Anyone who has been reading my articles lately must think that I am obsessed with trash. Not talking trash, rather the actual garbage that one produces on a daily basis. Americans produce on average 40 pounds of garbage per week. We are no exception to this statistic in our household and if left unattended for more than one week, critters crawl out from wherever critters lurk to feast upon our rotting waste. It ain’t pretty, folks.
Since my husband and I are fortunate to enjoy weekly garbage pickup, this appointment has remained the same for the past eleven years that we have enjoyed home ownership. Garbage pickup is Wednesday morning, every week, at 7:00 am-sharp. You can set your watch by it and they are always on time.
I’ve never given much thought to it as my dutiful husband always “takes out the trash”, usually on Tuesday evening before retiring. Done deal. Until this week past, when he was out of town and the “appointment” slipped over to my agenda which was already overflowing with vet appointments, doctor appointments, job interviews, etc. Need I say more? The garbage was the last thing on my mind until I heard the truck driving away down the road. I had missed the appointment.
Realizing that it may not seem like a big deal to most of you, please understand that it was just one more thing pushing me over the proverbial brink of insanity, trying to manage a two-person household while flying solo. I also realize that many of you fly solo all of the time. You have my highest regards and my deepest sympathies. How do you do it?
Wiping tears, I clutched the telephone and dialed the municipality in charge of the garbage. A woman answered, “Sanitation Department.”
Breathless, I blurted everything out in run-on sentences without pausing to inhale,
“The men came already and I forgot to put out the garbage pail because my husband usually does it and he’s out of town and now I have an overflowing can of trash and it smells and my husband is going to be so upset when he comes home and….”
She didn’t let me finish, “I will send them back, Miss”
What? “But, they left and I…”
“No problem, I’ll tell them to go back to your home. Address?”
This was too easy. Could you really miss the garbage men and just call for assistance? And, they return? Wow, imagine that. Had my husband ever missed the appointment before and called them? I wonder.
I went outside with the few dollars I had in my wallet to wait for the men. It started to rain. Then, it began to pour. I ran under the awning and waited. Sure enough, the truck came slowly down the road and they stopped to empty my (very) smelly can. I ran out to meet them and handed them the dollars. “It’s all I have.” They smiled and left.
Some days are better than others.