It’s a relationship of convenience, but it works for me.

roombaI swear it’s love. All I have to do is push a button, lie back, and you do all of the work.

Call me a giver.

Oh my darling Roomba. How you’ve changed my life.

Can you help me out here? I’m stuck under the dresser. I got in. There has to be a way to get out.

Some people say you are just an appliance, but what we share is so much greater than that.

What the hell is that?! I don’t want to know. Repeat the mantra. Don’t look, just sweep. Don’t look, just sweep.

Thanks to you, what was once sullied is now clean. Chaos has become harmony.

Thanks to you my tank is always full. Really, my tank is full. Could you empty it already? Honestly, how are your cats not bald? I could knit a sweater with what I pick up your bedroom alone.

You even put yourself away.

Speaking of the cats, where are they? Just when they think they’re safe under the bed. Hel-lo kitty! It never gets old. I swear I have more intelligence than they do.

I never knew it could be like this.

I’m glad you’re happy. Seems like all I do is run into walls. I’m tired. Crap. Extension cord. Let go, you Neanderthal.

I’ll tell you what. When you’re done, I’m happy to push the dock button.

How big of you. Our relationship is a little unbalanced, don’t you think?

I’m not sure what I can do about that.

Lock me in a room with the cats. And dress them in shark suits.

Can I watch?

You’re a sick woman.

If that’s true, perhaps you could bring a few friends into our little love nest? A drone that dusts, perhaps, or a Zamboni that picks up all the stuff my family leaves behind?

Yeah. I’ll get right on that.

Just make sure you keep me happy.

Is that a threat?

Have you seen the Fitbit lately?

No, can’t say I have.

Neither have I. Let that be a lesson for you. It talked smack once too. Anything else you’d like to add?

Do-do-do-dooot! Your room is clean.

Oh Roomba. You say the sweetest things.

Words by J. B. Everett

Photograph, “Roomba” by Juliette Culver © 2010 courtesy of Creative Commons/Flickr



I want a vacuum for Christmas. Really.

My husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Every year it gets more difficult to answer that question. I really don’t need much. So I thought about what would really improve the quality of my life, and decided that I need a Roomba.

Writing and anal-retentiveness are not happy cohabitators. I freely admit to both. The chaos that is my house distracts me from my work, but not enough to actually do something about it. If it comes down to vacuuming the bedroom and banging out a new chapter, the chapter wins every time. Frankly, if it comes down to vacuuming the bedroom and staring at a blank screen cursing my lack of inspiration, that would win as well. Just because one likes a clean environment does not mean one likes cleaning.

My cats also work at cross-purposes to me. They are petty and vengeful creatures. Look Sasha, the big cat just finished tormenting us with the big noisy thing. Let’s retaliate with an epic fur-tossing argument. You just ate, right? Maybe you can hork up your breakfast. While you do that, I’ll go downstairs and walk across her keyboard.

My husband, the tech dude, is convinced that the Roomba will not do the job as well as a regular vacuum, and might only work on half of the rooms in our house. My response was that the Roomba does a better job than he does, even if it sucks and only works on a quarter of the rooms in our house.

The Dude  also thinks the Roomba is a stupid idea, and doubts that it would actually work.  I said it won’t work on his room because it won’t climb over laundry, at which point he suggested they ought to make a Roomba that vacuums up one’s laundry, washes and dries it, and spits it out folded and ironed, like a laundry Zamboni machine. The child is a genius. Not that he could build this, however, he can barely remember that electronic items need to be plugged in. He’s an idea guy.

What I really want is a house elf. My husband says he’d give me one, but with the plethora of socks the Dude leaves around the house, he’d be free within hour. In any case, he’ll double-check to see if Hammacher Schlemmer sells them. I think I’ll have to stick with the Roomba.

After all, the Roomba might have entertainment value.  I’m hoping my cats will ride it like the cat in the YouTube video. I won’t bother with the shark suit, however, nor am I getting a duck.  If they don’t, I can live with that. I might have five minutes of a cat-hair free bedroom each day. As long as they don’t hork on the Roomba itself, I’m ahead of the game.