Friday, April 7, 2006

Personal Space

My older sister married into a strange family. One with a sister in law who thought it was okay to borrow other people's panties. They were both visiting the grandmother, and my sister's sister-in-law woke up early to dress. When my sister woke up, she informed her that she had a load of laundry going because she was out of clean underwear, then breezily indicated that she'd borrowed a pair for the day.

My sister immediately informed her that she could keep them, and the vacation was cut rather short after that. So was the marriage, but for an unrelated reason. Mostly.

I know how my sister feels. There are some things you just don't borrow. Of course, you can probably guess that I am referring to my recycling bin.

Didn't see that coming? I hope you're not one of those people who sashays out to the curb and picks up whichever recycling bin happens to be nearest your trash can. This is not the way it works.

We live in a townhouse community, so on trash day, all the trash cans and recycling bins are huddled together at the curb like school kids waiting for the bus. As we all get home, we grab our cans and bins and generally, everything is fine.

Lately, however, the group of girls renting the house next door to ours have decided to pick up whichever recycling bin is cleanest. Which is never theirs, because they leave theirs outside. And which is generally ours, because we keep ours inside, wash it regularly, and recycle properly (is there any reason to toss in a dirty can? Did your mother teach you nothing?).

This is unfair. I should not have to look at a crusted over recycling bin for seven days simply because they have decided that their used cans of pork and beans aren't worthy of living in the house. They need to work it out with their recycling items, and with their bin, and, apparently, with their garden hose and some Ajax.

Wednesday evening my husband tried to be neighborly and accept the last remaining bin. I glared at him. I established facts. Was that a filthy bin? Yes. Is our bin filthy? No. Does that bin have our address on it? No. Does the bin next door have our address on it? Yes.

I sent him into enemy territory to retrieve the bin. They had already adulterated it with a bottle of Dannon water. The bin may need counseling.

I don't think I'm being unfair. You don't get to abuse your belongings and then just switch. That smacks of Corporate CEO Marries Trophy Bride and is wrong in all situations.

When we move, I am going to get a brand new recycling bin from my brand new county. Even though we won't be in a townhouse, I am considering outfitting it with alarms. At the very least, I will be printing our house number on it in ten inch characters. I am hoping our new community has a better sense of how these things work.

And as for the couple buying our present house: be warned.

There are enemies among us, and they want your recycling bin.

1 comment:

Ekota (kgiff) said...

I swear you need your own Dave Barry like column in the back of a magazine. Your writing is a joy to read!