Friday, July 30, 2010

You Can Hire Me, Bring Me Back After a Session

During this - our time of financial recalibration - we've found it necessary to cut back and cut back some more. This has offered us a chance to revisit our priorities and to better understand ourselves as consumers of the vast array of options modern American have vying for their dollars.

Put another way - we see who we really are by what we continue to spend our money on versus what we're willing to do without.

For example:  I'm not willing to give up my nightly glass of wine or occasional beer. Make of that what you will. On the flipside, I am willing to stick my hand into the full vacuum bag, pulling out clumps of cat hair, bits of random things, dirt, dust, and the occasional dried Tootsie Roll of cat poo festooned with litter and feathers.  I can never figure out where the feathers come from.  They're indoor cats.

I figure, why keep buying vacuum cleaner bags when all I'm going to do is throw them away?  Recycle, reuse, repurpose. That's my motto and I'm sticking to it.

I admit knowing that in a week or two, I'll be pulling my shirt up over my face to protect my lungs from the dust particles and rummaging inside the bag to dislodge its contents has made me a bit careless when I wield my magic sucking wand.  Oh, shoot!  I only meant to get the hairs out of that drawer, I didn't mean to suck up that cloth headband.  Oh, well, I'll retrieve it when I clean out the bag.  I can wash it and it'll be good as new.

So yesterday, the vacuum was behaving rather sluggishly while we did our dance around the living room.  I cut the power and hefted it off the floor.  Yeah, it was getting pretty full.  I dragged it to the ceremonial emptying garbage can and tugged my shirt up over my nose in preparation for the job.

Out came the usual suspects.  Cat hair in massive, gray clumps, horrifying dust, part of a pencil, a Q-tip, bingo! my headband, more hair and dust.  And hello!  What's this?

Nathan just happened to walk by as I held up the little surprise that waited, buried deep within the bowels of my beloved vacuum.

"What's this?"  My shock was real.

He looked at the object, then back at me and laughed nervously.  "Don't you know?"

"Whose condom is this?"  I held it, flattened and dusty, between my thumb and forefinger.  It flapped like a yellowish, ribbed-for-her-pleasure flag in the breeze from the ceiling fan.

"Not mine!"

"Whose condom am I holding in my hand?"

Crickets and the batting of his long eyelashes and finally.  "I said it's not mine!"

"And how did it get into the vacuum cleaner?"

"Does it really matter?"

In the grand scheme of things, I suppose he's right.

Happy weekend, lovers.  Careful where you put your condoms.


  1. Ah, you are assuming I have use for a condom . . .

    Alas these days, not.

  2. I found a condom in the dryer once. It wasn't used, more like it had been lurking hopeful in someone's pocket.

    Got a whole lot of "not mine" that day too.

  3. I don't know. Maybe you should be relieved. Its existence suggests that whoever it belonged to is not averse to using one. With adolescents that's always a good thing.

    I'd suggest my method for conserving vacuum cleaner bags (don't vacuum; they last forever if they're never used), but you're so obsessive about cleaning that I know I just wasted my time typing.

  4. Financial recalibration sounds too much like corporate speak. Can't you swear a bit more?

    I forget what brand it is, but our vacuum has a removable plastic container that you can simply dump out. No more bags!

    That sounded like corporate speak. Yikes.

    As for the condoms, perhaps your cats are merely practicing safe sex.

  5. My first reaction was to say eww to cleaning the cat hair from bag, then you pulled out the condom.

    I say you earned TWO glasses of wine AND a cold beer after that.

    Happy weekend,

  6. always a good thing to wrap it before you tap it ;~)

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  8. It was probably just being used as a water baloon, right? Right?

    If it makes you feel any better Lisa, I used to clean out my vacuum cleaner bags too. When that one went belly-up, we bought one with the bagless feature. It's alot like cleaning out the bag; without the bag!

    @ Liberality, good one!

  9. Welll, that's interesting. I don't know what else to say about that, except that I'm always pro-condom.

  10. Some things we're better off not knowing!


  11. "does it really matter?" would have left me sputtering. I'm sure it was used in some sort of experiment...

  12. Skipping over the main attraction of the bag...the feathers in my bag usually come from the pillows and duvets, not from something dragged in from the outdoors.

  13. There are some things it's best not to rinse and re-use :-)

    btw: Have you considered a teaching job this fall? You could do one hell of a great course in Life Sciences.

  14. I, too, have reused vacuum bags.

    As for what you found, I suppose you could look at it this way: if you can't get your kids to use a vacuum, at least they're smart enough to use a condom.

  15. Do you have a Dyson vacuum? Cause it would take a whole lot of suction to pull in a condom.

  16. I thought everybody emptied out the bags - especially when they're full and there's no more in the house.

    What's with your house and rubbers anyway? Wasn't there one in the leaves behind the garage just a few months ago? You found it with one of your daughters . . .

  17. Yikes!

    Bet you the feathers are from feather pillows...

    I once read that spending money is casting a vote for what you support. Kind of true.

  18. I'm disturbed by several things in this post.

    Can you not dump out the contents of the bag without having to stick your hand in?

  19. Could be lovers, or maybe just the chaste but hopeful.

    You are brave one to stick your hand in a vacuum cleaner bag. Yuck.

  20. I'm thinking you deserve a whole bottle of wine after that, Lisa.

    About a year after F. & I met, we house/pet-sat for some friends of ours with a very young, very eager dog, Charlie. They forgot to mention that we should always keep the bathroom doors shut because Charlie will eat literally anything. Imagine our horror when we found him upstairs eating condoms (and other things) from the bathroom wastebasket!

  21. Oh, and a p.s. No animals were injured during the creation of this anecdote. Charlie is still fine, still eating anything not nailed down...

  22. I was taking the dog for a walk once and he dived under a bush and came out with some bright red thing in his mouth. I thought it was a balloon and worried that he'd choke, I wrestled it out of his mouth only to find...yup...a bright red condom. I dropped it in horror and then to further my dismay, the dog went after it again and I had to pry it out of his mouth AGAIN...this time knowing what it was. I nearly gagged and spent the evening washing my hands under boiling hot water like Lady Macbeth.

  23. Gotta second Adam.Purple. Could have been curious and playing with it, or not. Whatever. Better to find a used (for whatever purpose) condom than a baby in a basket by the front door, no?

  24. Rather than shoving your hand into the vacuum bag, turn it over, unroll it a little, and dump it out. Then simply staple it shut. Simply remove the staples (with a butter knife) the next time the bag is full.

  25. Lisa, in the interest of safety, I hopw you washed it with your head band and gave it back to him. ;-)

  26. Just be happy that the kids use condoms. The consequences of not using it can be more troublesome, Now they fortunately learn how to use the condoms and how to put them on in high school >:)

    Cold As Heaven

  27. I've done that with the vacuum cleaner bag and in the not too distant past (two months ago), I could have been seen vacuuming the not reusable air filter in our apartment.

    Meredith beat me to it, but I had a cat eat the only condom I had cause to use in the last five years. Kitty ok, but picking that one up later was probably worse than where you had to put your hand. (Look how competitive that was. It can be in our reality show. ;)

    Also, I admit that the condom I used that one time I had cause to use one in (le sigh) five years was one I found when cleaning out my 17 year-old daughter's purse she was giving away.

  28. Lisa -

    My, your vacuum cleaner must have good suction, and I think that is all you need to know about the mystery of the condom.

    But I'm only guessing.



  29. We also are reusing our vacuum cleaner bag. Luckily for me, it's my husband's job to empty the bag.

  30. OH my Gawd. I am GASPING with laughter --

    Our lives are so alike! ... except for the condom part.

    My sweetie and I bought a bagless vacuum several years ago -- It's a Hoover, one of the cheaper models, and so far, so good :-)

    I *wish* my Hoover would suck up a certain delicate, beloved silver neck chain that one of our cats probably flicked down the bathroom-sink drain. Buggers! -- and what do they leave behind? -- Hair! Barf-balls! Fecal footballs!!!

    Your story reminds me of one I was told about a woman who was standing in a crowded bus, probably with her face stuck in somebody's armpit. She felt a big, loutish hand clap onto one of her bum-cheeks ...

    She grabbed the hammy paw, hefted it aloft, and yelled, "Does anybody know whose hand this is? I just found it on my ASS!"

    The slimeball tore off the bus at the next stop, and the Amazon was applauded ... ;-D

    Your thoughts and struggles with living lean (as I've come to call it) really resonate ...

    Condoms: funny things in how they effect us, eh? Especially when we encounter condoms that are, how can I say it with even a *titch* of delicacy ... unbagged ...

  31. You guys are great! And we solved the Mystery of the Vacuumed Condom without even having to bring in our favorite British detectives!

    Chloe was questioned upon her return from Southern Georgia. She denied any knowledge of the condom. Then I started to think where else I could have sucked up a condom because, goodness knows, no one else around her knows how to use the vacuum. Then I remembered that a couple of weeks ago in an effort to battle the dust around here, I stuck the vacuum hose down some of the duct work vents in the floors. I couldn't see what might have been sucked up.

    And that would explain why the condom looked so old.

    Gross yes. But it's good to know that it's no longer in the duct work.

  32. So, let me get this straight.
    You are standing there with your shirt up over your nose with one hand and a nasty fucking condom in yer other hand, talking to yer kid?
    I am assuming you had a bra on...
    You are the shit honey.
    I get the biggest kick outta you sometimes!
    Down to earth baby.

  33. You're implying a duck used the condom?

  34. Who is leaving condoms in your houses? I think I would freak out a bit more than you all...And I hope this isn't part of the reuse and recycle lesson! :P

    Great blog. Glad to have found it! And, vacuum bags aren't necessary. Our's doesn't even call for one. (though my husband would say I know that by accident, by observation, not by actual use of the thing--and this is true.)

    Gothic Lit today at SouthernCityMysteries

  35. omg just died. again. and again.

    ack, the thought of this conversation happening with my son(s) makes me want to run away forever.

  36. "Does it really matter?" that young man will go far, a perfect line.


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