Hello, Nasty: A Rant

It took me a solid 2 years to adjust to living in the city. The noise and the dirt, the general hubbub, the ratio of a-holes to kind, civil humans. Some might argue that Hyde Park is hardly the city and, fin many ways, I'm inclined to agree. Until yesterday, in fact, I honest to goodness don't think I'd ever had an experience with the type of pissy, territorial, rude human that, I'm sorry to admit, I associate with the urban environment.

But thanks, neighbor, for reminding me that Hyde Park IS the city, after all.

In true Chicago form, as most of you will know, some blocks in Hyde Park are recycling-friendly and others are less so. We try to be green in our house, and I am anal-retentive about waste (I am the obnoxious person in the checkout line with loose apples; we compost everything we can; I reuse B's tshirts to make dresses for S...or rags, depending on their state). So, despite living on a block that doesn't offer recycling pick-up, we fill our bags and, when they reach capacity, I take them to the bins at the park.

Yesterday, with S in the car, on our way home from getting groceries (at Trader Joe's, where they have an excess of packaging that drives me completely bonkers), I paused at the park to drop off a couple bags of recycling. The bin was full and I dutifully began pushing my items (and those of others!) down to accomodate everything.

And wouldn't you know that, in the midst of this good deed, a horrible, screeching, nasty representation of a woman drove up in her SUV, rolled her window down and began yelling at me that she didn't want my garbage all over her yard and I better secure those bags in the bin? To which I replied, calmly, that that's exactly what I was doing. And, I KID YOU NOT, she sat there in her idling car, WATCHING me for the 5 or 6 minutes it took to get everything contained. It took every reserve of willpower I had not to just dump the bags on her lawn and flee (I'm a runner, remember, so I would have gotten away).

Listen, I get it. We have a bit of reclaimed prairie in front of our house, and it's constantly attracting bits of garbage. Gross. And, boy would I be peeved if I actually saw someone deliberately leaving garbage on my lawn. Or even if I saw someone being deliberately careless. But I'm not careless! I'm a good citizen! And I assume the same is true of all of you.

No moral here, just this: if you're the nasty neighbor who thought it necessary to be such a...WEENIE (I'm bringing it back, folks) yesterday, you can cool your jets. I'm a good neighbor.


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  • What you fail to realize is that the city is going to pick up that garbage and regardless of how clever you were in sorting and bagging everything it all goes into the same dump. There is a service here in Hyde Park that will pick up your recyclables, look it up.

  • Haha. Yes, hpSentinel, I've heard this, too. After digging around and asking some questions, I'm electing to be satisfied that the City of Chicago isn't conning its citizens out of proper recycling (though I do recognize that, historically, the City of Chicago has conned its citizens into and out of a great many things).

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    How infuriating! And I'm a big fan of "weenie!"

  • What a lunatic. Like the neighbor who is conscientious enough to collect recyclables and bring them to an appropriate bin is going to be the one to toss (or carelessly leave) garbage all over someone else's lawn. As if. I say fight crazy with crazy... "oh, you live here?" pause. "this is your house?" pause. stare. "this one here?" prolonged stare. silence. "it's real nice." stare. Then again, probably not the best strategy when carting around a three year old. But really. What is WRONG with people?

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