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A couple of weeks ago, during a conversation about vacuum cleaners with a friend of mine, I randomly thought of this story from my childhood. I'm glad I did, too, because it brought a smile to my face and made my friend laugh. Later, I called my mom and reminded her, and we had a good laugh about it. So, as I promised in an earlier TC diary, you will hear about how my family obtained a $3,000 vacuum cleaner.

Yes, those really do exist. Curious? Follow me below the orange dustball that this vacuum cleaner would surely have no trouble picking up.

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Please come in. You're invited to make yourself at home! Join us beneath the doodle...

It all started when a door-to-door salesman arrived at our house. We lived in the boondocks, so somebody coming to our house and trying to sell us something was kind of a novelty in itself. As you probably guessed, he was selling vacuum cleaners. He asked if he could come inside and show us what he had. My mom said yes, and my dad, who was in the process of trying to get our very old car to work again, came inside for the demonstration.

Now, if you're wondering what made this vacuum cleaner so special, I'm not sure I can tell you. It came in two pieces, though--a long handle leading to the sucker-upper part of the vacuum and a large tank hooked to the sucker-upper by a hose. In the back of the tank, there was a mechanism that emitted pleasant smells. The vacuum cleaner really was quite nice. The vacuum itself had a granite look to it, and it did an amazing job cleaning the floor in the demonstration the salesman gave us. I remember being especially impressed with it, but I was just a small child. I'm sure I'm missing some other features, but rest assured that it was a nice vacuum cleaner. I don't remember what brand it was, but I can still picture that thing in my mind.

My mom was sucked in, no pun intended.

After schmoozing with us, complimenting our dog (who was a cute puppy at the time), and giving us the demonstration, the salesman revealed the price: a mere $3,000.

My dad got up and said, "We're not interested." But my mom, eyeing the vacuum cleaner again, retorted, "I am."

Dad gave her a sort of incredulous look, and then walked outside to work on our car some more, undoubtedly thinking there was no way she was going to actually shell out $3,000 for a vacuum.

Long story short: My mom bought the vacuum cleaner. She arranged to make affordable monthly payments, signed for it, and was the proud owner of a two-piece, granite-colored, fragrance-emitting, three-thousand-dollar vacuum.

Now, I don't really know--even to this day--why exactly my mom bought the vacuum cleaner. I'm from a very frugal, working-class family. We were most definitely not the 1%. But it's important to keep in mind that we didn't have much in the way of luxuries. In fact, other than this ridiculously-priced vacuum cleaner and a (nearly) new car my mom bought after my dad died, I can't think of anything really, truly nice that Mom indulged in. She sacrificed a whole lot, worked long hours at a clothing factory, and did not have much, materially speaking, to show for it. This was one time when she decided to splurge and buy a luxury for herself. And I'll defend her--after all she'd done for our family, she deserved a $3,000 vacuum cleaner if that's what she wanted.

My dad, on the other hand, was not happy. He exclaimed, "I could've bought another car with that money!" And it's true. But my mom was content with her new vacuum cleaner.

For a while. The funny part of the story is that, after using it for a while, Mom realized that pulling a tank around the house isn't that easy. After just a short period of use, she went back to using her old vacuum cleaner. For the rest of my childhood and teenage years, that $3,000 vacuum cleaner sat in my parents' bedroom, unused. My mom continued to make payments.

After Dad died and Mom decided to sell the house and move to an apartment in the nearest city, we sold the vacuum cleaner at a yard sale. For $20.

It's a good thing we waited until Dad was gone. Although, when we sold it, I was pretty sure I heard him shouting at us from the grave about how he could have bought a car with that $2,980 we lost.

TOP COMMENTS  
February 8, 2013

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From Steveningen:

In my diary Rubio finally sells out Tea Party while Rove oinks, mrsgoo nails what the Tea Party has become.

Also, I would like to nominate all of the comments found in commonmass's diary announcing the death of his husband Terun Sabre Weed aka GreenMountainBoy02. The outpouring of community support is so genuine and real, and is surely a much need comfort to commonmass at this time.

From BeninSC:
Ginny in CO wrote a comment supportive of first responders, but I am recommending it for its overall thoughtfulness, and appreciation for community over divisiveness.

And this comment, by commonmass, I recommend because I believe with every fiber of my being in its deep truth and reality. Sadly, it will be out of recommendability by the time tonight's diary posts, but I am submitting it anyway, with love for commonmass and his beloved.

TOP MOJO
February 7, 2013


(excluding Tip Jars and first comments)

Got mik!


1) Unspeakable by Wisper — 310
2) Thank you for the update. by ScottyUrb — 250
3) Oh commonmass by Steveningen — 234
4) He has his Adele. He's awake. by commonmass — 232
5) Thank you. by commonmass — 199
6) commonmass, I'm so very sorry. by belinda ridgewood — 194
7) Somebody told me this story once about by eataTREE — 192
8) I have no words by eataTREE — 179
9) I am so sorry by Noddy — 176
10) He Says "NO". Only I can sign for it. by commonmass — 162
11) Don't ever think he can't hear you. Play music by Susan from 29 — 158
12) I am glad he was able to voice his wishes by wishingwell — 154
13) So touching by tmservo433 — 153
14) I am so sorry...I have been following by JupiterSurf — 150
15) Look at him, weep with us, and change... by luckydog — 143
16) There are no words by tmservo433 — 138
17) I am so sorry Commonmass by glitterscale — 133
18) I am so sorry yet by MufsMom — 132
19) Peace. by aoeu — 125
20) {{{{{{{commonmass}}}}}}} by defluxion10 — 124
21) newspapers and tv stations should have shown by teacherken — 117
22) Ya Think? by snapples — 113
23) Both a Foreigner and a Pagan. by Gooserock — 111
24) I cannot tell you how sorry I am. by irishwitch — 111
25) I am so very, very sorry. by Aji — 110
26) Peace and comfort be with you both, by FindingMyVoice — 109
27) So sorry to hear by musicsleuth — 108
28) But remember always that he loved you for all by Susan from 29 — 104
29) I have to be strong, but I have by commonmass — 104
30) No reason for assault weapons by Upper West — 103
31) So sorry for you and the family. by Railfan — 103
32) Even Those of Us by SherriG — 103

TOP PHOTOS
February 7, 2013


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