Yesterday was Jane’s birthday. Jane isn’t one to ask for things, even wish-list sorts of things for birthdays and Christmas, so I was pleasantly surprised when she told me last week that she really, really needs a vacuum cleaner for her NYC apartment… something small and light and easy to store for a, well, small studio apartment.
Ah, a light bulb moment. Or, at least, a sweeping moment.
In a conversation with my Mom a couple of days later, I mentioned that Janie needed a vacuum cleaner. Well, say no more. My Mom is the queen of clean, the princess of purifying, the duchess of dusting. I’m not kidding. When someone mentions the “eating off the floor” thing… well, we could do this in my house when I was growing up. Even going on 85, my Mom’s apartment in her senior complex is the epitome of cleanliness. And tidiness. And vacuumness. I could see the brushes turning in my Mom’s head as a giant smile crossed her face. “I’ll buy Janie a Bissell,” she said.
“A what?” I asked.
“A Bissell,” my Mom repeated. “You know the one,” she went on. “The one I bought at Benny’s. I LOVE that vacuum cleaner.”
I thought for a moment or two. Then I remembered. Yes. The Bissell. How could I have forgotten? After all, my Mom has tried… and discarded… one too many vacuum cleaners for me to count. My Mom is tiny. Very tiny. And she has arthritis in her arms and wrists and fingers, making things like vacuuming very difficult with heavy, cumbersome vacuum cleaners. She needs something small and light and easy to store. She finally stumbled upon the perfect vacuum cleaner when we were in Benny’s looking for a tub mat for her tub. What is it? The Bissell Lightweight Vacuum Cleaner… with its bagless feature. My Mom doesn’t want to fumble with vacuum bags anymore, and she needs something that easily cleans both carpets and hardwoods… and she LOVES that it includes the ultimate crevice tool. You know the one… that little flat thing that cleans in all the hard to reach places (yes, my Mom actually uses this thing!). And how does my Mom remember all the details of this little number? She saved the box so she’ll be able to replace it if anything ever happens to it. Yes, alas, this Bissell is that important!
And as we were talking, my Mom pulled the box from her closet… explaining to me that I simply had to buy that exact one for her to give Janie for her birthday as she was shoving $25.00 cash into my pocketbook. I tried to explain that I would buy it for Jane for her, thinking that I’d probably be into this small, light, easy to store vacuum about $100.00 or so. My Mom would hear nothing of the sort. She insisted that I take her money, buy the Bissell at Benny’s and bring it to NYC on Jane’s birthday from her.
And I did. Go to Benny’s, that is. Purchase the perfect vacuum cleaner for, yes, $24.99. And bring it to Janie in NYC for her birthday, from my Mom.
The result? Barry had assembled the Featherweight Bissell while we were waiting for Janie to come home from work… and when Janie opened the door and saw the vacuum cleaner… she actually began VACUUMING before she even took off her coat and hat. Now this is a first, because Janie has never stood in line to vacuum (with coat and hat on or off!)… but Janie took to that lightweight Bissell like a bee to honey.
I shook my head and wondered where this vacuum cleaner was when all my kids were growing up!!??
But let it be known that my Mom is the hero of the vacuum cleaner. Yep. The Queen of Clean. But better yet, she is the Queen of the Birthday, too. I love it.