Monday, June 19, 2017

So I dunno

I tend to see symbolism in things where it doesn't actually exist, but that's kind of my way of relating to the world.

Today is trash pick-up day in my neighborhood. I had my cart out - they usually come through before I come in to the office these days. I did my workout and got dressed and was getting ready to come over here, and I decided to drag my cart back up to the back of the house.

And I noticed some stray trash. A run-over Dr. Pepper can at the base of my drive. (Some people apparently don't use trash bags, and if there's a wind at all when they're dumping the cart, stuff gets blown out of it). I picked it up and dropped it in the empty can. (I know, I know, recycling, but I don't use aluminum cans and it would mean hanging on to a filthy can until I had time to drop it off somewhere).

And then I noticed a take-out food box in my neighbor's yard. And I sighed.

And at first, I thought, "It's not in my yard. It's their responsibility. Getting it would mean walking up there and getting my feet wet" (It rained here last night, and I am wearing sandals - barefoot*)

(*I'm wearing a skirt because it's hot but elected for no hose today because it's hot. I normally wear them even when it's warm because I get hives super easily and that tiny barrier of fabric seems to prevent some contact between allergens and my legs. But I also wear them because of something that is kind of this big secret a lot of women experience, and because "fat" is seen as "unattractive" and probably "you deserve any unpleasantness you experience" you don't hear a lot about it but - it's sometimes known by the not-lovely term, "chub-rub." Where your thighs come into contact when you walk and the skin gets irritated. And if you're prone to hives like I am, it's just that much worse. I do have a substance - it's sold to runners to prevent chafing - called "Body Glide" that goes on like antiperspirant and supposedly prevents the issue, but it's not 100%).

Anyway. I looked at it. And then I thought about my neighbors' weird schedules (I rarely see them during the day; they seem to leave for work v. early in the morning or v. late in the evening) and thought, "It could be days before that gets picked up."

So I picked it up. It was kind of gross, because I didn't realize (it was flipped over) there was a piece of wax paper in it smeared with what was probably hot sauce. But I picked it up and dropped it in the trash. And yeah, my feet got wet and I probably got pollen on my feet and I will probably pay for it with itchiness later.

And I don't know. It did seem symbolic to me, in a way: doing a tiny thing that fixed a problem that maybe someone else would eventually fix but maybe not, that led to me putting myself out a little bit, and no one will notice, and anyway, there's far worse litter elsewhere in town.

It does feel like whatever good I can's like one drop of rosewater in a sea of the smell of rotting cabbages. I do it, because it's how I was raised, but increasingly, I feel like it's utterly useless.

Also, I don't know. I never know what is my responsibility and what is not. If I hate litter and want my neighborhood to look nice, is it my responsibility to pick up trash from my neighbor's lawns? I mean, if I knew I had that cranky person neighbor who yelled at me for going on their lawn I wouldn't - but if my neighbors were even home, they were probably asleep, given their late work schedules, so.

And I do think this is one of my problems: I make things my responsibility that probably shouldn't be. The downsides to that are that I feel taken for granted a lot because I am not the sort of person to do stuff, like, say, cleaning something up at church and then go around and telling everyone I'm the one who did it because it annoys me when people do that, where they do some little thing and then can't let anyone else forget that they did. And the other downside is if I DON'T do it at some point, it sometimes winds up un-done, and then people gripe about "it didn't get done" and I feel vaguely guilty, even if it was that circumstances prevented me.

(One of the men in my Sunday school class talks about how a problem in our society is "Let 'George' do it" with the side observation that I often seem to be 'George.' He's probably right, but I'm the kind of person who can't see something that needs to be fixed or put away or cleaned up or whatever where I could do it, and NOT do it, because of how I was raised). 

It's cooler today but still humid. I got within 9 minutes of being done with my 45 minute workout, and my body was just like "nope." I stopped for a bit and rested and then did the rest but it makes me sad because not very many years ago I was able to do an hour much of the time without too much difficulty. It does seem since I went on the beta blocker my stamina has dropped, but I don't know if that's it or if it's just age.

1 comment:

Diann Lippman said...

Regarding chub rub and general sweaty unpleasantness when it's hot! I have, for many years (since I weighed 92 pounds and had thighs that couldn't possible rub, and that has been a while) worn pettipants with sundresses in the summer. You can still get cotton (or nylon - I wear those instead of a slip year round) pettipants from Vermont Country Store catalog. Love them! My older pairs are at least 10 or 15 years old, and I bought new ones last fall since the old ones were getting a little ratty.

Just a thought!