I have this weird relationship with garbage men. Is that the P.C. job title? Perhaps now it’s sanitation consultants. Or maybe, “those guys who are taking away my trash but hey, wait, did my lame super throw the recycles in there too?” But honestly, that’s really too long for a job title.
So I’ll go ahead and call them garbage men. I’ve always been a bit obsessed with trash. As a child, I was on major litter patrol. It was a one kid mission to beautify America. At age 12, I traveled to Singapore with my mom and just marveled as the clean, polished streets. I think the government there has to resort to whipping and other forms of torture to make this happen, but really, you should see those sidewalks. When you accidentally drop food on the ground there, it’s not a five second rule. It’s like a 3 day rule.
I’ve never really been able to conceptualize where our trash goes. We all produce so much of it, everyday. So I feel enormously grateful that these men come along and pick it all up and take it away to that magical landfill place. But I’ll admit that a garbage man is not the sexiest of professions. It’s hard to ride around in a big, stinky truck all day and be some kind of hot, chick magnet.
Because of this – I try to make an extra effort to look garbage men in the eye and smile when I’m face to face with them. I usually run into them every morning, while waiting at a light with my stroller. But I’m beginning to notice my friendliness is perhaps being misconstrued as something more. I smile at these guys, and sometimes, they grin back a little too broadly. And they seem to do some showing off, as they heave the trash can over their shoulder, with muscles tightening, and dump the contents into the back of the grimy truck.
Is this the creative imagination of a married, 30-something woman with two kids, who is admittedly obsessed with trash collection and clean streets? Possibly. But in the end, there’s really nothing wrong with a little flirtation with your local garbage collector – especially if he has a poochy belly, a mustache and a tight stained t-shirt. That guy is my favorite. And how about the guys who pick up the recycling? Ooh yes. Cardboard and cans. Now that’s sexy.
mama bird notes