Friday, February 29, 2008

Money Well Spent

Please forgive me for the shameless product endorsement you are about to read.

I know it's not exactly the most sound financial move in the world, but I am one of those people who claims zero deductions on my federal withholding so that I can be guaranteed a nice, fat tax return every year. I like to think of it as my government-sponsored savings account.

And every year, as soon as I receive my W-2, I file my taxes.

In my younger years, the extra money always came in handy for catching up or getting a little ahead on my bills. But in the last few years, I've used the money toward some sort of luxury. In 2006, it was a tropical vacation to beautiful Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Last year, it was a clothes shopping spree and a new digital camera. This year, it was a Dyson DC15 Absolute Animal.

Now, I know that a lot of people would question the wisdom of spending $500.00 on a vacuum. I was one such person. I researched them thoroughly - talking to people to owned them, reading online reviews from customers, using my mom's while I was home for Christmas, and even subscribing to the ever-trustworthy Consumer Reports. And except for a few detractors, the feedback was positive, so I decided to go ahead and buy the Dyson and therefore do my part to help boost the sagging US economy.

My initial reaction? My new vacuum sucks. I mean it REALLY sucks.

Smelly the Wonder Dog, although short-haired, sheds like a monkey with the mange. Add to that her extremely dry skin, and Ship's fair-haired kitty, and you've got a house full of pet hair and dander. My first test for my new Dyson was the 10 x 12 area rug in our living room. (*Before I go on, I feel the need to explain that, while I won't be winning any Good Housekeeping awards any time soon, I DO vacuum on a fairly regular basis - in fact the house had been vacuumed in it's entirety just 5 days earlier.)

Two and a half. That's how many times I filled my Dyson from just that one rug. I was dumbfounded. I was awe struck. I was - disgusted. How was that possible? My rug was, quite literally, a different color. And I didn't sneeze once, unlike when I used my old Hoover Wind Tunnel. There is an attachment for just about every conceivable purpose, and there is none of that awkward fumbling with the poles that you have to put together. It's bagless, but unlike most of the bagless vacs I've used in the past, when you empty it, the dust and dirt don't fly back up in your face and get all over your hands.

My complaints? It doesn't have a light. I didn't think it would be a big deal, but you don't realize how handy a headlight is until you don't have one. Also, how hard is it to put a retractable cord on an upright vacuum? My final complaint - it whistles. It's like this high-pitched noise that kind of gets under my skin, but not enough to turn it off. These gripes, however, are far outweighed by the sheer joy I get everytime I turn that little beauty on.

If I had it to do all over again, I would GLADLY plunk down the $500.00 without a moment's hesitatiion. If you need a new vacuum, definitely give the Dyson a nice, long look. It's reputation is not just a lot of hype - it really is that damned good.

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