Remember how excited I was about my new vacuum cleaner?

That was then, and this is now.

I don't know if it's the vacuum cleaner, or just vacuuming, that sucks.

Let's begin with the vacuum cleaner, which is one of the models designed especially for pet hair.

In fairness, I don’t blame the manufacturer of the vacuum cleaner. Between Francesca and me, we have five dogs and two cats.

It’s not a house, it’s a zoo.

Our pets have so much hair that it covers our rugs, couches, and meals.

I drew the line when I started noticing that it was getting woven into my needlepoint.

I’m making a pillow, not a sweater.

So I ordered the new vacuum cleaner, and though it sucks up pet hair, instead of going into a bag, the hair goes into a canister that you're supposed to empty after it reaches MAX.

But emptying the canister is MAX confusing.

It opens at the bottom, so that the pet hair is supposed to fall magically out, like a trapdoor for filth.

But the canister fills up in five minutes, so I had to empty it six times, and not once did the hair magically fall out the bottom. The hair stayed stuck in the middle of the canister, tangled together, so I had to pull it out with my hand, then a pencil, and finally a back scratcher.

Mother Mary always said they come in handy, and she was right.

So I was trying to empty the canister, cursing to myself, when Francesca came over to help. We even looked online to figure out if I was emptying the canister wrong, which I wasn’t. Though one guy online said to use a wire hanger, which we did.

Then Francesca offered to finish vacuuming for me, even though it’s on my chore list, not hers.


Francesca proceeded to vacuum the entire first floor, which turned out cleaner than it had ever been, then asked me where the attachments were.

I looked over in confusion. “Why?”

“I want to clean the upholstery.”

Dear Reader, I have never heard more beautiful words fall from my child's lips.

I can't explain how I gave birth to a daughter who cares where the attachments to the vacuum cleaner are. I myself have never touched an attachment to any vacuum cleaner I've ever owned. With this new one, they gave me an array of attachments, which looked as mysterious as an array of surgical utensils in an operating room.

But I knew exactly what to do with them.

Put them in the basement and forget they existed.

I didn't even take the plastic off.

I'm pretty sure the world is divided into the people who use vacuum cleaner attachments, and us slobs.

But I fetched the attachments for Francesca and watched her get busy.

She used a special little roller brush on the chair cushions, then a long pole for under the oven, and an angled stalk for the carpets on the stairwell. She even found an attachment that sucks the dirt out of the buttons on the furniture.

Yes, she cleaned the couch’s belly buttons.

Meanwhile I’ve been ignoring my own for months.

I’m not even sure what the southern half of my body looks like anymore.

But you can guess what I did after that.

Went back online to buy a Roomba.

If it comes with attachments, I’m throwing them away.

Then I started noticing that the upholstery has some stains, so I went online and started looking at small steam cleaners.

Is there no limit to quarancleaning?

Look for Lisa and Francesca’s humor collection, “I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses,” and Lisa’s novel, “Someone Knows,” in stores now. Also look for Francesca’s debut novel, “Ghosts of Harvard,” on sale now.