Anxious Sloth: I bought a Robot Vacuum

Upon arrival to my new apartment in China, I had no time to dwell on the fascinating left turn my life had taken. Instead I sought victory over a new enemy.


My days and nights would be sent sweeping bits. Having left the unappreciated peace of carpeted floors back in the UK, I began to realise that it was not the pollution, dense traffic or my own painful cycling skills that would best me – it was my own impossible expectations of cleanliness.

Discovering this mental sickness, I invested in my health and well-being.
I bought a Robot Vacuum.

We named him Mushy.

I figured Mushy would make life more convenient for the house-proud working woman that I am. So, over the weekend, I delegated my sweeping duties to his adorable little spinning brushes. And instead of making tea or writing or drawing or doing the laundry or washing the dishes or performing any of a number of repetitive tasks that you tend to leave to the weekend, I sat in froggy pose on the sofa and watched him zoom.

This might seem innocent enough but as any person who values cleanliness above friendship will tell you – the micro-manager within always emerges. I unleashed my arsenal of disappointed sighs, pointed looks and manic jumping up and down pointing. But I soon realised that that this wouldn’t work on Mushy. He had no grasp of the subtlety of my body language…


But doing something about it would mean I was once again sweeping up, not the robot. So the purchase of the robot would become meaningless frivolity. It’s not my laziness that prevented it but rather consumer pride. So I could intervene and have a clean house, but my honour would cease to be.

So I waited.

And then I saw the remote.

So hang on… if I press this he goes there… and then if I do this – oh! he spins!!

You might think that my health and well-being are not being improved upon in the slightest. That I am still wasting my time doing all the cleaning. That I am micro-managing a robot specifically designed for this task, and only this task.

Shut up.

This is working!

Are you clean? Wait, why not?

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