Around the time the Detroit Tigers were making short work of the New York Yankees (but before the games against They Who Shall Not Win The World Series), I found myself at Walmart. TOL (The Other Lisa) has set foot in Walmart once in her life, but only because I, along with some mutual friends, tricked her. But that is another story for another time.
I found myself in need of a broom and dustpan, having loaned mine to a neighbor, which then became a gift after she inherited a family of cats. I was in the market for a cheap, identical replacement, secure in the knowledge that all brooms are more or less alike.
I could not have been more wrong.
Amid the selection of basic varieties: straw, angled & push, there was a baby blue model that caught me by surprise: a stadium. What on earth? As in ballpark stadium? As in amusement park worker, dustpan on a stick, walk while you sweep your cares away, whistle while you work, Mary Poppins style broom and dustpan extravaganza!?
It was wild, it was daring, it was off the hook. Off the hook and in my hot little hands! But then I put it back. Whoa there, Mama, I said to myself. What the heck are you thinking? First of all you never call yourself ‘Mama’ in your head. Smarty Pants, Still Got It and Don’t Mess With Me, sure, but never ‘Mama.’ Okay, maybe occasionally Red Hot Mama when the produce guy is checking you out. Can he see me from this aisle?
The Stadium Broom/Dustpan combo was a full five dollars more than the angled-broom-dustpan-sold-separately option. Possibly more, perhaps slightly less than five. Math has never been my strong suit. But it was definitely a big, long term commitment in any case. I don’t plan on making friends with any more cat lovers in the foreseeable future.
I’d never operated such a broom before. Perhaps it was better left to the professionals. I reached for the conventional broom. Yes, of course. I was being silly. I am a conventional sweeper. I sweep in piles.
Oh, but I how hate sweeping in piles! Piles are for losers. There, I said it. Inevitably you get interrupted, then somebody walks through one, forcing you to weep and give up and take a nap. Plus, what is the best pile-to-room ratio? Several small groupings? Fewer large ones? Piles suck. (Shingles are worse. Don’t even get me started on shingles.)
But did I deserve a stadium broom/dustpan combo? Had I done anything outstanding that day? That week? Was I planning on doing anything particularly spectacular soon? Perhaps not. And to that end I deserved an ordinary, sucky broom and ugly, non-matching dustpan. I deserved to make piles for the rest of my life.
Just how long did this debate go on, you may be wondering (if you’re still reading)? Long enough that my grocery cart fish sticks were thawing and my willpower was waning. I wanted that stadium broom and dustpan. I wanted it despite the sinfully high price tag of $15.99.
Nay, I needed that tool. After all, I wouldn’t be the only one to benefit from it. My husband has been known to handle a tool or two around the house from time to time.
I picked it up. I put it back. Oh the torture! Oh the agony! In one final, desperate grab, in sheer and utter madness I snatched the bloody thing and made a dash for the twelve-and-under checkout. At last. It was mine!
I took it home. I unwrapped it lovingly. (In case I needed to take it back, unworthy wretch that I am.) Then, I swept my dirty, dirty floor like it had never been swept before. It was a moment for the ages.
Because I’m pretty much over it now.
Oh, The Stadium is still outstanding, better that a conventional broom by far; I fully recommend it to any and everyone. (Except one-handed people. That would just be cruel.) But let’s face it, housework is drudgery of the highest order, no matter what tools are involved.
I’d rather be blogging. I’d rather be napping. Heck, I’d rather be cat wrangling. (As long as there is a covered litter box, but that is also another story for another time.) But I’d really rather be watching my beloved Tigers crush They Who Shall Not Win The World Series.