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.