Chaos to Cosmos
The path from chaos to cosmos was discovered by telling one's life story

Sunday, 28 February 2010

A load of old rubbish

Because I've been replacing stuff and buying new items since I got to the UK - some are to try to make life a bit easier dealing with the fibro, etc., others are because I had almost no clothes after 16 years, the last decade of which I had very little money and, as I'd lost all my good clothes to the various floods and damp in the ramshackle house I was renting - I'm now starting to clear out my old junk. Starting: I did a bit - enough to make a mess - last Saturday, but I just cant stand long enough. Then I twisted my ankle and could barely hobble for days ... it's gonna take ages.

Anyway, I put charity shop stuff in a clear (recycling) bag, because I need to be able to see what I've put where, since this is going to take so long and because I have fibromyalgia. You know, fibro fog. I therefore need to make this as easy for myself as I can. Mother will get this to sort into stuff to sell in the charity shop (where she works) and what's not good enough to go to the rag and bone man. It doesn't have to leave the house, or even my room, in that bag. No, that was wrong: she wanted it put in a black sack now. I refused. I explained, but her blank expression was as if she couldn't hear, as it wasn't what she wanted. Never mind that this was for my needs. Those never count for anything.

Then I had put proper rubbish in the bin, as you do. And this included snotty tissues and used sanitary items. She began to rifle through this for paper that could go in the recycling (there was one envelope - didn't seem worth it), because she says she's "trying to cut down the amount of rubbish we throw out." She claims we're only allowed to throw out one black sack of rubbish and says that the council are about to change to fortnightly collections, making it worse.

She was getting really worked up and sounded panicky about it. From the tone, however, I was sure she'd just made that up. (There may be other reasons why she wants to rifle through my trash: she's been doing it ever since I got here.) Anyway, every week she seems to spend more and more time faffing about rubbish. Her worry defies logic and has become totally ridiculous.

Of course, I could leave her to think whatever she likes, but the point is that she gives me earache with loads of totally invented rules about what I can and can't throw out and, when and where, that even just the stress of listening to it is beginning to impact. Naturally, I'm not about to start doing things that are not needed, but if I don't, I get another load of earache, so unless I want these arguments to continue, I have to do something to put an end to them.

Worries over the quantity of rubbish are not new and I've tried to tell her time and time again that compared to average consumers, we buy and throw out practically nothing in this house. Much of the food we buy is fresh, we avoid packaging and bags wherever possible and, there are only two of us. I'd told her to think it through: what do people with 4, or 6 or more in the family, for instance, do? They are bound to make much more rubbish than us. Bleedin' obvious, init? But no, it doesn't matter how many times I say this, she chooses to ignore what I say.

So I thought I'd ring the council for a clarification on these points. Then I thought, no I won't, I'll email them, then I'll have a reply in writing that I can print off and give to her. Of course, the council confirm that they have no plans at all to swap to fortnightly collections and, they say that we can put out as many black sacks as we like. So I printed both the email and reply and handed it to her!

"Well, now that I know, officially," she replies, hoity-toity.

The email said exactly what I'd already said to her over and over. Is she never going to believe a word I say? (Rhetorical question!) She says you used to be only able to put out one bag: that she'd had a letter about it "years ago". I won't waste my time asking the council, I'm sure that's not true. Then she thanked me for doing it, because, she then says, "it was two or three of the women on the bus" who were spreading the false information. Wasn't her, of course!