And I do not mean that in a good way.
It’s an Optima Lighweight Upright, and of all the shameful things, it bears the Goodhousekeeping Seal of Approval.
It was easier to learn to breastfeed than to operate this temperamental beast.
Anything longer than an inch does not get sucked up. It wraps around the roller with the brushes. Think about that for a moment. How many of you have hair one inch long or shorter? Even cat hair is longer than that, and if a vacuum can’t even pick up cat hair, it should be called a noisy dustblower, not a vacuum.
It gets tired easily. If you vacuum for longer than ten minutes, it partially shuts down, the motor whining at a lower and lower register until it’s just grumbling. The useless brushes are still turning, but no suction.
And the easy-to-empty chamber that holds the dirt? This is the machine’s one redeeming feature. That cup IS easy to empty. Which is good, because if you get more than roughly a quarter-cup of dirt in any combination with more than seven cat hairs, you have to stop and empty the chamber again.
So I can vacuum half the den in roughly an hour’s time, given all the fits and starts and stops and brush cleaning. And our den is not on the palatial side. This labor-saving device is not living up to that damn Seal of Approval.
On the other hand, we have the basement vacuum. It’s an ancient Hoover, one that Fred Flintstone might have used. Using it is both an aerobic workout and a resistance workout because it weighs more than a Volkswagen and is almost big enough to ride.
It lives in the basement because it’s too heavy to move up and down the stairs with ease, and the on/off switch is held together with electrical tape. And it will pick up anything. Thumbtacks, loose change, yarn, sequins, stray bits of cat litter, small scraps of paper, ankle socks and small pets. It’s practically carnivorous. And it’s older than I am.
So the old, ugly, awkward vacuum will never die. The sleek new one will never work. Is it possible to get a vacuum that will pick up cat hair, won’t give you a hernia carrying it up the stairs, and won’t force you to dip into the children’s college fund?
What’s your least favorite household appliance?