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.
August 26, 2013 at 7:39 pm
At least now it just makes you angry instead of being something you still listen to…
August 26, 2013 at 7:57 pm
There is that small blessing 🙂
August 26, 2013 at 8:41 pm
I still get flashbacks sometimes. I shrug them off now, but it’s taken a while. You’ll get there too.
August 27, 2013 at 7:44 am
At least it’s not debilitating at this point – no more being frozen with indecision, thankfully.
August 26, 2013 at 8:55 pm
Sorry you’re having flashbacks. They suck, I hope you’re doing okay. xo
August 27, 2013 at 7:45 am
Thank you for asking – I am doing fine. Who can be depressed with a playful kitten around? He’s doing his best to train the dog but so far they don’t speak the same language 🙂
August 27, 2013 at 7:59 am
Ha, I’m sure they’ll learn the languages soon! I hope the kitten and dog become best buddies. 🙂 Glad you’re okay too. xo
August 27, 2013 at 8:33 am
So far they are getting along great. Sabu wants to get a little more rough than I like, but Revy is not bothered in the least, so I guess it’s okay. There are plenty of little hidey-holes for him to escape to if he wants. Little dude is not at all intimidated by the big dog.
August 27, 2013 at 1:13 pm
ahaha I could just see it!
Sex, Spirit, Soul Mates and Chocolate....Ivonne's Journey
August 26, 2013 at 10:03 pm
I think I would have hit him in the head with a pan. Yeah, it’s true about recycling . You need to rinse and clean everything or it will just get tossed.
August 27, 2013 at 7:45 am
Don’t think I didn’t think about it more than once! Going to jail just isn’t in my Life Plan, though 🙂
August 27, 2013 at 4:10 am
Ugh…just reading this makes me wanna bitch slap that fool.
August 27, 2013 at 7:43 am
You and me, both, and it’s really only the tip of the iceberg. Took a little trip down Memory Lane looking for the curry post and got mad all over again!
August 27, 2013 at 8:29 am
Ok, this is about the grossest thing! What did he do with the accumulating trash, before it hit his magic half-ton mark? Did it pile up in the garage? In the yard? Must’ve been smelly! Is there no end to which a Narc will control and create misery?!
August 27, 2013 at 8:37 am
Yeah, it does sound strange. Part of the garbage was building materials and assorted stuff from his boat building projects. Food was NEVER thrown out! We didn’t eat a lot of meat, so most of the food scraps were veggie matter which went onto the compost pile, as did the kitty litter, so there was no nasty smell or flies, etc. to mark the pile as garbage.
Anything that couldn’t be recycled or burned was first thoroughly washed and put into the three plastic garbage cans that sat behind the house, out of view of the neighbors. When those got filled up plastic bags were used. It wasn’t an unsightly pile, because he never allowed unsightly piles. If you were to visit it’s likely you would not have recognized the pile as garbage – Image was all important to the Narc!
August 27, 2013 at 5:20 pm
The lecture at the fridge just left me cold. We all just have to do the best we can at any given time. Little by little, step by step. I wonder if you would ever get an international post about similar things? You may never eat saucy curried Indian food with me, but I dig it–no more “food not touching” for me!!!! No more bland chicken with “a vegetable and a starch”..blah, blah!!!!!I Can’t stand neatness anymore, because I was called a slob for so long–long live the slobs!! Slobs have more fun!!!
August 28, 2013 at 9:32 am
There was no “best we can do right now with circumstances as they are” for the Narc. It was Perfection All The Time No Matter What, which, in a way is a noble cause, but when the goal of Perfection shifted every three-and-a-half minutes, well, that was just impossible.
I don’t know if “slobs have more fun,” but they are certainly more relaxed and willing to be flexible, IME. There’s a huge difference between Clutter and Dirty, and so long as you are aware of that, what’s the problem? I mean, some people might call me a hoarder because of the Raw Materials that I currently have “in stock,” but it will all be worked up eventually, no one is being hurt, so what does it matter? Supplies make me happy, and if I’m happy…well…Can’t say “everybody’s happy,” but you know what I mean 🙂
Fat Bottom Girl
August 28, 2013 at 7:19 am
So if he had such a big truck, did you ever point out to him how much fuel it wasted, and the emissions it put off?? Maybe that asshole should become Amish. God, it makes me want to slap the shit out of him!!
August 28, 2013 at 9:36 am
Oh, yes, there was quite a bit of angst about the Big Truck. I heard many monologues about how it went against everything he believed in, it was an ecological disaster, etc. I pointed out that he could just rent a truck when he needed to move a boat or haul something or whatever, but that wasn’t Good Enough for a man with an image to cultivate. The truck sat around doing nothing 90% of the time, but he wanted the option of firing it up on his schedule and doing whatever needed to be done. Money-wise it was a disaster because it needed this and that and nothing was cheap because of the kind of truck it was. He could have saved a mint renting a truck three or four times a year when he really needed one, but you know men and their trucks – they are a direct extension of their penis in the eyes of the world. I speak only of that certain demographic of male truck owners, not of every dude that drives a truck. You know who you are 🙂
Fat Bottom Girl
August 28, 2013 at 10:45 am
hahaha. . .that is so true! I would totally want to bitch slap that guy for being such a douche and acting like he is so superior to everyone. I don’t know how you did it honey!
August 28, 2013 at 10:48 am
I was able to do it because I am a kick-ass strong bitch who can shoulder a big load of bullshit before caving or dropping it on someone’s head. That I didn’t cause him to have an “accident” is testament to my powers of self control 🙂
Fat Bottom Girl
August 28, 2013 at 11:12 am
So true lady!! 🙂