Monday, November 28, 2011

One Woman's Trash is Another Woman's...Trash

I survived Thanksgiving with my extended family and came out of it with minimal emotional scarring. The last two times I've stayed at my mother's house have been the only two times in the past 45 25 years that I've stayed with her and not wanted to kill her. I don't know if she's mellowing in her old age or if I'm maturing in mine. Either way, we seem to get along better now than we ever have. I love my mother dearly but she can be extremely difficult to get along with.

My sister ratted me out and told Mom that I talk about her on Facebook. Mom told me not to do that anymore and being the obedient daughter that I am I assured her that I would not talk about her on Facebook as soon as I got home. I didn't say that I would never talk about her on Facebook, just that I wouldn't do it right when I got home. And I certainly didn't say that I wouldn't blog about her. I am the evil good child.

Mom's birthday is a few days after Thanksgiving and for her gift she asked me if I would reupholster a small stool that's in her bedroom. It was there when she bought the house for my grandparents 30 years ago and it still had the original orange and brown vinyl covering. I told her I would be glad to cover her stool so went to the fabric store on Black Friday where she picked out the second most hideous Asian brocade in the store.

I borrowed a staple gun and cordless drill from my sister Shamayn then spent maybe 20 minutes stapling the new fabric and batting over the old vinyl. When it was done you would have thought I just presented Mom with a priceless Ming vase. (You have to pronounce that "voz".) She loved her stool and I loved not hearing her nag me about it anymore. Everybody wins.

Since her retirement Mom has been working hard to declutter her house and get rid of a lot of unnecessary junk she's accumulated over the years. Some of the unnecessary junk includes things like non-working refrigerators and a trash compactor left over from the 70s. The fridge was easy, she was ready to get rid of that. But the trash compactor took some persuasion. Fortunately Shamayn handled that. Mom insisted that she needed to keep the trash compactor so she could compact bulky trash. The only problem with that is that she hasn't even opened the thing for at least 15 years. She hangs grocery bags from one of the knobs on the outside of the machine and uses that for her "trash can".

I don't know how Shamayn did it but she finally convinced Mom that the compactor had to go. Not knowing what to do for a trash can, and since she was used to having a grocery sack hanging from an appliance, Mom hung a grocery sack from the handle on her (working) fridge and was quite content with that setup. She always has plenty of extra plastic grocery bags because when she goes to the store she tells the bag boy to pack them light. If he doesn't comply, she will elbow him out of the way and show him that one tube of toothpaste and a Sally Hansen facial waxing kit are enough to fill one bag and no bag should be any fuller than that.

When we got to her house and saw the new trash system, Jayson immediately offered to go buy Mom a nice trash can. She nearly had a hysterical fit and absolutely forbade him to do any such thing. She liked her system, she liked the small bags, she liked to schlep the bags out to the big can under the carport every 15 minutes. And apparently she liked having trash hanging from the door of the fridge where where she keeps her food. Yuck. To maintain the illusion of peace, we let it go.

We weren't able to stay long enough for Mom's birthday but she sent me a text this morning and told me what Shamayn gave her. Shamayn's really good with gifts and holidays and all that. I barely remember to acknowledge a birthday and I rarely produce a gift. Gifts are not my love language so I don't really care if I ever get one or not but unfortunately I tend to forget that not everyone is like that. Plus, Shamayn is just more thoughtful than me.

The first text from Mom was a picture of a very nice trash can sitting where her compactor used to be. I told her I loved it, I like where it's sitting, and it looks like it's small enough so she can still empty it every 15 minutes if she wants to.

Here is our text exchange about the trash can:
MOM: Mayn got me a trash can at Bed & Bath. It's made to hold grocery bags with hooks on the front and back. I told her I didn't want one. Jayson wanted to get me one and I said no. Mayn said I had to have one. That's where she put it and she said I have to use it.
ME: Okay, it's just gross to have your trash hanging on the front of your fridge where you keep your food. Trash belongs in a trash can. Get used to it.
MOM: Well it's small so I can keep it empty. You step on a pad to open it. I don't have to buy bags. I don't have to touch it except to empty it. I don't really have to look at it. I guess it's okay. At least I have my stool.
ME: Go comfort yourself with your stool.
All I can say is thank God for Mayn.


Daisy Profits said...

You are tooo funny! I was actually snorting reading this! It's nice to see that someone else is as sarcastic as I am and has the same sick sense of humor. I came to look at your links from Deryn Mentock's blog but what a treat reading your blog. I was dying laughing. You go girl! Now I'll go look at your links!


Shannon Green said...

So glad you enjoyed it Daisy!!