Just when you thought all was lost – little victories.
I wasn’t in the house when the vacuum cleaner broke down. So I was blamed immediately.
When later I was in the house, I parried with the timeless, unverifiable defence that maybe someone else lost the little bit that made the vacuum cleaner go good. Because without it, the vacuum cleaner went pretty bad.
So bad in fact that if someone didn’t find the priceless part, we’d probably have to buy a pricey new vacuum cleaner. A shocking financial and emotional injustice.
But how do you take ownership of something that allegedly doesn’t belong to you? By getting down on your hands and knees and searching the house, intensely, it was suggested.
Remarkable how vulnerable to change we are. It only takes one cog in the machine to stop turning. Look at Syria, look at the dual citizenship debate, watch Hunger Games. Such was the importantness of this widget.
Without it there would be no more combine-harvesting capability in the turbo head, and therefore no genuine cleaning. Just lots of suck and a real bad rattle that no gaff tape was gonna fix up, this time. The grim reaper was calling, probably to Harvey Norman.
All the cruel false alarms during the search only reinforced how emotionally invested I was.
The black lump under the fridge that turned out to be a cockroach bait from 2006.
The shadow deep within the lounge that turned out to be the missing pen from the phone pad, when people used to ring the landline.
The psychic who foretold of a crawl space above the pantry ...
I man-looked everywhere, really hard, trying to maintain optimism, all to no avail … until.
Now it’s rare that I have a theory that turns out to work, and this search was generally no different. But it kept eating away at me.
The widget had fallen off the right hand side of the vacuum, and I kept thinking ‘where do I vacuum with the kind of vigour that would blow a widget to the right?’
It occurred to me the fly screen in the laundry was on the right hand side and always a trouble spot, getting sucked up in the turbo, giving me the *&^%**, sending me postal.
If it came out it there the widget might well roll right into … the garage!!
I proceeded with Indiana Jones-like intent to said location whereupon I started digging like a fevered dog under the shoes that seem to gather at the entrance to our domicile.
And sure enough, like a horcrux from a Harry Potter movie, there it was revealed.
I don’t want to overstate how overjoyed I was, but I started lactating.
Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but the chest did swell and there was peace in the valley. Until the vacuum fired up again and life moved on.
Some might say I’d won the battle but lost the war. I just kept thinking little victories, when all seemed lost.