The things that surround me

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Monday night the boyfriend left me an urgent message.

“Did you pick up your recycling can?  Remember we talked about how you have to pick it up today or else someone else may grab it? And you really need that can. ” he said with some passion

Listening to his message, I rolled my eyes slightly.  He can be so dad-like sometimes that I have no choice but to rebel.

The thing about the recycling can was, to me, a minor inconvenience. But to the boyfriend, who is only at my house on the weekends, it was a major deal.  I have this tendency, you see, to forget to fetch my garbage and recycling cans from the curb after pick-up day.  Now, if mine were the only ones out there, it shouldn’t be a problem. But, I share my driveway with an apartment building, so when it comes to garbage day, my cans are down at the curb along with all of theirs and it’s easy for them to get mixed up, despite being marked with our addresses.

I have many excuses for not picking up my cans in when I get home from work:  perhaps I have to pee something fierce; or I’m tired and my feet hurt; or I have groceries; or something I want to watch on TV is about to start; or it’s cold; or, I just plain ol’ don’t wanna walk the 50 yards or so down to the street.  So, what eventually happens is that my can(s) disappear into the apartment building’s garage where they end up getting used by other people. Then on the weekend, the boyfriend goes and fetches the half-full cans from their garage and lugs them back to my place.

But, last week, my can was nowhere to be found.  I shrugged it off, figuring we could live another week without since I don’t generate much trash or recycling.  But, the boyfriend?  He was on the case.

BF (the Boyfriend): You need to call Ronaldo (the owner/manager of the apartment building) to find out where your can is.
LB (Lazy Buddhist): OK. I will.

10 minutes later

BF: Did you call Ronaldo?
LB: Not yet.
BF: When are you going to call Ronaldo?
LB: Soon.
BF: OK, but you really need to call him. You can’t be without a recycling can.

10 minutes later

BF: Did you call Ronaldo?
LB: Did you hear me call Ronaldo? (voice dripping with sarcasm)
BF: Why not? You really need to get that taken care of.
LB: Can I finish this chapter, pleeeeeeeeeeeease?

7 minutes later

LB looks for her bookmark as she starts to close her book
BF: Are you going to call Ronaldo now?
LB: Yes (heaving a sigh of exasperation), but let me find my bookmark first.

LB closes her book and then calls Ronaldo and leaves a message on his voicemail

30 minutes later

BF: Has Ronaldo called you back yet?

You get the point.

But, he’s like that, the boyfriend.  He can get completely single focused on something that bothers me not a whit. He’ll bug me incessantly about fetching my trashcan, or buying batteries for my flashlight, or Drano for a slightly slow sink. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ll get around to it” is my attitude.

I know he means well.  I think he figures that by paying attention to all the things that surround me, that he is taking care of me.   The total care of another person can be an almost impossible task.  Humans in general can be so moody and hard to please.  And who knows what the hell the opposite sex is thinking?  But, making sure all their stuff is in functioning order? That can be managed. Flashlights can be made bright with some new batteries, and sinks can be made to flow like new with just one bottle of Drano.  But, lifting your partner’s despair or finding them a direction in life?  Not so easy.

So, I’ll choose to see his obsessions with all my stuff being in  its proper place and in working order as his way of showing his love to me.   It’s kind of sweet, really.  Annoying, but sweet.

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10 responses »

  1. Timely post as I am having a very hard time biting my tongue over Marcus doing the very same thing this week! First, he over stuffed my trash can the night before pick up with some palm fronds which I had cut down and LEFT in the side yard ON PURPOSE because I saw the ca was full and knew I needed to take out one more bag from the kitchen which is way more important that palm fronds due to the potential odor ya know? I head out there with the bag and go to open the can only to scrape my arms on the edge of the fronds sticking OUT! Aaargh!!!!!!!
    Then this morning I notice that my little pile of compost heap items (eggs shells, orange rinds and a stale piece of bread for the birds) is gone! it’s been pouring rain so I’ve been gathering them in a corner of the kitchen counter until it eases enough for me to put out. This morning – in the trash! I dig them out all the time mumbling under my breath “I do these things for a REASON dammit!” and then reminding myself that, as you say, he means well. So I’ll just remind him that I’ve started this compost plan and not comment on the digging through the trash part.
    Sigh…

  2. Choosing to see this as valuable care of you, rather than just seeing the annoyance of it being the opposite of your own attitude to the same stuff is enlightened and sensible.

    If I ever have a boyfriend again, I will try to remember this! 😉

  3. Its been a while since I sat down and actually spent some time with by blog, and in turn, some time with those other blogs I enjoy the most.

    Thanks for providing a little reason to smile.

  4. You’re wise to look at it as a sweet kind of thing.

    BTW, I used to live in a city in southern California where they fined us if the can was out more than 12 hours before pickup and more than 18 hours after pick up. You learn real fast to get those cans off the street!

  5. Jenna – Welcome and thank you! Yes, the can was indeed located, just as I predicted the next time the cans were taken out. This time I made a point of actually fetching my can on Monday night. The bf was highly relieved to know I once again had a recycling can.

    Christina – It’s annoying, isn’t it, that other people do not do the same things the same way we do! But, what is the deal with the palm fronds in the garbage can anyway? Don’t you have a green garbage can for yard waste and compost?

    woo – Can I use that – “enlightened and sensible” – next time we get into an argument over something silly?

    BBG – And that’s why I try not to make lists of his less than good qualities.

    Corina – This is Richmond, one of the top 10 most violent cities in the US. I think our police have much more pressing things to worry about than cans on the curb.

  6. Maybe it’s my gender. Maybe it’s our role. I’m with the BF, here. We simply can’t help ourselves.

    Think of the recycling as our contribution to a healthy ecosystem, which also supports all these *pets* we keep, too.

    Did Renaldo call you yet?
    Have you heard from Renaldo?
    Do you have you recycling bin yet?

    Ok, I’ll stop. *smile*

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