Friday, January 6, 2006

No thanks...

“Isn’t there enough suck in this hose?” you ask the sleazy salesperson.
“You’re going to want a powerhead,” he replies all sleazy-like.
“But. Feel this. Now that the sock is out, it’s got good suck,” you insist.
“Do you want me to show you again?”
“No. Please no. It’s just that a motorized attachment seems like overkill. After all, I just use it on the stairs and in my truck.”
“What about your bedroom? Think about your bedroom.”
“Nope. Definitely don’t need it in my bedroom. Just the stairs and my truck,” you say with a hint of annoyance in your voice. After all, you’ve explained this to him twice already.
“Here. Tell you what. The wand is $20. The attachment is $180. The cost to remove the obstacle is $25. The extension cord is another $40. And the sleeve is $35. Or, you can just buy a new electric hose for $125 instead of buying the cord and sleeve. And I’d upgrade the powerhead to the commercial strength for an additional $79 and you’re set.”

Frustrated that he is not listening to you or your needs you respond icily, “But I’m not convinced I need all that. There seems to be enough suck in this hose AS IS to satisfy me. I only need it once a week. On the stairs. And in my truck.”

He throws a handful of sawdust on the showroom’s carpet and demonstrates how effective the powerhead attachment is in removing all evidence of dirt from the floor. He tells you again that if he had time he’d do a thorough demonstration so that you could clearly see the difference between all the attachments. He tries to appeal to your universally accepted “womanly instinct” of requiring a dust free, totally sanitized living environment. He condescendingly suggests that a house without an industrial-sized powerhead vacuum attachment is a home without love. He looks at you as if you are the filth trapped in the corners of your sons’ carpeted bedrooms.

In your defence you proclaim, again, “I have no carpet in my house. Just hardwood floors and ceramic tile.”
“But your bedrooms need to be cleaned properly. A hose with no powerhead is not going to adequately do the job. Think of all the micro-organisms living under the beds. Consider the health risks…”

You interrupt him. Again. “I have no carpet in my house. The bedrooms are all hardwood. The main floor is hardwood and tile.”

He carries on with his pitch, “Have you found your children are having trouble with allergies or asthma? If you would clean the carpets in your house properly…”

“I have no carpets in my house. I need this vacuum for my truck and a set of stairs. I think I have enough suck for what I need to clean.”

“I can see you don’t understand. I’m not sure what to tell you.” He shakes his head in disappointment.

“Thank you for removing the obstacle in my hose. All I need is a small attachment for the end, maybe a brush-type thing, for cleaning the stairs and my truck. No powerhead. No cords. No sleeves. No upgrades. Can you help me?”

“Sorry, no. All we have here in Huge Hanks House of Hoses is motorized heads.”

You trip over your 40 foot hose as it snakes around your feet on your way out.

“I can order a small one for you…” he calls as you push on the door.

“No thanks. I’ve got all the suck I need.” You throw the hose into the back of your truck and smile. Ten years ago you would have caved in and bought the whole caboodle. Ten years ago you were a spineless putz-head. Ten years ago you drove yourself crazy avoiding conflict.

Ten years ago, your middle child was in kindergarten. Your oldest was in the third grade and your baby was, well, a baby. The family that lived three houses over in your cul-de-sac had 4 children all commuting to the same school on the other side of town. Their youngest was in your son’s exact same afternoon K class.

Being true to your nature of avoiding all morning activities like they are deadly, you make a suggestion. “If you wouldn’t mind taking my oldest child to school in the morning with you everyday, I’ll gladly take your youngest to school at noon for kindergarten everyday.”

“What about after school?” she asked. “Will you bring my kids home after school?”
“Well, no. We’re both going to have to make two trips to the school. You’ll do yours in the morning and again at 2:45. I’ll go at noon and again after school.”
“It would be easier for me if you just bring mine home with you.”
“Oh. Well….I only have a car. With 5 seatbelts. I can’t fit your 4 plus my 3…sorry.”
“Doesn’t your mom have a van you can borrow?”
“Well, yes. I do borrow it sometimes…”
“Awesome. Thanks so much. My husband was mad when I switched the kids over to your school. But when I tell him that you’re going to bring them home, he’ll be OK. Oh and by the way, my friend who lives over by Save-On has a daughter in the same kindergarten class. I told her you would pick her up everyday too. She’s relieved. It will save her at least an hour of driving per day if you’d look after her daughter.”

So, for September, October, November and December of 1995 you packed up a crying baby and a sweet five year old then stopped off at two houses to pick up two girls and drove for half an hour to get them to kindergarten. You then drove 30 minutes over to your mom’s house to pick up her van and see how things were going in the store. You then drove 30 minutes back to the school, stopping along the way to do an errand or two.

At 2:45 you greeted each child as they jockeyed for seats in the back and then headed to your neighbourhood. The four Smith kids got deposited on their driveway at 3:15 and circling past your house at the end of the cul-de-sac you headed back to your mom’s place to trade vehicles.

By 4:30 you were back home seething.

“We have to move,” you tell your husband. “I can’t keep doing this for 14 more years.”

Looking back ten years later, you wish you’d had the backbone way back then to say, “No thanks. I can’t drive your kids home from school everyday. I’ve got enough suck.”

Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Hockey. Yay Canada. Yay Canucks.
2. Gas fireplaces on rainy nights.
3. Answered prayer.


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