the time we “won” a carpet cleaning

last weekend I left Ben alone for a morning while I ran errands. somewhere between Hy-Vee and Target, a woman knocked on our front door at home and told Ben they were running a contest for a free room of carpet cleaning.

here’s where (in case you don’t already know) I tell you that Ben is too good to be with me. he sees the good in every person, finds the silver lining in every situation, and is a genuinely good person. so when he excitedly told me he signed us up in a contest to win a free carpet cleaning, he was surprised I was annoyed and exasperated at the idea. I explained it was going to be a sales pitch and I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time. he didn’t believe me.

now the story gets really good. last night Ben gets a call and I hear him say, “oh wow, that’s great! sure, tomorrow night works well! we’ll both be home around 6:30.” after he hangs up the phone he says “wow, we won!” everyone wins good-hearted, Ben. every. one.

tonight a mother and son duo showed up at our front door. twenty minutes early. forty minutes before the new Dirty Dancing aired. they unloaded a Kirby box and I knew we were in trouble.

you guys, this is nothing against Kirby. I know this woman is running a business. she’s paying her bills. I get it.

they did a wonderful job of showing us how terrible our Eureka vacuum works and how much gross is in our carpets, on our bed, and in our sheets. but the exchanges we had with this woman are pure comedic gold.

to start with the woman and her son smoked a cigarette before they came into our house. it followed them through the house all while they wore their shoes. then she asked me to turn on our current vacuum. me, I presume, because I am the wife. I stared at her and then looked at Ben and said, “you’re the one that vacuums.” she thought it was a joke. after an hour of demonstrating, she wants to sit down with us and talk numbers.

here’s the gist of that:

Kirby woman: okay, here’s the deal, I’m three sales away from a trip to Vegas with my husband. I do this to pay bills, but also because I want to improve your lives. you are living in dust, dirt, and grime. it’s terrible for your allergies.

me in my head: okay, I think my grandma got sucked into a Kirby years ago because the guy told her he was so close to a trip to Hawaii and she felt guilty. also, back off lady, I dust every so often. I’m more allergic to your cigarette smoke.

me out loud: okay, so what are we talking, $1,000?

Kirby woman: please, Kirby systems were $1,000 30 years ago

Ben’s face: blank stare

me: oh wow, for a vacuum?

Kirby woman (super offended I said “for a vacuum”): we showed you how it’s so much more than a vacuum. okay, here’s what I can do, but this doesn’t leave the house: I can give you $250 for your current vacuum…and let’s see, do you have anything you can “trade in,” like furniture, paintings, old dishes…

me in my head: is this real life?

me out loud: uh???

Ben: well, we just moved, we’re trying to live a more minimalistic lifestyle…I don’t know

Kirby woman: okay, here’s what I’ll do, I’ll say you traded in a box of stuff and if you can put a box of stuff together in the next two weeks I’ll give you another $175 off.

me in my head: seriously, is this real life?

Ben: blank stare

Kirby woman: it will be $57 a month, it pays for itself a thousand times over.

me: you know, it’s just not a good time. we have to buy a car soon, we’re renovating parts of our home…

Kirby woman (looks to Ben): here’s the bottom line – I can give it to you for half off. that’s $37 a month.

me out loud: okay, well that’s great, but he doesn’t do our finances so I’m telling you I’m not comfortable with it.

Kirby woman: I’m going to give you guys a chance to talk about it.

Kirby woman and son go outside to smoke a cigarette.

Ben: I’m so sorry, I thought this was just a carpet cleaning and I was doing a good thing for us.

(you can’t even be angry about that!!!)

so now is where Ben and I both get awkward because we have to say no to this woman, who only needs three more sales, and who never works nights.

she comes back in and her and her son start gathering up their things and I finally say we can’t do it.

Kirby woman: for $37 a month? that’s like not ordering Dominos once a week.

me in my head: okay, not the response I was expecting

me out loud: we like ordering pizza, and we have a budget that works for us.

Kirby woman scoffs.

me out loud: honestly, if I had been home when you came to the door, we wouldn’t be doing this right now.

Kirby woman: oh I’m not upset, this is my job. I sell 8 out of 10 vacuums I present to people.

me out loud: well, I’m sorry, the timing is just off.

Kirby woman: if you don’t buy the vacuum for this price, you’ll never buy it

Ben: we are really just trying to eliminate more debt, not accrue it.

Kirby woman: you’re going to end up with more debt because your carpet and hardwoods will be trashed not cleaning them properly.

it’s at this point I leave the room because she’s getting too sassy and she still smells like cigarette smoke.

after what felt like an eternity, they have almost everything packed up and I decide to say something like “oh wow, you really get everything back in the box nicely.”

big mistake. huge.

Kirby woman: yeah, well we usually never have to pack them back up because the idea is to sell the vacuum

me in my head: oh really? because it looks like he’s pretty damn good at packing it back up.

instead of reacting I chose to maturely go to the bathroom to text my mom about the situation and left Ben to deal with the contest he had entered in.

so, that’s the story about the time we “won” a free carpet cleaning.

as Ben so calmly put it, “well, that was uncomfortable, but did you SEE how clean our carpet is???”

domestic bliss.


p.s. Ben has learned his lesson and admits that sometimes (just sometimes) things are too good to be true.

p.p.s. I watched five minutes of the new Dirty Dancing and I’m honestly way cool with the fact that two hours of my night were spent feeling like shit about my lack of cleaning while being bullied about Kirby. Team Swayze or no way!






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