I was in my favourite place yesterday morning- my bed, just waking up slowly and lazily, when I heard noises outside. Bang!- went my front gate. Brrrrroom!-rolled the wheels on my bin. The bin men were here. And everything inside me jerked from relaxed and sleepy straight into stressed and annoyed.
I forgot about the ***** recycling day. Again!
Not only it is frustrating that after 4 years of living in this house, I still manage to forget about the bin Wednesdays; I am also painfully aware that allowing myself to get upset about bins is pathetic. It probably is a sign of a suburban midlife crisis for a woman.
I appreciate how this must sound. But recycling is my Enemy No 1 in this country.
We are given three little boxes. One of them is black and the other two are green. Each has a label with what has to be included in that particular box. (The label is a brief description only, please refer to the complete listing to check what is acceptable in each box.)
Box 1:- Newspapers, cards and other papers (but no envelopes or cardboard!)
Box 2- Plastic food bottles and cans only
Box 3- Glass bottles only.
In addition to the three little boxes, we have one large brown wheelie bin, which is for our food and garden waste. It took me over a year to memorize what goes where, and another year to ensure I get the right boxes ready each week. Because they take turns, of course. One week it is the large brown bin, and next week- the three little boxes.
Lying in bed, thinking about the bins, I suddenly remembered there was someone else in this house who could be blamed for missing the bin Wednesday. I turned my head to glance at my husband. His face looked peaceful. He was deeply asleep, unconcerned about the bins, probably dreaming of his marketing strategies.
And I thought:
Why can’t I think more like a man? When it comes to some other aspects of life, I actually do. But not when it comes to bin days, recycling and paperwork.
Because, paperwork in this country is my
Enemy No 2
I think it is ironic that the country so obsessed with being green produces such enormous amount of pointless paperwork. When I think of post back home, I go back to my teenage years when receiving mail was an enjoyable experience. It was all about newspapers that smelled of fresh print, glossy magazines and letters. Every morning I would rush down the stone steps to the 1st floor, where rows of old metal post boxes were lined up on the wall. My heart beating with excitement, I would peek through the little holes on the box with our flat number, hoping to see something inside. I would poke at it through the hole, trying to guess what it was, and only then take the padlock of the door to retrieve my treasure. The special days when I received a couple of letters from my pen pals, as well as one of my favourite magazines would feel like Christmas.
And now, post is my nightmare. I feel they are trying to bury us alive with bills, notices, letters from charities asking for more money or from politicians- asking for our votes, bank statements, marketing ploys and tax notices. There is no end.
Husband is coping with his lot by ignoring it as long as he can. The pile is dangerously approaching the ceiling, and I face the choice of either nagging him or ignoring it myself, only hiding it in the cupboard when visitors arrive.
But, after 9 year of marriage, I am beginning to realize nagging would not help. Husbands are funny animals. They seem to have different thresholds of tolerance when it comes to dust, recycling and paperwork. Please do not tell me yours is any different. It would be like telling me you have sex 4 times a week after 10 years of marriage. Come on, who are you kidding?
Next time, I am marrying a woman.