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Don’t be such a jerk – a rant

We were notified earlier in the week that there was a strike for garbage collectors and they wouldn’t be servicing our area on the normal day. There was a possibility that we would have to wait out the week for the pick up the following week. As such it was suggested that we minimise our waste as much as possible – you would think they would be trying to get everyone to do that all the time.

“By minimising the amount of waste created, people may be able to help their friends, family or neighbours by offering them any room they have in their bin to dispose of excess waste.”

image source: tams.act.gov.au

I know that some neighbours occasionally put a bag or two in our bin when we’ve put it out to the kerb for collection. We usually have space so I have no issue with that. I was pretty surprised however, to find that this week, when we may not have been getting our bins emptied at all, that a neighbour had filled our bin in it’s entirety before we had even had a chance to put anything in it. I can’t prove 100% who it was but given that our recycling bin was also half filled (on an off-week – our recycling is collected fortnightly) with a bunch of beer and other alcohol cans and bottles I have a pretty good idea. If you sit out in your garage every afternoon drinking and then put your empties into someone’s bin you become a fairly easy suspect.

I just don’t understand why someone would do that and think it is ok! I was pretty angry at the time while I tried to shove my rubbish bag into the bin and hoped that it would get collected this week. I would think twice before using someone else’s bin if it had been put out onto the kerb, let alone if it hadn’t and just wonder how much of a jerk you need to be to not give a shit about anyone else.

Fortunately, the bins were emptied a day later but, because of the material of the rubbish the neighbours had put in our bin (a bunch of plastic) and how much they (and probably partly me) had stuffed it into the bin it didn’t actually come out when the bin was emptied. So now we have to deal with their crap 2 weeks in a row, and hope it actually gets emptied properly next week. I will admit, I have considered dumping it into who I believe the culprits are bin and make them deal with their own rubbish.

My more rational self decided to move the bins into our backyard (previously they were sitting near the driveway) which is less convenient for us but it means they have to put in more effort if they use them. I highly doubt (but you never know) they would actually come into my back yard to dump some rubbish.

Have you ever had a situation where someone did something you considered incredibly inconsiderate, and what did you do about it?

Fighting Social Norms

I’m at an age where people expect me to have ‘accomplished’ certain things. By now I should own a house, be married and have a few kids so that I can be considered as winning at life. So I thought I’d go through the ‘checklist to life’ and see how I’m going.

Owning a house ✓

Yes! One item checked. About 2 years ago now Jarrod and I talked about buying a house but at the time weren’t ready to jump into all that and wanted to save some money first, we’d been together a year at that point and hadn’t lived together yet so we wanted to make sure that was going to work out. I also wanted to get out of debt and actually have something to contribute to a deposit so we decided to rent for a year and then re-assess.

As you know we have been living in the house we bought for just over a year now so we obviously went ahead with that. It’s only the two of us in our house but it has 4 bedrooms and you can guarantee that when people find that out they give us a knowing look and say “oh, planning for the future?” because of course we are filling all that space with babies!

Married ✗

It seems like, in some peoples mind, this is the most important aspect of the checklist. Marriage is the end goal to life. Maybe this might have been true 50+ years ago when society was even more closed off to “alternative” lifestyles and the point of life was to get married, procreate and have your name continue on through the ages but I don’t understand why it’s still considered such a big deal. Perhaps even more so to some people. Those people who have their weddings mapped out from the time they understood the concept, those people who have this idea of the ‘perfect married couple’ and shove it in everyone’s face, those people who have to have a better wedding than everyone they know to show that their relationship is superior.

I have no problems with the idea of marriage and committing to someone for life. Would I get married? Sure. I really just don’t like the pressure behind planning the marriage, specifically the wedding. To me they should be about celebrating your life and future together not about how much you spent on the food or the reception or your clothes or about how many people are in your wedding party. I wouldn’t want to deal with the stress people put on themselves by making it the ‘perfect’ day. I’d much prefer to save a bunch of money from not having a hyped up wedding and use that to have a nicer/longer honeymoon.

Overall, I couldn’t see my life changing too much if I did get married. I’d just have a fancy new ring, a piece of paper and a new surname.

Kids ✗

If one more person tells me “oh you’ll change your mind” when I say I don’t want kids I may bite their face off. My body and my brain are my own and I know how I feel more than you know how I feel. If I say I don’t want kids, I’ve never wanted kids then maybe you should believe I don’t want kids rather than pushing your ideals onto me. Furthermore I don’t care whether someone feels like having a child was the best decision of their life, why does it automatically need to become part of mine? I have to say, I’m not looking forward to being even older and getting the old “you’re clock is ticking” every time the subject is raised.

Obviously having kids is a sore spot for me. It’s the one thing where people just do not understand if you don’t want them. They just can’t fathom that a woman wouldn’t want a baby to look after and nurture. I want to live my life the way I want to live it and not have the burden of a child to look after. I don’t want to have to outlay thousands of dollars on a child I’d much prefer to spend that on doing nice things for myself. Many people would say that is selfish and perhaps it is but I’m not telling them how to live their lives and expect they shouldn’t feel compelled to tell me how to live mine.

Yikes, 1 out of 3 on the checklist but fortunately, succeeding in these things aren’t what keep me going in life. Hopefully one day, as people become more and more open minded the checklist will change and become about living your best and happiest life rather than living the same life as everyone else.

 

 

Our house: Year One

This time last year we had just moved into our house and it felt so strange. We went from living in a 1 bedroom plus study, tiny little apartment that had lots of noise from outside (thanks to a pub across the road) to living in a 4 bedroom house in the suburbs that, other than the frogs (and the cows) and sports on the ovals nearby, was very quiet. Our house does like to make unusual noises though… especially when only one of us is home.

Yes, there are cows near our house!
Yes, there are cows near our house!

The first time we heard cows it was really odd, they sounded like they were right outside and we wondered why there would be a cow right outside but it turns out the sound just carries from the farm up the street and maybe cows are just loud.

The farm about 5 mins away
The farm about 5 mins away

It took a long time to come home and not feel like I was just staying in someone else’s home, someone more grown up than me. How could this big home be ours? That’s crazy! It had been years since I’d lived somewhere with a yard and a clothesline. The clothesline was one of the first things I used and it was awesome. Until it became the home of some particularly weblike spiders. They really love making their webs over the clothesline.

Once spring came (we moved in in autumn) we decided to get some weeding done. It had been 6 months+ since the yard had been weeded and wow, I never want to do that again! Our arms and legs hurt for days after from all the bending, cutting and ripping out of weeds. After that I decided to plant some poppies and sunflowers. But, as expected with my lack of gardening skills, only one of the sunflowers ever took and it was a mammoth sunflower! I chose a nice looking pack of seeds and didn’t really think about the fact it said it grew to around 1.8m high. This thing just grew and grew and grew.. it took months to flower and we wondered if we’d been looking after a massive weed. It basically had it’s own ecosystem going on. Finally, a few days after new years it decided to flower.

Our sunflower, and why yes, that is the roof
Our sunflower, and why yes, that is the roof

I tried to get a selfie with it one day but it was so much taller than me that I couldn’t get me and it in the frame together.

The strange thing about buying a house is that you find all these random quirks that it has and you wonder a) how did the previous owners live with it like that or b) what the hell does that do? After a year we still have things we don’t know the purpose of. It would be great if the sellers would be provide a ‘Our house: The Quirks’ handbook when you move in so you know how to change the time on the oven (we left ours on daylight savings time until it actually changed to daylight savings time because we couldn’t work out how to change it), what that weird switch does, why aren’t there exhaust fans in the bathrooms, etc. So you can get an idea of the history of the house.

It took us a few months to notice that in our kitchen there were under cupboard lights and a few months after that (when an electrician came to visit) yes, they did work and here’s how you use them.

Our kitchen and hey, those lights do work!
Our kitchen and hey, those lights do work!

While it took me a long time to get used to living here – I really missed living near everything. Our place isn’t really that far from things but it was further than we had been living and I felt sad we didn’t have a local shops within a few minutes walk – there have been some definite upsides. We own the place (well, the bank does and they charge us lots of interest for the privilege of lending us a bunch of cash) and we can put holes in the wall if we like (and on accident.. oops).. we hung a mirror and a floating shelf and felt accomplished. We’ve learnt how to fix some things instead of getting people in to fix them for us… although that also included unclogging a really, really gross drain. When you’re pulling blonde hair and grey gunk out of a drain and neither of you are blonde, you start to feel a bit queasy about whose gunk you’re taking out of that drain. I also mowed a lawn for the first time in my life, I still can’t start the mower by myself but I can mow the lawn and I have to say, when you mow over a particularly tall weed it’s sort of exhilarating.

Plus we get to see variations of this every day (although today is gloomy and not exciting):

sunset2

sunset3

sunset5

sunset6

Yeah.. I like taking photos of the pond at sunset.. if you couldn’t tell.

Maybe during year 2 I’ll take more photos of the inside of the house, rather than just the surroundings.