The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Life - You can email Amy Dick­in­son at [email protected] amy­dick­in­ or send a let­ter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also fol­low her on Twit­ter @ask­ingamy or Face­book.

Dear Amy: We are an older, re­tired cou­ple liv­ing in a town­house con­do­minium com­plex.

As such, we have in­di­vid­ual garbage/re­cy­cling pick-up.

We do not gen­er­ate much garbage or re­cy­cling. Our cans rarely fill up more than 50 per­cent.

We have no­ticed that our garbage and re­cy­cling cans fre­quently get filled up with other res­i­dents’ garbage/re­cy­cling to the point where the lids are up, with garbage bags hang­ing out over the edge.

We do pay for our garbage, and like ev­ery­one else in the com­plex, we buy the smallest can avail­able.

Is it old-fash­ioned to be up­set by this?

It’s the fact that no one bothers to come by and ask our per­mis­sion.

It just seems rude to use our cans with­out our per­mis­sion. I’d be happy to help out, but is it just old-fash­ioned to want to be asked first?

– Peeved Dear Peeved: Why are you so con­cerned by be­ing per­ceived as “old-fash­ioned”? Have you been suc­cess­fully conned into be­liev­ing that your own hon­est re­ac­tions are not ac­cept­able?

Snap out of it! Own your feel­ings!

You could raise this is­sue at your next condo board meet­ing or on the com­plex’s list­serv (if it has one). You might find that other res­i­dents are experienci­ng the same an­noy­ance, or you might smoke out a neigh­bor who is do­ing this.

Yes, this is an­noy­ing. Yes, you have ev­ery right to find it an­noy­ing, and to wish that peo­ple be­haved dif­fer­ently.

You and your wife could ap­proach this with a lit­tle hu­mor and per­haps in­spire peo­ple to be more re­spect­ful.

Tape a flo­res­cent sign onto the in­side of the lid, so that some­one open­ing it would see it: “Hello, Fel­low Hu­mans. Are you gen­er­at­ing so much garbage that you need to use an ex­tra can? That’s a pity. Haven’t you no­ticed that the planet is on fire?

We will ac­cept your waste­ful over­flow, but please be cour­te­ous and put the lid se­curely down. (And leave a tin of home­baked still-warm brown­ies on top.)

Thank you,

Waste Not, Want Not.”

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