They say you can tell a lot about a culture by their garbage — “they” being anthropologists, social scientists, & historians (their amateur varieties too), folks who monitor consumerism, as well environmentalists & “green” eco types. And dumpster-diving garbage pickers like me & my family.
Yes, I dumpster dive and “rescue” things found curb-side — and I’m not embarrassed to admit that we teach our children how to appropriately do the same. Especially during our city’s annual cleanup week; that time of year when folks are assisted in their spring cleaning (and post-flood clean-up) efforts by being allowed to rid their homes & garages of things that normally cannot be left curb-side for the municipal garbage pick-up.
This year, during our city’s annual cleanup week, among the major appliances & numerous vintage toilets (presumably so plentiful this year due to flooded basements resulting in insurance checks to refurbish basement bathrooms), we scored big time (including, not shown there, boxes of books and antique farm items). But there were also number of things I just took photographs of because they were too telling about our society…
One was this old personal home sauna — one of those kitschy retro icons of weight-loss & female self-es-steam, er, self-esteem — modeled here by my daughter Destiny.
(Probably the grossest thing she touched that day; imagine the sweaty, possibly nude behinds, that sat in that seat! Hand sanitizer to the rescue!)
Another day & neighborhood away, we found this orange nightstand covered in food, fashion & weight-loss clippings.
Both girls both, 13 and 20, loved this & were planning a battle for which one would get it. *sigh*
Unwilling to allow either girl to absorb the sorrow of such a “motivational” piece of furniture, I forbade either of them to get it.
But, willing to concede the cool factor of reinventing a shabby piece of furniture, I told them to keep their eyes open (curbside or at thrift shops, rummage sales &/or flea markets) for a small piece of functional yet ugly furniture and I’d show them how to transform it with paint, magazine clippings & decoupage glue. They’ll just have to select some other theme.
Because there’s no way I’m adding more female body issues to the world; not with my kids, and not in memorabilia for future trash collectors & anthropologists.