If he sees me eyeing a fantastic piece of furniture put out for the garbage man he will hit the gas. Husband never goes above the speed limit. Seniors are giving him the finger and passing him by. But see a perfectly good wooden dresser set out on garbage night and all of the sudden he’s a gearjammer. “It’s shabby chic” I yell “I could sell that for a fortune on ebay”.
But throw away a pair of nasty old tube sucks and it’s dumpster diving night. Cause he could, “Use that sock to unscrew a hot radiator cap”. During a nesting phase in my pregnancy I cleaned out the man’s closet. I had a stack of 20 stained and hole filled “painting tee-shirts” that I had to smuggle over to my neighbor’s garbage can for fear of their unearthing. A week later he’s still shaking his head and muttering that he knows he has more tee shirts, where did all of his tee shirts go.
God forbid anything goes missing in the house as it’s immediately assumed I’ve thrown it away. “Where is the remote, did you throw it away? We need the remote you know.” Our son asked husband where one of his toys was and his response was, “Your mommy probably threw it away.” Days later my son is afraid to put down his toy to go to the bathroom, “Don’t throw it away, I’ll be right back!” “Did you throw it away? Don’t throw it away”, he yells from the can.
The most recent trash adventure commenced after I had gone grocery shopping. Husband picked up the trash bag to carry it outside and exclaimed, “What!” Lifting the bag up and down with one hand, he tested the heft of the Hefty. “Did you throw away EVERYTHING in the fridge? What’s in here”? He then begins to open up the TIED garbage bag and rifle through the contents. “What’s this then”, husband yells triumphantly. He’s pulling out a squeeze bottle of light mayonnaise. The top has long since broken off and there is actual mayo scab around the hole. “I could have made, “ he weighs the heft of the bottle in his hand, “at least two more sandwiches out of this.’ He then looks at me scornfully. I pull out a loaf of bread and slam it on the counter. “By all means, let’s make some sandwiches.”
The next week I was sorting laundry and brazenly tossing pit stained undershirts into the laundry room trash. A few days later, I’m hugging husband and notice that his pits smell a little ripe. I whip up his button down shirt and yes there it is. The pit stained undershirts were rescued from the laundry room trash. When those shirts came out of the dryer on the next round I uncapped my Sharpie and wrote, “I am a stinking garbage picker”, “Got trash? I’ll pick it!” all over the front and back of his tees. I then folded them up and put them away for him. Worked like a charm. Never saw the shirts again.
This technique has since been utilized on towels. Husband doesn’t understand the towel segregation I attempt to enforce in our home. The blue towels with the ribbing are old and crusty and can be used to clean up dog pee, overturned milk gallons and so forth. The white towels with the banding are the nice ones I just bought with my 20% off coupon at Linen and Things and are to be used and enjoyed post wash. It’s a simple isolation really.
So when I saw the towels with the banding soaking up the doody water my son had created after dropping his Rescue Heroes into the toilet I sucked air inward. Now we had crap soup all over our bathroom floor, quickly being soaked up by the new, white, towels. “Relax.” husband drawled. I’ll wash them with hot water. Hot water? All the bleach in the free world isn’t going to convince me to wipe my face with those towels.
Out came the Sharpie, “I’m a loaf towel. I have been used to clean up fecal matter.” “I wiped up anal butter.” and “Fecal Friendly!” Washed, folded and retired them to the rag pile. This way I’ll know for sure if one of those babies re-circulates.
Bad news is my son’s going to be able to read in a few years. He can already identify letters of the alphabet. I’m going to have to find another way to deter the Glad bag thief. Till then, I’ll always have a Sharpie in my back pocket.