The story of how one mum’s lirtation with small domestic appliances turned into low-level addiction.
Amanda Blair goes gaga for a gadget
At a dinner party, the host made an offer. She said it looked like I needed some time alone with “her machine” and offered to take me to her bedroom straight away. Initially I was quite taken aback – I mean, was it that obvious? Was I that bad? Assuringly she told me her husband loved the machine too and often he’d go at it before work. She warned me, “Once you start you can’t stop.” It sounded too good to be true. I put down my bikkie and cheese and followed her into the bedroom.
She opened her top drawer and pulled it out. With the ick of her nger it was on and humming furiously. Walking towards me she giggled, knowing I was about to reach the peak of happiness. She started rubbing the machine over me … backwards and forwards and in a circular motion. Up and over my shoulders, down my back, across my front, down my arms. I squealed with delight and wonder, as I’d never seen anything like it before. I didn’t want it to stop but after ve minutes or so she said I was done and turned me towards the mirror so I could have a look. I couldn’t believe it – my jumper looked completely brand new. The batteryoperated pilling machine had worked a treat and my woollies went “wow”.
You may think I’m a little (no, a lot) weird for being so delighted by this machine and its miraculous power of renewal, but there is nothing more disappointing than buying a new, smart-looking jumper, wearing it a couple of times then having it bobble so badly it appears you’ve repeatedly rolled on a giant velcro mat for six days. Actually, there are more disappointing things – I’m being histrionic. Not having sex with Brad Pitt is more disappointing; not being swimsuit ready ONCE in my entire life is naturally disappointing. Not being recognised for my potential and hidden reserves of sophistication and being chosen to marry into European royalty is obviously hugely disappointing, not just for me, but more broadly, for the world. But I digress.
The thought of restored woollens kept me awake almost the entire night – I needed another pill(er) to calm me down. Dropping the kids early at school the next day, I made it to the shops before they opened and paced out the front like a crazed stocktake shopper looking for a cheap whitegood deal. The doors opened and I ran like Cathy Freeman (without the style or speed) to the back of the shop and there it was, framed by those other essential domestic items: a hot melt glue gun and a pair of pinking shears. On occasion of the purchase I’d purposefully worn a pilled jumper and I spent a solid 10 minutes sitting in the carpark of Big W going over myself. It provided me with a satisfaction that is hard to describe, dear readers, but unlike most of my columns, it was deep.
I’m yet to tire of this purchase and it’s been with me a few weeks. I’ve gone over every item containing a natural bre in the house. I’ve done the kids’ jumpers, my next-door neighbours’, my parents-in-law’s, I’ve done my best friend’s and even Eric the dog’s blankets have had a good going over. I’ve even contemplated offering my machine to random strangers at traf c lights just so they, too, can be free of the uff. I told the kids it was all part of my ongoing commitment to community service.
I really am obsessed. The warnings are absolutely true – pilling is addictive.