To clean or not to clean? That is the question.

To clean or not to clean? That is the question.

Truth. There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who clean their garbage (or recycling, or composting) bins because otherwise they get gross and it's disgusting, and those who don't because meh, garbage goes in there why bother.

The two kinds of people absolutely cannot agree with each other about this. For in the clean/no-clean debate, there is no middle ground.

I am a relentless cleaner of dirty bins. Once in my life, when I started living on my own (with a roommate) at the age of 18, I neglected to throw out some trash. It was left on the back porch. Now back in those days (late 1980s, Quebec City), we didn't sort out our trash. Everything went into the same disgusting bags. And after a while in the summer heat, a bag that contained what 18-year-olds typically discard develops a thriving colony of maggots.

And maggots are disgusting.

That was the wake-up call I needed. I have, since then, been on top of my bins, as it were. I put liners in them, don't just pile trash on top of them - or worse, around them - when they're full, and if they get dirty I clean them.

Because otherwise things grow in them that I don't want to deal with.

Now at the risk of revealing intimate details about my life (other than my garbage-bin habits, I mean), the person I married is from the other group. He doesn't even think about the possibility that the garbage bins might need cleaning. Possibly it's because I got there first*, but I doubt it.

For he's in the other group. The group of THEM. And there's no explaining to them why it's important to clean up the bins. Because they think meh, garbage goes in there why bother.

*In the interest of not driving myself completely insane, I have decided that trying to bridge the chasm between our two garbage-bin universes was useless so now I mostly shut up and deal with it. I'm reading this interesting book and at some point it says giving up hope is the first step towards being in a better place. I don't know if I'll ever reach zen or any other state of mindful well-being, but I've decided to try.

Starting with my trash cans.