Last week, I made the common mistake of taking my daughter with me to “Bed Bath & Beyond,” a move that typically adds a couple of zeros to my purchase. She is scary convincing.
I was looking for a new shower curtain, and ended up buying a nice one with silver trees on it, along with a multi-hundred dollar “Roomba” vacuum robot thingy I didn’t have on my short list of “shower curtain.” My daughter was in exceptional form that day. First, she discovered the display of vacuum robots with a degree of excitement that made my heart pound with dread, knowing what was coming.” She cried with delight, as if she had just come home to find Adam Levine waiting for her in our driveway, “Look! Here they are! You should buy one of these! We NEED this, Mom!” My wallet and I both began to sweat.
I remained resolute, until I started reading the various and amazing functions of the Roomba and it’s cousins. I couldn’t help but be impressed. And, I was tired, so I caved pretty quickly. She had a point. I’ve recently discovered I’m allergic to our now dwindling menagerie of pets, and the fur is unquestionably flying around my house, leaving it’s trails on my every square foot of tile or carpet.
As a result of my daughter’s special powers, I ended up buying the most advanced model they had in stock, grateful that the even more expensive model was not yet on the shelf. That one also does the dishes or something. If it hung up my clothes, I would have held out.
With a mixture of cynicism and pure glee, we charged the thing up and anxiously awaited it’s maiden voyage. For years now, I secretly longed for a Roomba, but couldn’t bring myself to buy one or be happy receiving one as a gift. It took a good case of asthma to push me over the edge, and I only wished my mother were alive to see what happened next (she always wanted to get me one but opted for other gizmos like an identity-theft-proof-wallet, a vacuum food sealing system, an electronic phone-finder, and Jackie O reproduction jewelry. Excepting the occasional Snuggie, she was the greatest gift-giver EVER).
The big moment came when Roomba confidently hopped off it’s charging station and began to do it’s robot thing around our kitchen. As I watched this giant hockey puck suck up cat hair and crumbs of unknown origin all around the kitchen sink, I felt a thrill I hadn’t known since I received “Beautiful Chrissy” for Christmas and was able to make her hair longer by pressing her belly button. It was love. Pure, unabashed, liberating, Judy Jetson, Samantha Stevens, I Dream of Jeannie, Agent 99 love.
In the days since we threw Roomba on my Visa card, my life has changed, and I have gained much wisdom. Roomba is like Yoda, only he vacuums your house so you don’t have to do it. I follow him and learn from his every move. Here are the 7 greatest lessons Roomba has taught me:
- The Roomba is the greatest invention of all time.
- When you hit a wall, turn the other way, and keep going! Don’t let obstacles stop you from going where you want to go.
- You don’t have to go in a straight line to get the job done. You can make up your own weird path that makes sense only to you. Like snowflakes and relationships, everyone’s path is different.
- It’s okay to make a seventeen-point-turn to get you headed in the right direction. Sometimes that’s how many turns it takes. Don’t feel bad about it. Take your sweet time sensing what’s next and best for you.
- Hop over things that are too big to swallow, like bobby pins and speaker wires. Don’t eat them, they’re bad for you. And, (this one was a revelation to me) when you’re full, stop eating!
- Listen to your instincts and follow them. They will take you down hallways of wonder and into rooms of possibilities you never imagined. You may find yourself hopping onto Oriental rugs and zipping under beds and chairs with a clear and unshakable mission. Along the way, you will discover things you never knew could BE under a bed!
- When you are tired, go home to your charger, sit quietly, and REST. You can’t do a good job at anything when your battery is dead!