Betrayed by the Bagless

I should have known it wouldn’t last, and it serves me right.

After thirty-some years, it happened. I fell for a younger, newer model, casting aside the loyal, tried and true like a pile of used junk. The old relationship just wasn’t working for me anymore and instead of more of the same, I wanted out.

I admit now that it was superficial; I was taken in by looks, deceived by empty promises, with no regard for past loyalties. The way I discarded our pairing was simply shameful, and against the advice of my mother, in whom I had smugly confided my intentions.

And just where did it get me? It brought me to my knees, puzzling over what was wrong. What happened to those first sparks, the jolt of power I felt when we first began? I couldn’t imagine why or how I’d been deceived.

It’s time for the truth. I hate my bagless vacuum cleaner.

In my defense, it was nearly impossible not to be enticed. My old vacuum looked exactly like the one my mother still had from my childhood. Unimposing, utilitarian and worst of all, housing that maddening bag with the stupid cardboard piece you’re supposed to somehow jam onto an ill-fitting plastic port. Oh, to be free of that! How not to be swayed by commercials of the happy homemaker sweeping up the itty-bitty dust flakes from her floor and neatly and cleanly disposing of them by pushing a button on a canister and watching the tiny mess disappear into the trash can? It was a siren call, and I succumbed.

Except my house doesn’t contain itty-bitty dust flakes. My house contains the remains of whatever unknown volcano spews its filth all over my rugs while I’m asleep. At least, I’m guessing that’s what happens, because the crud in that canister after only a few days cannot possibly come from the people in my house. And if it does, I don’t want to see it.

Life is messy; that’s a given. But one look at the disgusting grime in that canister and I’m ready to hide under the bed and never come out. Except that what’s on the rug under the bed would no doubt send me screaming into the street.

It’s simple: I. Don’t. Want. To. Know. I mean, I know, I just don’t want to see it. I’ve enough messes to deal with that are all too visible. I don’t need to see how disgusting my rugs are to remind me of one more place where I’m never quite keeping up.

Not only that, but now I have to clean the damn vacuum! And the trash can, and my clothes, after the dirt, once emptied into the can, creates a mini dust storm that blows back into my face, coating me and everything nearby with the same grime I was trying to get rid of in the first place.

I’ve had it. I want my state of blissful ignorance back—the one in which I had no idea about what a slob I apparently am. I want my illusions. I want to be able to clean without having to clean the tools I’m using to clean! Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!

I’ve learned a few things: New is not always better, my house is a lot dirtier than I thought, and my mother is still usually right. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to find a vacuum with a bag.

2018-10-30T09:39:30+00:00October 29th, 2018|2 Comments

About the Author:

MARY FRAN BONTEMPO is a speaker, author and humorist who teaches audiences to control their most powerful influence: Self-Talk. Author of The Woman’s Book of Dirty Words, and Not Ready for Granny Panties, Mary Fran proves small changes in self-talk yield big life changes, allowing individuals to redefine their lives both professionally and personally in a rapidly changing world. A Huffington Post and Thrive Global contributor, and regular columnist for Women’s Voices Magazine and Best Kept Self, Mary Fran inspires and motivates readers and listeners to tame the self-talk beast, leading them to personal and professional renewal and success. After thirty years’ experience as owner of a full-service recruiting firm, and finding herself in the middle of a perfect life storm—turning 50, a crashing economy, and most devastating, a son with serious addiction issues—Mary Fran created the blog, Not Ready for Granny Panties, authoring two books in the series and developing a life-affirming brand full of practical wisdom and wit. A frequent media guest and speaker, audiences delight in her empowering and entertaining message.


  1. Mary Fran Bontempo November 17, 2018 at 10:30 PM

    My mother insists that the old stuff can’t be beat. And I think she’s right!

  2. Joanne Clothier October 31, 2018 at 10:21 AM

    My bagless experience was exactly the same. The darn thing has been relegated to a second floor closet. At first I thought it would be useful as a back up vacuum for the upstairs bedrooms. However its uselessness is undeniable and it has been replaced by the first (bagged) vac I bought when I married – 44 years ago.

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