Conversations with an Engineer

My husband is a good man. Really. He’s a fabulous husband and father and if you got me really drunk I’d probably say the same thing only louder and possibly while slapping you on the shoulder.

So I like him, but we’re definitely a case of opposites attracting. He’s calm and stoic and I’m excitable and prone to emotional breakdowns over things like moving and purina dog chow commercials.

I’m artsy. He’s an engineer. You know the type–very serious and all about the details. Nothing makes him crazier than when I substitute the word “whatever” for an actual noun.

This is all just preamble for the story I’m trying to tell you, which is all about our vacuum cleaner. Hubby and I got married a little over eight years ago and we have owned three vacuum cleaners in that time. I don’t know what we do to them, but we are basically the Ted Bundy of small household appliances. They actually have little Wanted posters of us up at Target.

After much discussion we decided that we should purchase a “good” vacuum cleaner–something of substance. We do have two animals, so we thought that your run-of-the-mill vacuum cleaner just wasn’t able to stand up to our impressive dirt-making. My MIL has a Rainbow and we love it, so we thought we’d get one of those. Only problem was the $1600 price tag. We’re a one income family with the world’s most expensive kid, so we try to pinch our pennies when we can. My husband paid less than five grand for his last car, so $1600 seemed like a lot for something that doesn’t move by itself or cook you breakfast.

The other day on Craig’s List I found an advertisement for a Rainbow Vacuum Cleaner $250–it was missing “only one part.” Knowing that even used a Rainbow can cost $600, I did a little research. My research told me that the missing part was actually the piece of the vacuum cleaner that you use to suck dirt off the carpet–a fairly important element in the vacuum department if you ask me.

So there I am, de-briefing Hubby on the Rainbow quest:

Me: Well, I found a lady selling a Rainbow on Craig’s List for only $250, but it’s missing a piece. When I research the piece, turns out, it could cost as much as $250 dollars itself. It’s the part of the vacuum that cleans the floor and it has its own little engine in it, which I guess is why it’s so expensive.

Husband: Well, duh, it has it’s own engine.

Me: This is me we’re talking to, I don’t know about this kind of stuff.

Husband: Just think. You’re not going to be able to get that kind of torque through a tube. Of course it has its own engine.

Me: Oh. Yeah. Of course. (Torque?!?!)

It’s a good thing he’s cute.


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  1. And cute he is! Like father like son!

    Dyson is another highly reputed and pricey vac, but usually less than $1K.

  2. Haha, I love it!

  3. Hi Katy, One of my best friends hubby is an engineer as well. I can totally relate! He is one of the greatest guys I know but very calm and quiet. My friend is the total opposite (like me). I guess you guys attract each other! As for the vacuum. I have been through 3 in 10 years. My mothers Electrolux lasted over 30 years and would suck up everthing! They do not make them the way they used too. I broke down and bought a Miele Callisto. I LOVE it!
    It was worth the price! I have had it for over 3 years with no problems but the cost was around $1000. I was tired of spending $400 every 2-3 years. And yes both your guys are cute:)

  4. Oh Dear! Vacuum cleaners. I kill them too. I went through at least one per year for several years until I got a used Electrolux. That lasted about 2 years. The part might be an easy fix, if I cant find it! I wish you luck on finding a sturdy vacuum.

  5. And he says the same thing about you. “you’re so pretty”

  6. Duh, Katy!

    We recommend a Dyson in this house. Good ‘torque’! ;0)

  7. Engineers (translation = nerds) make great husbands. I have one of my own. And I am growing another one. Ha ha.

    My noun substitute is “thingy”. It is a very versatile word.

    My hubby wants to scrutinize stuff, I just want to get things done…I cry over those coffee commercials where the guy is coming home from the Army and also Hallmark commercials. And don’t even get me watching the Lifetime Movie Network on a weekend…I have only seen hubby shed one tear in the 27 years I have known him (married almost 21). He is the king of all dorks and my oldest child. But he is a wonderful husband and daddy. And I will never understand how his brain works! I love him. God Bless the Engineers!

    For what it’s worth, we own a Dyson. Love it. (And we got it from Target!)

  8. Traveller says:

    He’s SO cute! Lucky you!

    I have to second (or third) the pro Engineer comments as well! Yay for Engineers!

  9. Torque rhymes with dork which I’m thinking explains a lot…lol

    I have no idea what torque is either, but I do agree with the Dyson comment. We have one and I love it!

  10. OK, here’s some perspective: If you asked my husband what our vacuum cleaner looked like, he’d have no idea. He’d also have no idea to find it. Or where the “on” switch is. So, I find it refreshing that you have a husband who is willing to discuss vacuums with you, even if it’s the “torque” he wants to discuss!

  11. Hahaha! At least he’s not the “absent minded engineer” type. I almost bought a new vacuum before Benjy asked if I’d ever changed this little internal filter. (It has like several filters that you take out and clean in a multi-step process, which I do, it just never occurred to me that the smallest filter was a replaceable part.
    His reply “I hope I never drive over a bridge you build!”
    My reply, “Seeing as I’m a *chemical* engineer- I hope so too!”

  12. LOL, sounds a lot like me and my Hubby. He needs to put stuff in “Cheryl-speak” :) And yes your hubby is awfully cute, good catch :)

  13. I have to tell you, we picked up a bagless, Eureka upright for $40 @ WalMart when I bought the house (although we’ve taken an oath not to shop with the Evil Empire anymore.) It works like a charm. We don’t have pets, but we both have long hair & seem to shed like huskies in Springtime. I even have a picture of what I cleaned off the roller a while back;
    For $40, I’ve never had a better vaccuum. Just a thought.

  14. I’m sorry, but holding Charlie makes anybody look cute. So, he’s definitely got that going for him! And the vacuum–we buy a new one every year if that tells you anything. I should look into this rainbow dealio, but since my husband balks when I spend more than $100 on a vacuum…I probably won’t.

  15. I think I had something sort of intelligent to say, until I got an eyeful of your adorable husband and lost the ability to form a coherent thought.


    said from a safe distance of around a thousand miles.