It was Thursday last week. I stayed home sick from work and spent the day on the couch (and refusing to let Maggie outside every hour). Blah. I looked like death warmed over- no shower, hair in pony tail, no make up, purple sweats with spills on them, yeah, nastified. Planning to spend the remainder of the evening in the same fashion, I was surprised to hear the doorbell ring around 7.30 pm. It was one of those bitterly cold nights, I think it went to -7 F and it was bone chilling. At the door was a college age guy and behind him, his boss. The kid enthusiastically offered to clean one room of carpet (or area rugs) and he really needed a few more appointments before he could call it a night, big promotion, etc. I think before anything else happened I said something about not feeling well, etc. but that didn’t slow them down. At least I felt better having an excuse for my appearance. Feeling bad about him being out in the cold, I agreed (thinking in my head that it was a bad idea, but what could it hurt and besides, getting the area rugs cleaned would be worth it, right?) They came in and checked out the rugs and said they’d send the cleaning team over sometime between now and 9 pm and would just take a half hour. Okay, that seems pretty harmless.
I did go put on mascara and change my shirt. I know, ridiculous, but it really was bad and though not “presentable”, I did feel a little better. 9.30 rolls around and I’m wondering what happened and why I said this would be okay. They arrive a few minutes later, the boss from earlier and Isaiah “one of his best”. As Isaiah gets set up in the living room, the boss asks me to just keep an open mind, not be deterred by price because they can help, etc. He also explains the big promo his boss is doing so they’re trying to make a big goal or something. Okay okay. He is about to leave and then says he’s got a new guy he’s training and could he come in and watch the presentation? I’m thinking it seems harmless, uh okay.
Anthony comes in. Wow. He’s a middle aged black man, wearing white pointy-toed leather slip on shoes. And (wait for it) light blue pleather pants. Oh yes my friends, light blue pleather (or maybe real leather) pants. Wow. He sits down to watch the demo. The dogs are in the cage in the dining room, very unhappy about strange men in the house. And at some point it occurred to me that here I was, sick, with 2 strange men in my house, invited in by me, and my protection was locked up in the dining room. I figured if they tried anything, I’d dash into the dining room and let Maggie out. And I know Maggie would give them what for.
Isaiah asks me to bring out my current vacuum (a cheap hoover that I bought for $60 about ten years ago). I myself know this is not much of a vacuum but considering most of the house is hardwood floors, it’s not that big of a deal. As Isaiah assembled the mighty Kirby vacuum, he told me that NASA has recently redesigned the engine for it, added a transmission (I think) and some other cool stuff. Okay. The demo proceeds- we vacuum the rug with my vacuum and then Isaiah proceeds to vacuum with the Kirby and pulls out the black cloth filters to show me just how much dirt was left in the carpet after vacuuming with crappy hoover. He does this numerous times, all the while asking me if I’d say a clean house is a priority. Confirming that all the way clean is better than not all the way clean. “Clean is clean, right?” Yes sir, clean is clean. He then dumps a box of baking soda and rubs it thoroughly into part of the rug, vacuums with crappy hoover, and then goes on to prove just how much the hoover misses that the Kirby cleans. “Clean is clean, right? You don’t want to waste time cleaning when it doesn’t get it actually clean, do you? Think about how much faster your rug and floors will wear out since you’re not actually getting them clean. Think about how much money you’ll spend getting them professionally cleaned, instead of just buying a vacuum that does get them clean. Think how much money you’ll save…” It goes on and on.
Once he asked me if I was ready to buy the Kirby, I had to be honest and tell him I can’t afford it. He went on to convince me that they’ll work with me to make it affordable, whatever payment I want, etc. I told him flat out I won’t finance because I don’t believe in going into debt, other than my house. Little did I realize this would start a long conversation / argument about the glories of debt, the ease of small payments, etc. Isaiah: “Wait, I know your type, you read Dave Ramsey don’t you?” I do, but my reticence to go into debt is more than Dave Ramsey. We argued (in good fun) for an hour. My favorite comment- “I don’t believe you. If your refrigerator dies tomorrow, you’ll go buy a new one and finance it zero percent interest without even batting an eyelash.” Me: My refrigerator did die, and I went and bought a used one for $250 because I had the money in my account. Isaiah gasped at that one and then tried to tell me that was a terrible investment and why would I keep buying used, etc. I was adamant about not going into debt. Isaiah: So you’re telling me I need to sell you a used Kirby? Me: Sure! That sounds great!! Isaiah: “We don’t sell used kirby’s, they have a lifetime guarantee. Think about how many cheap vacuums you’ll buy in the next 60 years and how much you’ll spend… you might as well just buy this good vacuum now since it will actually clean your house and will be cheaper than buying all those other vacuums in the long run.” I won’t finance. I could and should save up to buy one and pay cash for it, but I won’t go into debt for it. (What I didn’t tell him is that I am saving up to replace the kitchen floor long before buying a very expensive vacuum…) He then tried to tell me that zero percent interest is the same as saving up… blah blah blah.
Meanwhile, Anthony the pimp is watching the whole thing, fascinated, and grinning through much of the exchange. Isaiah finally calls the boss, explains the situation, that I won’t finance, Dave Ramsey, etc. He hangs up and tells me the boss is offering me the whole package for $1300 (half the usual price) and with 0% financing for a year!! Surely I can’t turn this down!! I did, of course. It’s still financing it and I won’t go into debt for it even though i will acknowledge it is an awesome product. Isaiah finally starts disassembling the vacuum and cleaning up, obviously disappointed and thinking I’m crazy. Meanwhile it’s nearly 11 pm- definitely more than the half hour promised. I’m exhausted but loving how clean the area rug is now.
On their way out, Anthony stops and says “I tell ya, I learned sooo much just from listening to you. You’re okay, you are O-kay!” He reaches out and gives me a huge hug. The awesome vacuum and the salesmen leave. Reenie wonders how she gets into these things… but figures she’s got material for a good post. And a crappy vacuum. And a hug from a man in light blue pleather pants.