Usual disclaimer here: I am not a trained therapist, I speak only of the Narc I lived with for 11.5 years, any resemblance to an abusive person in your life is really, really sad, etc. etc. etc.
The Narc has very definite views on waste and garbage, which on the surface are very Green and respectable. My views are similar, so you would think we would be on the same page about this one thing, right? Nope, but you knew that if you’ve been reading here for awhile.
So, basically, we both believe in recycling and re-using whenever possible and throwing as little “away*” as we can. The Narc refuses to pay for garbage service, preferring instead to have three plastic trash cans that he hauls to the dump twice a year in his truck, along with whatever other big stuff needs to be hauled off. He insisted that the load must weigh 400 pounds because there’s a flat fee for up to 400 pounds and he is a tightwad.
On the surface, this all sounds sane and reasonable, right?
When I moved to the Coast into his house four+ years ago, the cans were almost full of his building scrap and whatever else he couldn’t compost or burn. Of course there was packing material that couldn’t be recycled** and assorted odds and ends that moved but should have been tossed and the cans filled all the way up and it was time for a Dump Run.
You would have thought I’d committed some awful crime the way he carried on. First, he insisted that I be the one to load the truck (this would become a theme that ran throughout future Dump Runs and caused many, many arguments) to show that I was responsible. He gave me a long lecture throughout the loading process about how it should be done and how I’d only been there a month and here we were already going to the dump and how it was going to cost him a fortune in dump fees and how irresponsible I was for having so very much to throw away, blah, blah, blah. It was torture.
Once at the transfer station, we weighed and The Rules for Dumping became the topic for the next half hour along with a continuous litany of my sins against the planet with “my” garbage, and on and on.
When we drove up to the window to pay and the trash weighed less than 300 pounds, I got a lecture about “forcing” him to make a trip with so little trash, we were wasting money, blah, blah, blah. I offered to buy another can (he had a freakin’ HUGE flat-bed truck – it could have held a dozen or more garbage cans!) so we would have more weight next time and that earned me a lecture on the Evils of Plastic. All I could do is suck it up and keep my mouth shut until the next Dump Run where it would start all over again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
You may wonder why I remember this event so clearly. I wonder, too. It all came back to me in a rush yesterday as I was cutting veggies and tossing egg shells into the garbage can and I was mad all over again about his Rules about waste of all kinds. I wrote about just one incident in the post called I hate curry.
“Wasting” food was a cardinal sin as far as the Narc was concerned and a constant source of anguish for me. Every vegetable peel, every spoiled whatever earned me a lecture.
He would make a big production of “cleaning out the fridge” in order to lecture me. I had to sit and watch while he took the items out one by one, demanding to know how long it had been in there, forcing me to tell him what it had been intended for, how much it cost, and on and on. I started throwing things out that looked like they were thinking about going bad whenever he was gone for an hour or two, stashing the bags in my car for disposal at work so I didn’t have to listen to him chastise me. Sick, I know, but what could I do?
The whole Garbage issue is still with me today, even though I have access to trash cans that are paid out of my space rent. It’s not all bad – I try to buy as little packaging as possible, recycle as much as I can, and not throw food away (no compost pile here) but every time I make a decision about it, I think of the Narc and his Rules, which makes me angry all over again.
* There is no Away – it all goes into a landfill where it never really breaks down, but rots and poisons the environment for all time. I won’t get started on that rant because I have not exactly been as “green” as I would like to be the last few months.
** Recycling was another hot button for a couple of reasons:
He “once had a friend” who visited a recycling facility some time back in the ’70’s who said if any recycling containers came in that looked like they had garbage in them, everything in those containers was tossed in the garbage (not recycled at all) and consequently the Narc didn’t really believe that anything was truly recycled, and anyway, there has to be a market for the recycling, and did I really know where the “recycled” materials were going?
The recycling had to be delivered to the transfer station because the local garbage company would not pick up recycling if you didn’t pay for garbage service, even if you only filled their can once a month. Same price, no matter how much garbage you actually produced and the Narc was not about to pay for garbage service. Also, he drove right by the transfer station every time he visited his boat. Right.by.the.place. Not even one block out of his way, but directly off the highway he had to drive to run an errand that he routinely ran. Asshole.