I hate to promote a product when I don’t get it for free, but Sophia and I got her mother, Fanya,  a Roomba for her birthday.  If you don’t know what a Roomba is, it is an automatic vacuuming robot.  You turn it on, it moves all over the room or the house vacuuming, and then it returns to its charging base when done, and even chirps a little "song." 

Last night was the birthday party at Fanya’s apartment for  family members and friends.  Tons of Russian food and drink were consumed, toasts raised, even a video of a famous Russian opera singer was watched.  But it was the Roomba that stole the show.  Most of the guests had never seen such a curious machine.  Actually, I had never seen a Roomba myself.  

When you first turn it on, you expect it to go back and forth in straight lines, vacuuming in an organized manner.  Instead it seems to just go randomly around the room, maneuvering under sofas, bumping into furniture along the way, reading the room and figuring out the lay of the land.  Because the Roomba travels around in such an unpredictable manner, it takes on the qualities of a awkward pet, like a lovable little puppy. 

Last night, as the Roomba roamed around the living room,  everyone started following behind it, as if a Conga line was forming.  The line only dispersed when the Roomba suddenly changed "his" mind and started cleaning in another direction.  Everyone laughed as the Roomba repeatedly knocked against the bedroom door until "he" finally pushed it open and went in to clean inside.  Fanya even started calling the robot from the kitchen, telling it in Russian to "Come over here and clean the kitchen floor."  And you know what — eventually, it did.

Roomba was the life of the party — and he didn’t even touch the vodka.

I’m not the only one in love with a Roomba.   This father uses a Roomba to get his kids to go to sleep.  This blogger even made a movie about his Roomba.

Does the Roomba actually vacuum well?  I have no idea.  But I think I might just get one to keep me company at night.