Monday, December 28, 2009

Keeping to Tradition (of Forgetting Garbage Day)

This morning my dear husband stood in the middle of the kitchen and excitedly asked, "garbage?"

I, always on the same wavelength as my soul mate, tried to figure out how we could have lost the garbage can.  "It's missing?"  I ask, for an instant thinking he may have never known where it was in the first place (he did need help finding the dishwasher soap the other day).

"Did you take it out?"  he replied (complete with eye roll).  And that is when it hit me that, despite my best efforts, I have forgotten garbage day the week after Christmas AGAIN.  You'd think after I posted this last year, I would have remembered...

The Trouble With Garbage

{posted January 2009}

There is a fast held, unintentional tradition at our home: I will forget garbage day leading up to and winding down from Christmas. I'm not sure why this tradition persists. After the first few years you'd think I would make a more concerted effort to NOT forget. Yet, every year you can find me hitting my forehead with my palm as I see the line of now empty garbage cans lining my street.

The worst part of this tradition is that I am too cheap/lazy/determined to see it through to take the excess garbage to the dump myself. I choose the much less fun option of over stuffing my garbage can every week until all the garbage is gone. During most of the year this can be accomplished by the next week (as long as I don't decide to clean out my fridge/basement/closets that week, I'm sure I'm too smart to accidentally do that more than a few dozen times).

But Christmas provides enough trash for a week all by itself. In fact I have more garbage the entire month of December. Add to that the missed week (or two) leading up to Christmas and there is a lot of build up. One year, I forgot two weeks before and one week after Christmas. Yes, I do hold to this tradition that strongly. I spent three months compressing sacks and filling my can overflowing. If you don't believe me, ask my neighbor, who had to notice the sacks of extra garbage piled on my back porch. I really am that cheap/lazy/determined to see it through. (I do make sure the garbage waiting to go has the paper, packaging remnants, empty food boxes, and other nonrotting type things in it.)

This year I was determined to break with tradition. Until two Mondays before Christmas. As I drove through my neighborhood on the way home from running errands, I couldn't help but notice the blue garbage cans sitting along the curb. In front of all driveways but one. Palm, meet forehead. How did I not notice the cans on my way OUT of the neighborhood? I must have a strongly developed BLIND spot for the sake of tradition.

I went out to the garage for some forgotten reason early the Monday before Christmas. While frowning slightly at the unsightly pile waiting its turn from last week I realized the day. ACK! I almost forgot again. It had snowed all weekend so I ran into the house grabbed my boots and coat and ran the garbage can over the icepacked driveway entrance and out onto the street.

Then the week after Christmas, Monday morning again, my mother-in-law was kind enough to remind me of the big day. Of course, I don't know what led her to believe I'd forgotten. Hmmm. Anyway, she saved the day and my forehead from another slap.

Despite these two saves I'd still missed a week, so now I sit exactly where I am every January, with a pile of garbage sacks waiting their turn to enter the garbage bin. With all the extra company and accompanying trash, I should be trash free by at least February. As long as I don't forget garbage day again. I mean, who would be silly enough to forget garbage day on a regular basis?

Once a month isn't "a regular basis", is it? In fact, while writing this post I realized this isn't so much a Christmas tradition as a monthly tradition in my house. Christmas just makes forgetting garbage day A LOT more annoying. I hold that it is Peter's job to take out the garbage, even though I am the one who has always done it. "Always" not being the most accurate term in this case. But if I can pretend it is his job, then I can pretend it is his fault, right?


  1. I am anxiously counting down to post-Christmas garbage day!

  2. So you should just do what we just did and drive around with sacks of garbage in the back of your car until you find a nice big dumpster in some parking lot...that's not illegal, right? A second option is to just bury it on the might serve as some fun digging next summer.

  3. :) I thought of you and your garbage on Saturday morning as I stuffed the recycle bin full of emptied cardboard boxes . . . guess I should've reminded you

  4. I'm with Andrea, I can't wait for our post-Christmas garbage day! More for the recycling than the garbage.

  5. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA (I can laugh now, my garbage day is not until Wednesday)

  6. We totally forgot to take our garbage out, too! (I'm almost ashamed to say that I thought of your post from last year! haha)
    I guess we are both stuck with our piles. :)

  7. I have forgotten this too. It is horrible when you have boxes, etc that take over for another week. But I like to blame my sons, because when all you have are boys and men around the house shouldn't THEY be the ones to remember the garbage?

  8. Ha! I came pretty close to forgetting this year..because in our house it's Dad's job to take it out to the curb, and he was out of town on garbage day...luckily remembered in the nick of time...which means the garbage man got to laugh at me as I cam flying to the curb in my bathrobe.

  9. Andrea- We were, too, had a momentary lapse in memory that evening and morning.

    emma jo- my neighbors already have us labeled the crazy ones, so it's not like their opinion would change or anything...

    Cire- Yeah, if you think about it that way, it must be YOUR fault we forgot this year!

    Kim- Luckily the cardboard recycle is not too far away, so I can take care of that part of the mess quickly (and by quickly I mean 2 months till I get around to it).

  10. Davis Family- We'll see who laughs tomorrow.

    Jamie- misery loves company, so welcome to the club.

    Kazzy- That has been my argument all along.

    Cami- That happens to me more times than I care to count!

  11. No need to break tradition at this time of life. Eventually garabage will get taken to the great beyond.

  12. Mom- Easier said than done. I just love my garage stuffed full of garbage sacks...