One of the first subjects I wrote about on this blog was anthropology.
I asked you to consider what social scientists would learn about you if they happened upon your magazine rack.
Now and again we have a chance to learn about each other, as households of humans, through our recycling bins.
We know quite a bit about our neighbors—their dietary habits and how they spend their weekends—on recycling day. They also get a glimpse into who we are, that is, unless we’ve mastered the art of burying clues, as I do when necessity dictates.
Doesn’t every family stash its Little Debbie cartons or otherwise-telling proof of vice beneath the Kashi Go Lean?
What do we know about people based on what’s on their curb?
A bin brimming with dead PBR soldiers might reveal a group house of twenty-somethings, while a heavier load of Shiraz bottles and brie rinds is a sure sign of a girls’ weekend.
Walking down my street, you’d envision from this curbside container an adoring aunt who spoils her visiting nephews:
You’d also know that neighbors aren’t rushing to party with the empty nesters who left this blue bin behind.
Quick, take a look, what’s in your trash tub? Do tell: What’s buried beneath those Evian empties?
There’s a lot of activity in our house. I’m up early this morning to post a few words and power up for the holiday.
My brother and his family are visiting from Utah and are staying with us. My nephew’s marching band will be in America’s 2011 Independence Day Parade today in Washington, so his parents and brothers are here for the festivities. The family hasn’t been here since the eve of the millennium more than 11 years ago, and our son doesn’t get to see his cousins often; this is a special visit for all of us.
There are seven humans and two cats in a house normally occupied by two, plus various and sundry others dropping in, so we’re operating at a heightened state of energy. The glorious sounds of giggles, piano music, video games, pets being chased and balls being thrown waft through the air. I can never hear “Hey, Aunt Monica, …” enough times.
Because we are one person over bed capacity, our son sleeps on a cot in the living room. This has turned out to be the most coveted space, a place to lie down in the middle of it all. I took a serious nap there yesterday.
Our recycling bin is brimming with empty orange and grape Fanta cans, evidence of the fuel that has thus far powered our holiday weekend.
Well, that pretty much sets the stage. We’ll be leaving for the parade in a few minutes, implementing the complex transportation plan we’ve created for moving about the city today. I haven’t been to the National Mall for the Fourth of July in about 30 years. I’m excited about sharing my native capital city with visiting loved ones on this day set aside for celebrating the birth of our country. If I’m lucky there’ll be stories to tell, though those may need to wait until I have more time to write.
God bless America and pass the Fanta.