Thursday, December 31, 2009

That's Great but Will it Clean My Floors?

Hey Ya’ll, It’s the ARM Dude here! My three dogs and I drive my wife crazy by tracking in mud and dirt on our feet getting her clean floors dirty. This sometimes causes some friction around the house. In fact, whenever we have someone coming over to visit, she locks the dogs and me outside so that she can clean the floors before the guests arrive. Sometimes she will let us back in when she is through cleaning while other times she will leave us all locked out until the visitors have come and gone. This presents a problem because my dogs believe that I should not allow her to lock us outside. I try to explain that we could all go back inside if we each clean our feet better and promise not to jump on any of the guests.

This thing with the floors has been going on ever since we became dog owners many years ago. There have been numerous carpets and rugs that have been damaged by the dogs or me. I thought I had solved the problem a couple of years ago when my wife and I moved into our current house. I removed all of the carpet from the house before we moved in replacing it with a dark chocolate wood that my wife picked out. She said it was the perfect color because it would match the furniture and d├ęcor that she had planned for the house. The floor color may be perfect for many locations but in our case we are located on a base of caliche soil that is a light tan color. Do you see the problem here? Dirty foot prints stand out like a neon light which means continued trouble for me and the dogs.

She has tried many different gadgets and cleaning solutions in an attempt to find an easier way to keep the floors clean. A few weeks ago she told me that she wanted me to buy a steam cleaning device she had heard about as a Christmas present to give to her. She said a friend of hers had bought one recently to use on her floors. I will spare the product name here but the device she requested appeared to be very flimsy causing me to question whether it would hold up long term. Another thing I noticed was the phrase “As Seen on TV” on its packaging. This encouraged me to jump on the internet to research the product further. I found many product reviews that supported my concerns about its capability and longevity. I did not question the validity of the steam cleaning process though because I saw a commercial grade steam cleaner in action at The Rental Show 2009 in Atlanta. I remember thinking then my wife would love it. I continued my research on the internet and found a similar product that seemed to be well built, would handle the floor cleaning requirements, but also provided attachments for other types of surfaces that require cleaning. It would cost more then the one she requested but the quality and capabilities it provided justified the difference in price. I ordered it without hesitation.

When my wife first opened the gift she saw a picture of a device that she was not familiar with causing her to think that I got her a vacuum cleaner. I laughed and told her it was a steam cleaner like she had requested. I then explained that she could use it to clean the stove, countertops, windows, furniture, bathroom fixtures, steam the wrinkles out of my clothes and even clean the wheels on my truck if she was feeling overly energetic. Better yet, with the steam generating a temperature of 212.5 degrees we could save hundreds of dollars on cleaning supplies each year. She listened to all of this and then asked if it could clean floors. I was happy and quick to respond that it could clean the floors also. I can only imagine how proud she must be to be known as Mrs. ARM Dude. However, for some reason or another I am still locked outside while the dogs are inside laughing at me through the window.

So help me out here folks. Did I make a mistake by going the extra mile to buy her a cleaning device that exceeded her initial request? Did she really mean that she wanted expensive Spa and Sauna treatments at a beautiful resort located in a tropical paradise? Did she interpret the fact that it cleaned more than floors to mean that I question her cleaning abilities? Am I still locked outside because she is unable to find a way to adequately communicate her appreciation for the thoughtfulness and generosity I demonstrated with this gift selection? Hopefully we get this resolved soon because freezing weather is in the forecast. Thank goodness that friend, the one that started all of this mess by recommending she get a steam cleaner, gave me a warm jacket as a gift. It looks like I am gonna need it.