I just never imagined...
Someday Clay can sing "Is this the little boy I scooped poop with?"

I just decided that the sideways ones are called Stalagmucks

Last night I was possessed by some sort of dryer mania. It was caused by the February edition of Martha Stewart Living Magazine, which had a little article in it that mentioned in an offhand manner that this would be a fine time to attend to my clothes dryer. I read the list of suggested maintenance tasks with amazement. Rinse your lint screen! Vacuum the vent with your crevice tool! Do you know I have owned this vacuum for something like four years, and I have never once thought of it as MY crevice tool? I mean, whose is it? But to me it is THE crevice tool, and this may explain why I've never put it to full use. OH, the way those Martha Stewart types wield their crevice tools!

I was chagrined by the dryer tasks, because I have never, not once, in all my drying career, tended to these tasks. It was clearly a fact to add to my list of Why I'm Not a Real Woman. Either that one, or the one about Why I'm Not Renewing This Magazine, I Mean It.

I was duly ashamed and spent the evening tending to my poor neglected dryer (the piles of laundry were another issue. One cannot expect to do it all). I rinsed out my lint screen, and scrubbed at it with a t-shirt that was lying on the floor, waiting to be washed. I figure, why dirty a clean rag when this was already heading for the wash, right? That is an excellent example of why I'm not writing for Martha Stewart Living Magazine. Then I peeked down in the cavity left by the lint screen and saw huge mounds of lint forming...what would they be? They're stalactites if they hang down, and stalagmites if they point up, but what are they called when they grow sideways? Whatever the sideways ones are called, I had huge ones made of lint. I hauled the vacuum into the laundry room, found the crevice tool, and set to work suctioning those things out. MY crevice tool is just a tad large for the opening left by the damp lint screen, so I was concentrating hard on maneuvering it around in there, and failed to notice that the vacuum had drifted too close to the load of laundry waiting on the floor (laundry on the floor, another item for The List), and it sucked up a t-shirt.

The vacuum started whining and spewing acrid smoke, and I swore and yanked out the shirt. I checked the underside of the vacuum, and everything seemed fine. Whew. I have something of a reputation for vacuuming up inappropriate items, such as sheets and shoelaces and socks and causing the belt to break on the vacuum. Now, I CAN change the belt just fine. But if I change it, I end up sweating and muttering curses and periodically barking at children that if they don't stay away from me I will leave them on the porch with a sign that reads "Disabled American Vets" because those trucks are ALWAYS in the neighborhood. If CLAY changes the belt, he ends up handing a screwdriver to a child and saying things like, "Remember, righty tighty," with infinite patience. Everyone is happier. So I don't mind admitting at semi-regular intervals that I have broken the belt on the vacuum again, even though it opens me up for lectures on How One Vacuums, as if. He thinks he's funny, he does.

Fortunately, the belt was fine, and I went back to attacking the lint wrongness in the dryer. I was still at it (an oddly satisfactory experience, like a pore strip for the dryer, in a way) when Clay wandered in.

"Whew," he made a face, "what is that SMELL?"

I turned off the vacuum and looked around the room.

"Oh, hmm. I don't know. I may, possibly, have vacuumed up a t-shirt. Hard to say." He started to laugh. "The belt is FINE, OK?" He was laughing pretty hard. "WHAT?"

"You are...just so CUTE. 'I may have...hard to say..."

"Right. Sources fail to confirm."

He reached out and brushed my cheek with a rough fingertip.

"You're just adorable."

I dropped the crevice tool and let him pull me close and remind me again that I was a Real Woman all along.



Real women can drive stick shifts, too. You told me that once.

Somehow I missed that page of Martha wherein she tells us to use THE crevice tools to vacuum lint. You know, when I was a kid and my mom used to tell me to use the crevice tool for this or that (she was a real woman) I always thought she was saying "crevistool" and it wasn't until I had my own vacuum that I finally understood. Now, I am one with my crevice tool. I use it on everything, especially with that little attachment with fur.

So let's all drive manual transmissions and claim ownership of our crevistools! Who's with me?


Okay, I already drive a manual transmission and while it may qualifiy me for the "Real Woman" club I would much rather earn my membership in a whole 'nother way!


Okay, so I can't figure out how to give you a ROFL Award, but let's just say that if I could, I would give you a sparkly little badge with maybe a tophat or a glass of champagne on it and it would tell the world how frickin' funny I think this post is.


Okay, so I can't figure out how to give you a ROFL Award, but let's just say that if I could, I would give you a sparkly little badge with maybe a tophat or a glass of champagne on it and it would tell the world how frickin' funny I think this post is.

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