Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Clean Garbage

I've always been an admirer of women. No, it's not just because they have breasts. That would make me a sexist at best and a misogynist at worst. So my admiration is about way more than that. It's about way more than those soft, conical, perky protuberances that drive men wild. Way more. Way...um....

Where was I?

Oh, yeah.

It's not about breasts, and I am not a misogynist. I believe men and women are equal. In fact, I'm convinced that in many ways women are superior. Take the art of logic, for example. Women are logical in ways men can't possibly comprehend. I first learned this from my mother when I was just a young'n.

My mother worked full time midnights as a nurse, and of course in those days husbands did little to no housework, so my father was no help to her when she became ill. It was necessary, they decided, to hire a woman to help my mother with laundry, ironing and some general housecleaning.

The day arrived and I awoke to see my sickly mother furiously racing through the house cleaning everything in sight. The cleaning lady wasn't due for a couple of hours. "Mom," I said, "What are you doing? The cleaning lady's gonna be here soon."

"I don't want her to think we're not a clean family," she said.

Well, I couldn't wrap my head around that one. Neither could my father, apparently. The cleaning lady didn't last out the week.

My ex taught me an important logic lesson too. One day I noticed she washed the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Sensing redundancy, I jumped all over that.

"Why are you washing dishes before you wash them?" I asked her.

"You've got to clean the crud off before you put them in the dishwasher," she said.

It took a while for my mind to form the rebuttal. "Why do they call it a dishwasher rather than a dish rinser, then?"

"Take out the garbage," she said.

Which brings me to the purpose of today's post.

I first got an inkling about female logic, at least as it related to garbage, from my oldest daughter. I'd been invited over to dinner at her very first apartment. After the meal I decided I'd be a nice guy and help her clean up the table. I grabbed the dirty napkins, opened the cupboard under the sink, located the trash container and tossed the napkins inside.

"Not in the clean garbage!" my daughter shrieked.

"Clean garbage?" I asked.

"Yes. I just put on a new trash bag. I want it to stay clean," she said.

"Oh. Then...then where do I put the garbage?"

"In the dirty garbage."

"Wait. Are you telling me you keep two garbages?

"Of course."

"What? You mean you keep one just for display?"

"Take the dirty garbage outside, Dad."


I've learned more about female garbage logic from my girlfriend, Hunny. Our first ever argument was about the garbage disposal. I had the water running, the disposal turned on and I was scraping leftover food from the dinner plates into the swirling water.

"What do you think you're doing?" she said.

"Um...cleaning off the dishes before I put them into the automatic dish rinser."

"No! Don't do that. The food will get caught in the disposal."

"Dear, it's called a garbage disposal. You're supposed to scrape food into it."

"No, no, no, no," she said, clearly frustrated with me. "Just put the dishes on the counter. I'll take care of them later."

Well, I never have to be told to not do something twice, so I set the plates down, popped a cold one and plopped myself in front of the TV where either the Lions or the Pistons--I don't remember which--were losing yet again. You see, I've learned that sometimes it's best we don't try to understand. Sometimes it's best to just go with the flow.

Much time has passed since that day, but in all the time I've known her, Hunny only used the disposal once. Even then all she was doing was cleaning the unit with baking soda and water, although why she needed to clean something she'd never used was beyond me.

Things got worse when we finally got into the real garbage issues. We'd had KFC for dinner and afterward I dumped all the bones into the bucket, popped on the lid and dumped it all into the trash.

"Don't do that," Hunny said. "It'll stink."

"Not for a few days," I said. "And besides, it's supposed to stink. That's why they call it garbage."

"Not in this house," she said. She pulled the container from the garbage and put it in the refrigerator. "It won't stink in there."

Call me silly, but it didn't seem right to me that we should keep our garbage in the refrigerator. Refrigerators were meant to be a cold storage place for beer. I thought everybody knew that. But as time went by I noticed other strange things happening. For example I found a Glad Bag full of banana peels, an empty tuna fish can and three French fries, probably leftovers from some grandspawn's Happy Meal.

I picked up the bag. "Why?" I cried plaintively, thrusting the bag accusingly toward her.


"Put the garbage back in the refrigerator where it belongs," she said.

It was time for me to give up the ghost. So now I've bought into the concepts myself. Women's logic has prevailed.

There's only one thing about female logic that troubles me at the moment--the fact that Hunny just cleaned the toilet. What that means is that I'm not allowed to use it. She's already nixed my using either the kitchen sink or the bathtub. And, you know, a guy can only keep his legs crossed for so long. So, if you've been reading this, please think nice, dry thoughts, and whatever you do, don't let the faucet drip.


  1. I don't understand the women in your life.

    Then again, I'm not very "female", by most standards... (checks boobs. yup, got that much right.)

  2. LOL! I so do many of these, and here I thought it was my OCD. My condo is on the 3rd floor so my garbage isn't taken out every day. The smelly garbage remains in the fridge until I take the 'actual' garbage out.

    And your mother was way ahead of the game. I cleaned up my condo before the cleaning came too. I couldn't possibly let her see the way I 'really' lived. ;)

  3. Poor Puppy. I was just as confused at a friends house. I have 4 recycle bins & a trash can but she had 2 different trash cans & the "smelly" stuff went straight outside. Go pee in the 'frig and store your beer in the clean toilet. Problem solved. :)

  4. It's okay. You can come to my house, where we use our tpilets and let the cleaning lady deal with the mess. The men still take out the trash, though. I'm too wimpy since it really does stink. But the beer in the fridge smells nice and fresh!

  5. L., I don't understand the women in my life either, but it doesn't seem to be a problem as long as I obey them.

    Bea, it doesn't surprise me for a minute that you engage in similar garbage refrigerating. The more of your species I talk to, the more I find who do that.

    Finally, a solution. Thanks, Bug. :D

    If anybody needs me, I'll be at Amy's house. :)

  6. You're not meant to understand, you're only meant to do as you are told - haven't you worked that much out by now?

  7. It's taken years, BW, but I'm finally starting to get the hang of it. :)

  8. My neighbor puts garbage that would make the dumpster stinky in the freezer till the night before the pickup. My hubby is the one who has an aversion to putting potentially stinky garbage in a new bag. What?! The cost about 2 cents each. We can afford a new one every day.


  9. Ah yes, my little Chihuahua friend, I have known people like this. Thankfully, though female, I can proudly say that my garbage is not only dirty, but it probably stinks, too.

  10. Kristine and MM, you point out something I failed to consider. There are women who feel as I do and men who are the first to freeze the garbage. I guess maybe this is more of an anal-retentive thing than a characteristic specific to a particular sex.

    You give me much to ponder.

  11. Ah yes. Wives and garbage. My story is a little different. It involves grocery bags and being green.

    So she goes out and spends nearly a weeks grocery money on new reusable bags. We get home and the complaints fly...they didn't put the cold stuff in the bags with the silver lining...the bread is in with the milk (because there was room)...the eggs are with the potatoes (again, filling the extra space)...the meat dribbled into my bag, why didn't they put it in something? (because you told them to use the reusable bags)...

    BUT! Now instead of using free, rapidly decomposing and recyclable bags for trash--fill'em, tie the convenient handles, toss'em--we pay for long lasting, decomposition resistant plastic trash bags that we have to search for the ever elusive twisties to tie them shut.

    In addition, we now have a recycle can. Okay, I believe in recycling. But now I have to wash the garbage before I throw it away.


    I remember being a boy and visiting my grandmother's farm. I'd help take out the trash...just a can, no bag. It was filled mostly with metal cans that were dumped in the ravine to rust and seep innocently back into the earth. Perishables went straight from the table to the compost pile, veggies and such. Meat scraps went to the dogs...they were happy dogs. Paper products went to the burn barrel. Burning trash was actually fun on snowy night.

    There was no plastic. None to speak of. If it didn't rot, rust or burn it was held in the barn and taken to the landfill twice a year.

    You have to love progress and how it can complicate our daily lives by designing things to be easier.

  12. *hires Jay to write his blog from now on*


  13. But I write garbage. *shrug*


  14. The National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), led by appointed chairwoman Alice Paul, fought for equal rights between men and women in the early 1910s. Their efforts paved the way for women to enjoy equal treatment today. It's good that your daughter knows how to use plastic bags, by the way. Your dialogue with her was hilarious!

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