Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Parenting -

first bag been ac­com­pa­nied by my car keys? Walk­ing with pur­pose back to the car I danced a jig when I saw them sit­ting in the ig­ni­tion. Thank good­ness I’d not done it again.

You see my­self and Mr Re­cy­cling are well ac­quainted.

We’d first met a few years ago. It was the end of sum­mer and I’d been ig­nor­ing the fact school was about to restart un­til my daugh­ter ap­peared.

“Mum, this isn’t mine,” she said sport­ing a school jumper to her knees. For a mo­ment I stared, won­der­ing why she was wear­ing her older brother’s large uni­form which I re­mem­bered re­cy­cling af­ter he’d com­pleted the Leav­ing Cert. Turns out I’d re­cy­cled the wrong one, a mis­take which cost me close to €100.

Re­cy­cling mix up num­ber two: A year or so ago this could have caused ma­jor mar­i­tal strife — if yer man had known about it.

Him­self’s not great for re­cy­cling clothes, be­liev­ing per­haps that the mar­riage vow ’til death do us do part’ in­cluded the clothes he brought with him. So be­ing a good wife, on oc­ca­sions, I help. A num­ber of years ago, I went a bit over the top and grabbed a lit­tle more than usual, in­clud­ing shoes. As it was a covert op­er­a­tion the whole lot was in the re­cy­cling cen­tre be­fore yer man came home from work.

I held my breath for days but no clothes were missed. I be­gan to re­lax a lit­tle un­til one evening I spied feet stick­ing out from the cup­board un­der the stairs, not a place any­one vol­un­tar­ily vis­its.

“I can’t find my run­ners,” he gasped when he emerged for air. It was ob­vi­ously warm un­der there as he ap­peared to be sweat­ing.

“Oh, which ones?” I replied, clearly re­mem­ber­ing a white pair with a blue trim dis­ap­pear­ing into a black bag re­cently. “My new ones.” he said. With tremen­dous re­straint, I re­sisted shout­ing, ‘They were an­cient,” and joined in the point­less search.

The fol­low­ing day, I rang my re­cy­cling friends who agreed to meet me when they were emp­ty­ing the bin. Search­ing other peo­ple’s re­cy­cling is not the most pleas­ant of tasks, but, fi­nally, I found the miss­ing shoes. Thank­ing my re­cy­cling pals, I headed for home where I later pre­sented them to him­self. “Look, I found your run­ners.” “Oh, they are look­ing a bit worn aren’t they?” he said. “I think I’ll buy a new pair to­mor­row.”

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