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Caught in life’s vacuum

January 11, 2014
By SUMMER WALLACE-MINGER - Daily Times community editor (swallace@pafocus.com) , The Herald-Star

The Long Suffering Husband and I received a vacuum from my parents for Christmas. I asked for one, because I have rotten luck with vacuums. They keep breaking down on me. I swear, I'm not vacuuming up anything weird with them. I really am not.

Of course there was that time the Sassy Saint vacuumed up my engagement ring.

I had taken it off because I was cooking or baking and didn't want to get flour or dough caught in the setting. I thought I'd tucked it safely away, but somehow it made its way to the floor, where it was sucked into the depths of the vacuum.

I didn't notice the ring was gone until later that evening. I'd even forgotten I'd taken it off until I glanced down and realized it was gone.

I may have panicked. Just a little bit.

We tore the house apart - moved all the furniture and picked through the garbage, even.

The LSH was perplexed. I was in tears. I knew it was only a ring. I knew it could have been replaced (albeit at a cost). I knew it wasn't an ominous portent for our marriage - after all, Grampy Grumpy's wedding ring had been eaten by a huge Ohio River catfish and my parents had managed to remain married. It was only metal and rock.

I was devastated.

While I collapsed in hysterics, the LSH was methodically, meticulously searching for the ring. (If this isn't a summation of our marriage, I don't know what is.) He opened up the vacuum cleaner and began feeling around in the guts.

"I think I've found something," he said.

I stopped caterwauling. "Really?" I was hopeful.

"I do have something. It's your ring." He pulled it from amidst the dust bunnies, none the worse for wear, although a bit dusty.

"How did it get in the vacuum?" I asked.

"Oh," said the Sassy Saint.

"Oh? What do you mean 'oh'? Did you vacuum up my ring?"

"I didn't know it was your ring," she said. "I just knew the vacuum had a hard time picking it up. I had to run it over a bunch of times."

"If you've got to run over it more than twice, then it probably shouldn't be vacuumed up," I said.

So, we're a bit hard on vacuums (or Sass is, to be accurate).

I was pleased with this one - a popular brand name, it promised enough horsepower to pick up pet hair. The LSH proposed skipping the step where the pet hair gets on the floor and furniture by vacuuming Stupid Dog.

I vetoed this idea, because the dog goes insane when a vacuum (or just about any household appliance) is running in her general vicinity, but Stupid probably doesn't realize how close she came to being vacuumed by her beloved human.

Recently, Sass called me at the office.

"I couldn't finish vacuuming," she said.

"Tell me you didn't try to vacuum the dog. Your dad was kidding. I think."

"Why would I vacuum the dog?"

"Why would you vacuum my engagement ring?"

"That was an accident. I was 10."

"Running it over repeatedly until the vacuum sucks it up isn't an accident. Why couldn't you finish vacuuming?"

"There's something caught in the vacuum."

"That vacuum is brand-new. How is there something caught in there?"

"It has really powerful suction. I didn't mean to vacuum it up. I didn't even run it over, it was just near the vacuum and got sucked in."

I sighed. "What did you get stuck in the vacuum?"

" ... one of your sweaters."

I think I've pin-pointed my vacuum problem.

(Wallace-Minger, a resident of Weirton, is community editor of The Weirton Daily Times.)

 
 

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