Just Trash

Could someone please explain to me this apparent fascination that men have with garbage?

No, really, I mean it.

To me, trash is, well, trash. You either toss it, or recycle it, and you keep the bins which are used for such activities in a convenient place that is easily accessible, yet relatively hidden.

Not so with most of the men I know.

My stepfather, for example, spent innumerable hours diddling with disposables. It wasn't enough to to basic sorting; instead, he had to separate out any paper that could be shredded for the earthworm farm and turned into fertilizer, a noble plan from an ecological standpoint, I suppose, but not very efficient. Then there were the things he refused to throw away or recycle – glass jars and empty plastic vitamin bottles. I always knew when his allotted storage space had been exceeded and my mother had been yelling at him, because we'd get a package of miscellaneous stuff – kitchen gadgets, a favorite piece of household decor – with those empty plastic containers wedged in as packing material.

My husband also goes through trash-related theatrics. To anyone else, emptying the garbage once a week is no big deal, and takes a grand total of perhaps ten minutes (including controlling wayward dogs). To him, it's a lavish production, and involves clomping through the house, warning me that he's collecting stuff, grumbling that leaving a note on the extra bags saying “please take extra bag” will do nothing, despite my repeated assurances that the garbage collector's brochure specifically instructs you to do just that, and then muttering about how much more convenient this would be if I let him keep the cans at the front of the house. Then, of course, he refuses to participate in any other household projects for the rest of the evening, because “I did the Garbage.”

He'll claim, of course, that he isn't obsessed with garbage, but he's already proven that he is. How? Well, yesterday, as we were getting into the car to get our morning coffee, he informed me, “Someone took all the cans out of our recycling.”

I ask you: would anyone who wasn't obsessed even take the time to LOOK?

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Just Trash by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.