Dec 222017
 

December 23, 2017

Our housekeeper, who is 82 and has been with our family for 25 years, is here today (Friday). We’re both pretty afraid of her (and you would be, too). We love her to pieces, but she has strong opinions that we consider, or she will not be happy. We want her to be happy. When it was time for a new vacuum, I asked her opinion.

My Beloved wanted a Dyson, but I honestly couldn’t see it for a home that has less than 25% carpeting. Our housekeeper wanted a Shark. On Cyber Monday, I ordered the one she wanted which arrived unassembled. Had I purchased at a local store, it still would have come unassembled. Or as my husband pointed out later, I could pay an outrageous fee to have a 17-year-old assemble it. (In retrospect, the idea is growing on me.)

As I am the most organized person on earth, I started assembly at 10 p.m. last night. The directions were pictures entirely too small for me to see. I’m not sure I could have seen the diagrams when I was twenty. Tiny, tiny images.

I retrieved my magnifying glass and was able to see the pictures.

The second problem, I am unable to comprehend the pictures. Ask me to write a ten thousand word essay on vacuum cleaners, and I’m good to go. Insert part A into part B, and a dark cloud befalls the room.

I could not assemble a kitten without written directions (place tail above anus).

Pictures showed a bolt connects the handle to the body of the vacuum. I put the bolt in the hole and attempted to screw it in with a regular screwdriver. After finding resistance in the initial twist, any rational person might think, “This is not the right hole.”

No, it wasn’t the right hole. And it wasn’t even close. And I got it stuck.

How would you like it if your spouse (who is high on steroids) asked for your help at 10:30 p.m. on a work night? (He’s not retired yet.) My Beloved nearly stripped the damn thing before he got it out. He was able to persuade the bolt from the hole with pliers.

Then we couldn’t figure out where the actual hole was located. Five college degrees between us and we are completely clueless. Before I get a lecture on liberal arts degrees, let me state for the record that the only person I know who could assemble this is our nephew who has a degree in mechanical engineering. He’s the one we call when we cannot figure out how to turn the tire pressure light off in the car, and cannot comprehend the helpful 22-minute YouTube video on same.

My Beloved figured out how to attach the handle correctly. Gratefully, I noted that the handle also faced the correct way.

Time for hose assembly. Neither of us could understand the pictures. And what didn’t help at all was that the Easy Start Up Directions and the regular directions had different information. Somewhere in the Ether copywriters at Shark are laughing their rear ends off, pondering ignorant customers like us.

My Beloved was most patient with me. The steroids now entirely kicked in, I was somewhat hysterical and singing “Bring me some figgy pudding” out of nervousness. The steroids are, however, slightly useful because I could reshingle the house if necessary with my colossal surge of energy. My Beloved had many sharp objects in his hands over the course of our time together. He could have quickly (and rightfully, I might add) have stabbed me any number of times.

As the shortest day of the year drained into midnight, we finished. Well, we think we have completed.

As our housekeeper owns the same model, she can tell us if the hoses are in the right place. As Tiny Tim would say, “God Bless Us, Every One.”

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