make me feel better, according to Mother dearest.
As I surveyed the pride land, I could see firstly that the carpets looked terrible. It was as if Hansel and Gretel had been lost in the bedrooms, frantically trying to find their way out. So I brought out my dirty little secret: the good old ‘Shark Navigator’ vacuum cleaner, a beloved friend who, I’m somewhat ashamed to admit, entered my life months earlier by way of a TV infomercial. Ever wonder who those pushy advertisers are brazenly targeting? Me and anyone like me with a high level of impulsiveness and access to a credit card, that’s who. Over a coffee one morning in front of the tele, there was the advert for the Shark Navigator. Wow! It could pick up coffee grinds, cereal, marbles…and then they brought out the big guns….this bad boy could suck up a BOWLING BALL! Holy balls! The fact that I did not have a house full of rogue bowling balls constantly underfoot and detracting from our quality of life was not at all important. And a bagless vacuum cleaner, with a clear receptacle where you could SEE all the dirt you pick up was very appealing. It would make you feel like you have really achieved something, like your day hasn’t been simply a wasted combination of food preparation and folding piles of clothes as tall as baby giraffes that will, of course, sit around for days, mocking you. Seeing that dirt after vacuuming would be like getting an emotional pat on the back. And sometimes we desperately need that pat. I was sold! I found that my fingers were dialling before my brain could catch up (and if you are wondering if my purchase also came with a set of knives, the answer is yes). My husband does not do impulse purchases and was not impressed with my spontaneity, as I had robbed him of the investigative purchasing process he holds dear. But I stood staunchly to my ground and the ‘shark’ has been my loyal minion ever since.
So that morning I switched on my trusty vacuum cleaner and got to work. After vacuuming 3 bedrooms and my hallway, it was full of dust, dirt, loom bands that seem to breed and goodness knows what else. I held it up to study it. The feeling I got was a bit like when you see one of those zit popping videos, you know the ones where they show you someone squeezing a huge pimple on some poor sod’s back and the pus keeps coming and coming. You can hardly watch because it’s totally disgusting. But you can’t look away either because it’s so satisfying. That is how I felt looking at my full receptacle, hardly able to believe that we had been living in all that filth. But I felt so pleased with the results I had achieved that I had a warm glow and a feeling of ‘my work here is done’. My spirits were lifted and my faith in my mother and her glorious wisdom was reaffirmed.
So I implore you, if you find yourself down in the dumps over the never ending filth your little humans produce, forget the shame of a TV informercial purchase, buy yourself a Shark Navigator vacuum cleaner and get to work! It’ll fix the funk and have you so satisfied that you’ll be reaching for that proverbial cigarette in no time.