Wednesday, August 5, 2009


August 5, 2009

What do you borrow from your neighbor?  An egg to complete a recipe?  Some other common kitchen item?

Today, I knocked on my neighbor's door and asked to borrow her vacuum cleaner, a somewhat startling request, since I own two of my own.  "The Princess," my utility canister vac had worked all day, sucking dog hair off furniture, spider webs out of corners, and dust off or hard to reach places.  We had used the crevice tool, the furniture brush, the small head (with and without the brush attachment), and had already stored her away for next time.  I switched to the "go to" vacuum in the house (who is in the platinum "frequent sucker" club, because we are dog owners who live in the country).  I plugged it in the usual outlet I start with, then changed plans, deciding to start in Davis's room and work my way forward.  I now know the true meaning of pull the plug--especially considering that when I pulled it, only one prong came out rendering it absolutely and completely unusable. . . at least today.  

I thought to myself, that is why I own two great vacuums.  I pulled "The Princess" out and got busy.  After a room and a fifth (20% of the room, not a measure of liquor), the beater bar on "The Princess" gave out.  Dang.

Why should this bother me?  We have a guest coming tomorrow.  It's a friend of Davis's.  I want things to look good, so I knocked on my neighbor's door at dinnertime and asked if she would let her vacuum come play at my house until lunchtime tomorrow.  Blessedly, I was able to arrange a playdate.

What's the strangest thing you've ever borrowed?  Please don't tell me it was a chicken.


  1. HA! Foiled by the vacuum God's in your efforts to create the ideal landing place for you visitor. I'm glad your neighbor had a vacuum of sufficient quality to meet your exacting standards. I only shudder to think what would have transpired had you been handed one of those manual push dust vac thing-a-ma-bobs.

    I hope you visitor has a very nice, clean, un-awkward stay. As far as the strangest thing I've ever had to borrow? Hmmm....I feel like I have a very good answer to this question but at the moment when I dig around in the recesses of my hops addled brain I am coming up empty. Perhaps I'll have to think on it and come back with an item...or multiple items if that is ok?

  2. Last week upon meeting my boyfriend's sister for the FIRST time my sandal broke at the 30th anniversary of the Muppet movie.I was forced to borrow the random pair of shoes she had in her purse(which i still have). This was awkward because I can't imagine anyone who would want MY very scary giant feet in their lovely petite shoes. It was made even more awkward by the absurdity of where we were- a hipster theater in Brooklyn watching muppets.

    Oh and I also asked to borrow a cup of sugar from a neighbor once which is only weird bc I'm from NEW YORK....people just don't do that here.

  3. in the last couple of weeks: a dehydrator to make beef jerky, a ladder, a can of raid to kill some non-native invasive paper wasps (that i have to replace b/c i wasn't courageous enough to get up close and used the whole can), a camp chair, a whitewater kayak from my phd chair, a canoe paddle from her as well (so i can paddle the whitewater kayak while friends are utilizing the kayak paddles), and yeah - this macbook pro i'm typing on from my department until my macbook is fixed. (yes - i have some very dear friends who understand poor phd student (b/c they are too)).

    i don't know if any of those qualify as weird though.

  4. I too have borrowed a vacuum for nearly the same reason - only I HAD 1 vacuum that broke, bought a new (be it very cheap) one at Walmart - it didn't work, and my parents were coming... I hadn't ever met my neighbors other than a hi, how's it going every once in a while. I was very thankful to see a BEAUTIFUL Eurika in their closet and a smile on her face!

    Good luck with the visitors! :-D

  5. I don't think I have borrowed anything weird, maybe someone's bathroom when the plumbing wasn't working in my apartment one time. I had just moved in and this was the first time meeting them! It became a running joke though!

  6. Elaine may be having too much fun on vacation to read or respond to this, but she and Mark borrowed our second refrigerator one week when theirs went out.

    It's not that weird, but it does sound weird to have someone ask, "Can I borrow your refrigerator?"


  7. When I was in college, I had a friend ask to borrow my boyfriend. She needed someone to take to a party. I said no problem (What can I say? It was the 70's). I don't know what happened to either of them - maybe they are together today!

  8. Our oven has been going for a long time and my parents finally got fed up with it and went next door to our new neighbors and asked if we could use their oven to bake our dinner! We still don't have a new oven and still go to differesnt houses to borrow their oven for a bit!

    - Kathryn

  9. Hi,
    Yes I will call you today. Or feel free to call me first. I'll be free to talk after my 10 am pedicure!!

  10. I borrowed my new neighbors' phone (hadn't met them yet and have since realized they are very quiet/keep to themselves kind of people) to call my parents at 7am on a Saturday because I had locked myself out of the house with my then 2 year old asleep inside alone. <--- That was a disaster of a sentence!