So we are newlyweds but I have realised that you don’t need to be married to know that living with a partner comes with battles. The shouting kind of battles that in our case usually revolve around housework (my lack thereof) and equally who ate the last of the honey-roasted cashews.
I wish I was one of those people who reveled in cleaning their house, but I don’t. I love it when my house is clean, but I hate cleaning it. And so... I bought a robot.
See, one of the housework tasks I most hate is vacuuming. It is just such a pain in the arse yanking out the vacuum cleaner, plugging it in, lugging it around. For a while I tried to convince myself vacuuming was fun and that it was kind of like driving in the house. It’s not like driving in the house. It’s not fun. I hate vacuuming so much that I would put it off for as long as possible. Usually until a friend would come over. Then I would frantically dig out the vacuum cleaner, dust it off and do a dodgy speed hoover before they came over.
After a while, I realised that Nala has put two and two together, and figured out that if I am vacuuming, it means we are about to have visitors. Nala loves having visitors. If you mention to her that a visitor is going to come over, she runs to her waiting spot, which is in the lounge, balanced on the arm of the couch, and she will sit there staring out the window to the road until her visitor arrives.
Now you don’t even have to TELL Nala we are having a visitor. Because if she sees me pull out the vacuum cleaner from the cupboard, she automatically goes to her waiting spot and stares out the living room window. This shows how infrequently I clean, nerds. The DOG thinks that when I vacuum the house, it means someone is coming over.
It was not long after I guiltily realised this that I decided we HAD to have a Robomaid. Or a Roomba. Maybe a Dyson handheld vacuum cleaner. Any kind of small robot that would minimise my need to clean my house and thus my hatred of life.
Mr Nerd said no. I begged him for months. He said it would be a big waste of money and that he read all these reviews and he said a Robomaid wouldn’t vacuum a house as well as we would. “Well duh,” I said scornfully. “But I hate vaccumming and if getting a Robomaid can just MINIMISE the amount of time we spent vacuuming then that’s money well spent.”
But Mr Nerd put his foot down and said no Roombas no Robomaids. So I waited until he went away on a work trip and ordered a Robomaid online. He got home from his trip. “Ahh, it’s good to be home,” he said, opening the fridge. I pushed the remote control button on Robomaid. He whirred into life in the living room and Mr Nerd started at the noise. When he spied Robomaid bumping against the cupboard, it dawned on him what I had done. First he looked annoyed. Then resigned. “I’m telling you, that thing is not going to vacuum the house properly,” he warned me. “You wasted your money.”
Mr Nerd and I stood in the living room looking down at Robomaid. He was whizzing around in the middle of the floor in circles. We watched as he headed for the kitchen and sailed past a clod of dirt. Mr Nerd glared at me.
“He’ll come back to it,” I said unconvincingly.
My husband covered his eyes with his hands. It was the same thing he did when he deposited money into my bank account because he wanted me to get a security door installed and I told him I spent it all on new Lorna Jane workout clothes.
Robomaid zipped past us again, back to his original spot where he first started, and began zooming around proudly in tight, efficient circles.
“What the heck,” Mr Nerd spat, although he didn’t say heck. “He’s already cleaned that bit TWICE.”
“He just likes to be thorough,” I said weakly as Robomaid continued to spin round on the same spot.
“How much was he?”
“$349. Free shipping.”
"THREE HUNDRED AND FORTY NINE DOLLARS?!"
"And... free shipping?"
Robomaid sailed past us to the Welcome mat by the front door. He got caught up in it and mounted the doorstep. Then he started making strange noises as he repetitively dry-humped the doorstep.
“Send him back and get a refund,” said Mr Nerd cruelly.
“NO!” I screamed, flinging myself between Mr Nerd and Robomaid, who continued to hump the Welcome mat. “You can’t send him away. He’s doing his best. Look.”
“Well, what is this then?” said Mr Nerd, as a tumbleweed of dog and human hair rolled past us. “He cleans the same bits over and over and leaves all your hair and shit everywhere."
I turned Robomaid off and took his container out of his backside. It was absolutely, disgustingly, ALARMINGLY full of dust and dog hair. And that was just ONE DAY’S worth because I had thoroughly vacuumed myself the day before. It was like Robomaid had affixed himself directly to Nala and suctioned her bald. So you see, he earns his keep.
“Look at that,” I said, brandishing the hair-filled container at Mr Nerd. “That’s disgusting. That’s ONE DAY’S worth. We don’t vacuum every day. Do you want to go back to me vacuuming once a week at best*? No, you don’t. Or do you want Robomaid doing a bit of light tidying up every day? Because that sounds good to me. One day's worth! ONE DAY!”
Mr Nerd begrudgingly agreed Robomaid could stay. I was ecstatic. Mr Nerd went to his man cave to do man stuff. I went to my desk to do work stuff.
After a while I realised I hadn’t seen Robomaid soar past for a while. I got up and investigated. He was gnawing the base of the Christmas tree. Little bits of faux snow were flying up in the air. I was horrified.
“ROBOMAID! What are you doing?!”
Robomaid ignored me and kept gnawing at the Christmas tree.
I ran over and yanked him off. Disgruntled, he spat little snowy bits of Christmas tree all over the floor in vengeance and sailed off towards our bedroom. I placed paint tins around the base of the Christmas tree to create a Robobarrier and went back to my work. Another day, he started to eat one of my black heels. But that was my fault for leaving my stuff on the floor, right?
I was telling my friend about our Robomaid the other day and how I was stupid enough to leave his cord lying around and he ate it. But the Robomaid Hospital people were lovely and helpful and they fixed him up straightaway and sent him back to me good as new.
“So you just set your Robomaid loose when you leave the house and you come back and the house is all clean?” she said.
“Ohhh… not quite,” I said vaguely. “It’s better to be in the house when he’s doing his stuff. It’s good to keep a bit of an eye on him.”
“What?!” she said. “What is the point of that?”
Here’s the point. I LOVE my Robomaid. And you know what. No-one is perfect, right? I don’t clean my house enough. And Nala and I shed like a pair of Bigfoot (Bigfeet?)
And at the end of the day, if Robomaid is one little thing that keeps the dog hair and human hair and plaster dust in our always-in-a-state-of-renovation house to a minimum, then I think he was worth every damn cent. I really think so. I love him so much, I even wish I had bought the Buy Two Robomaids Special so I could put a bow on one and have that one be Mrs Robomaid. I would make them both clean the house at once. I wonder if they would try to clean each other.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I hear sad beeping. I believe Robomaid has gotten himself stuck under the pot belly fireplace again. Maya x
*or every three weeks with some half-hearted sweeping in-between?
** This post was NOT sponsored... I just felt like telling you about our robot.