Fetish: "A course of action to which one has an excessive and irrational commitment." I was compelled to look up the word 'fetish' in the run up to the watershed moment when the electricity arrived because the urge to vacuum the space was so acute that it invaded my dreams. I have always been able to tolerate substantial disorder for a cause even when the cause is nothing more than ignoring the dishes to prolong the evening or even just the morning coffee hour. Why kill those golden moments? But here, the thick dunes of dirt, dust and ground up paint that have filled every seam and corner are making me drool with the anticipation of sucking them up.
I have known fastidious people that can not abide a mess for any amount of time. Those people would not enjoy this project. A dear aunt of mine responded to my first photographs of the house at its absolute worst by adding us to the "prayer list" at her church. The mess really was extraordinary and in some ways frightening. But two dumpsters and nearly 20 tons of garbage later, we are starting to resemble a normal construction site.
is it irrational to vacuum a construction site? Knowing the scraping, sanding, and sawing that is teed up for the immediate future, it probably is. Certainly, it is adding work. Every vacuumed surface would have to be vacuumed again almost immediately. But the allure of the task was emotional not rational and I could hardly wait to get started.
We have a monster of a vacuum and the only impediment to pure satisfaction was the 2" diameter of the hose. Errant screws and quarter sized paint chips would lodge in the middle and cause a backlog like a cat hair ball that had to be worked out through the nozzle. Despite those hiccups, I filled a giant premium HEPA filter-excalibur-rocketship of a vacuum bag to its limit. This made me very happy.