Always negotiating. With selling off the apartment accoutrement, I negotiate pick-up times and prices. With this damned cat, I negotiate play time and appropriate methods of play (he’s an attention-hungry biter of a 8-month old). With my own time, I negotiate the pitfalls of too much time on my hands (it’s nearly noon and I’ve managed not much but my excuses not to write here and other places) and the demands of my public (I am currently multitasking by writing this drivel here and uploading photos to facebook).
And with my wife, of course, I negotiate. This morning, she was running late for work and I was roped into doing the recycling, a job she does every week in exchange for my taking out the food scraps to the smelly bin. But today, I got the raw end of the deal, for sure. Sure, sure. I got out of kitchen duty (an automatic house wench duty when the other half is working) and even got Nic to agree to food scrap duty when next the need arises. But still, I got the raw end of the deal.
Nick, you may wonder, what in the hell is the big deal? Well, this ain’t your average recycling operation. The bins are enclosed in a rectangular cage (think Ultimate Fighting Championships) in the parking lot; and only once a week (Thursday morning), hundreds of people bare their drinking and eating habits to the world. But, as quick as I want to distance myself from the empty whiskey bottle, wine bottle and cans of beer (hey, it’s the holidays AND Nic forgot to take the recycling out LAST week, so a whole new level to my getting the raw end of the deal), there are the two or three adjummas patrolling the cage; mostly, they just change out bags and bins when they are full. However, since I am big, white and not a frequent visitor to the Ultimate Recycling Rectangle Championships, they eye me warily. “Anio, Anio.” One snaps at me, snatches the yogurt cup out of my hand and throws it in another bin. I put other similar looking things in that bin and she growls at me again and digs in the bin and takes out what I thought I had rightfully placed.
How hard can it be to put plastics in with plastics, bottles in with bottles? There is a veritable smorgasbord of recycling options. Clear plastic, white plastic, colored plastic, hard plastic with no colors, soft plastic with colors, clear bottles, green bottles, brown bottles, plastic bags, paper paper paper. This is part of my monthly bill, paying for recycling, so why don’t the adjummas separate my containers for me? An even more important question: Now that I have my own adjumma, why did I agree to the terms of this negotiation?