How a Type "A" person finally copes with minor irritations, this time garbage, in a small town setting.
After living in larger cities most of my life, I felt small town living would be a breeze. Sensing what the fresh open air, the friendly people and Midwest country living would be like, my anticipations were high. This Myers-Briggs ENTJ was ready to "rock and roll" in a smaller setting.
Moving furniture, painting, handiwork, wall hangings and the like are an easy feat. In fact this ENTJ can have the interior of a house done in record time...in no more than two weeks top. This is to the amazement of everyone who expects to view an upheaval for at least six months.
All plastic containers were in their respective storage places and the cardboard boxes which could be broken down flat, were placed on shelves to be utilized for another day's use. But what does one do with the garbage consisting of boxes which one could not break down, packing materials, newspaper and plastic stuffing? To make the matter worse, the furniture company left packing materials and Styrofoam from the furnishings they had delivered.
In looking toward the streets of the neighborhood, there is nary a bin in site, for the garbagemen to pick up. I wondered how the neighbors disposed of their garbage. So I dragged the boxes into the garage hoping I would get an answer by the end of the week. By this time the two car garage is half-filled with boxes and other junk.
At a nearby business, it appeared some businessmen in casual attire were staring at me while I was moving my boxes into the garage. Not one uttered a word, even when I said "Hi!" This delayed garbage situation does not work for someone requiring immediate handling of a problem. This is where a type "A" person can lose it.
Since the city is responsible for all of the utilities, I placed a call to its office, with respect to this garbage dilemma. Apparently I had missed my window of opportunity because when the house was originally purchased, my nephew lived in it until I could move in. I was told that someone should have contacted them then, when moving in nitially. "What!" I exclaimed. "I only moved in two weeks ago. Please just explain to me what I am to do with all my boxes?"
"Well, there are two times a year when we pick up larger items such as washing machines, nmattresses, old television sets and....", the lady behind the desk replied.
As a type "A" person, I could not let her finish. "But, Ma'an, I just need to be rid of boxes. Couldn't I have a special pick-up made? I will pay for it."
She said, "We don't do that Miss; you'll just have to call on another day to give us advanced notice".
She then said, "For now, you'll need to purchase bags, either here at the city offices or downtown".
I thanked her as I hung up the phone and then dialed a relative who, although she lived on a farm, resided in this area all her life. I was determined not to go to the city's utilities building because I was a bit "hot under the collar".
My relative so kindly explained that since they live on a farm, they burn all of their garbage and bury it on the premises. WOW, THE EPA WOULD HAVE FUN WITH THAT, I thought. I was told, however, that there would be only one store in which to secure my bags with certainty, the "grocery store". I thanked her and headed for the store by vehicle.
From the instant I opened the door to the local grocery store, the people within stopped all conversation, as if they were froze within a frame. They stared at me intensely. I smiled at them, and started on my way through the aisles. And, in looking back; their gazes were still fully affixed on me pushing my cart, with one or two muttering something under their breath.
Oh, so much for my anticipation of a friendly town. I was forewarned that most were uppity. Aisle by aisle, I searched for the bags until I could not wait any longer... I walked up to one of the counters and asked the associate politely "Please could you direct me to the city's garbage bags?".
Yes, they are in isle 3 under the mouse poison and shoe polish" stated the associate.
"Oh, thank you so very much", I replied in a syrupy voice.
Then a female approached. She said, "You're the one that bought that house on main?"
I replied, "Yes!"
She then said, "You'd better get a job because that house has to be expensive, especially with the improvements I hear you are putting in".
I smiled and said, "Yes, I will take that under advisement some day". I then, holding the bags, walked toward the door.
Her mouth remained open as I gave her a quick smile upon my exit.
I realized now that I would have to solicit my nephew's assistance for a shopping trip to a nearby larger city, since he owned a pickup truck. I felt garbage bins were a necessary purchase and they; just would not fit in my sports car. And, to add insult to injury relating to my already huge garbage pile, I made major grocery purchases, only to have more wrappers and boxes to discard of, once all the food was placed away.
Finally it was obvious that the day before a garbage pick-up had arrived because I saw neighbors, one by one, taking their plastic bags into the street. I even noted some bins sitting next to the sidewalk and wondered how I could get into that program. And, as I watched them, I wondered why, after all this time without even having a natural curiosity, I had finally stooped to spying on others. It was that perplexing garbage problem that had finally made me insane.
I pulled a sharp kitchen knife from my set and added to my tools, leather gloves and a keyhole saw. I was ready to tackle this problem head on.
I had purchased blue and yellow bags which came in a clear plastic bag. There was no indication as to the number of bags in each. And, with the stares and chilly welcome I had experienced in the store, I certainly would have been embarrassed to inquire further. To my dismay, I found only ten bags in each of the two plastic wrappers.
After sawing and cutting down boxes for at least an hour, the majority of the bags were utilized on smaller items. There was still an entire grouping of large boxes remaining. By this point, I felt as though I was some murderer, slashing and smashing cardboard bodies (boxes) into plastic bags as well as trying to crush the bags with my weight by jumping up and down on them. Now, I was a bit angry.
I awaited the dark of night and box by box and bag by bag, I assembled a huge display of orderly placed boxes and bags next to the street. I could not handle this matter any longer. I never had to stoop this low before. I felt as though I was a criminal and fearful that someone in the neighborhood would see me.
As I awakened the next morning, I breathed a sigh of relief as I noted my large tower of boxes had been removed. I did not care by whom, or the cost to be incurred by me for such removal. Obviously, someone would have to remove these items at some point in order to keep a main street beautiful.
In the following week, I braved entering the city's utilities building. Not only did I purchase more bags, but inquired about the bins I had seen in my neighborhood. I was advised that the bin had to be thirty gallons in size. And, that I would pay an additional eight dollars a month for the sticker, over and above the current fee of fourteen dollars.
I said, "Great!" and was on my way to the hardware store. The 30 gallon bins were on sale at the hardware store, so I was really pleased. Now I could utilize the non-city garbage bags I had on hand.
Two days following the next garbage pickup, I was given a "cease and desist" letter from the city. The garbage bin I had purchased from the hardware store was a thirty-two gallon bin, not a thirty gallon bin. I elected to use my garbage bin no more and each week you will see my garbage neatly double bagged.
My world is finally looking great without garbage, but I still miss the large city garbage bins and a higher degree of communication. Most of all, I miss my office assistant who handled like irritations for me so that I never had to become involved. Garbage can definitely provide humility and insight.
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"What do I do with my Garbage?"
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|Reviewed by Hanley Harding
|I have taken to buying up U.S. Government Surplus weather balloons. I also obtained several bottles of helium (having to lie to the distributor that I was a week-end kid's birthday party clown). I find a fully inflated balloon will handle about twenty-five pounds of garbage, and I enjoy going up to the 25th-level roof of my condo at three A.M. for "launching" to be an exhilirating experience. The city of Miami Lakes, far west of here, is investigating the occasional UFO sighting...