Sunday, May 31, 2009

Trash Picking Skills Come in Handy

One point of contention I have with the husband is his voracious trash picking habit. While I sometimes admire the fruits of his labor, more often than not I am unhappy to have more crap in our house, especially when it is crap someone else threw away. Admittedly we have gotten some good books, cds, furniture, scrap wood, picture frames and other useful items from his keen eyed view of the trash, but as a general rule I don't like the concept.

Today, however, I change my tune.

We spent this weekend rearranging the desk configuration due to a duality of events - the arrival of a new printer that didn't quite fit the same as the old, and the demise of a beloved shelf that fell in the middle of the night, smashing some fragile objects and scattering the rest around the room. It was a mess.

After gazing longingly into the box where we put all the stuff from the shelf, we decided not to hang a new shelf and instead make space for a painting, also saving the future strife of picking up the pieces of another broken shelf.

We scattered the items in the box to other shelves, threw some of them away, and bought a couple of plastic drawers to hold the rest. The result was a complete rearrangement of all the crap that sits around the desk - a lot of tschoschkees, bill paying accoutrement, a wide variety of paper and stationery, paper clips, pushpins, sticky pads, batteries, tape and the like.

Part of this was a stack of empty bubble envelopes, folders, and unused USPS envelopes, the kind that are free for when you use their overnight service which went straight into recycling. Much to my horror, I have just discovered that I also used one of those envelopes to hold the store of postage stamps. Apparently, that envelope got mixed in and thrown away, as it is rent paying time and the envelope of stamps is nowhere to be found.

So now, I anxiously await the return of the husband who is using his keen trashing picking skills to search through the garbage bins to see if he can find the bag of recycling where I think the stamps may have gone. While the financial loss of our packet of Liberty stamps stings, there is a memento in there - some leftover stamps that had the image of our son when he was around 11, a gift from my mom that were so sweet we rarely used them.

We'll see if all this trash picking over the years pays off toward the collective good.

UPDATE: Just as I was about to post this, he arrived back, empty handed. He did find our trash bag with the empty USPS envelopes, but no stamps. I rummaged around again in the drawers and removed all the contents when I saw the corner of an envelope sticking out - the stamps had been stuck underneath the drawer, hiding. False alarm. Thankfully, the husband did not come home with any new treasures from the garbage.

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