Monday, July 22, 2013

The Gladys Kravitz files

Gladys Kravitz.
Remember her? The nosy next door neighbor on the show Bewitched
I worry sometimes about becoming Gladys. But I also worry that too many people around me seem to think that no one should ever interfere with or question another persons actions. Live and let live, and let's just not get involved. And I just can't do that. I'm not talking about someones personal life style choices. I'm talking about the things people choose to do that then trickle down and have negative impacts on the lives of others.  I really do believe that if everyone acted just a bit like Gladys, if we called people to account for their actions, the world might be a little better place. 
For example: the township I live in provides brush dump service for residents. Open from March through November, any resident is able to bring in tree limbs, shrub clippings, anything that can be defined as 'brush'. And for two months each spring and fall, they accept leaves for composting. Those rules sound simple enough, don't they? It's a win-win situation for us. Eliminates the need some people feel to burn brush [less air pollution, less danger of fires getting out of control and spreading to the neighbors yard/house] and the shredded brush becomes free mulch offered to the residents. 
But some people just don't think those few simple rules apply to them. They bring tree stumps, root balls, old potted plants [still in the pots], rotted deck planks and landscaping timbers. Or they bring leaves nicely bagged in lovely plastic bags [loose leaves only, please or bagged in paper sacks]. And then there's the grass clippings. The sign posted at the entrance to the site says quite clearly "No Grass Clippings". But we have a lot of 'second homes' here, and those poor people just can't get up to cut their grass every time it needs it and apparently can afford to buy lavish second homes but can't afford to hire someone to cut grass for them, so when they do cut grass, they have bags of grass clippings.  
I was at the site one day, dumping a bin of branches and twigs. The person parked just ahead of me was busy dumping bags of stuff. At first I was pleased to see that he was opening each plastic bag and dumping the contents, not leaving the plastic. Then I noticed that what he was so carefully dumping was piles of grass. I called out to him: "You're not supposed to dump grass clippings." Had to call out again before he realized I was talking to him, as he had been carrying on a phone conversation all the time, phone tucked between shoulder and ear as he worked. He looked up, looked around, then said, "What do you mean, where does it say that,  I didn't know that." I'm thinking he must have been on the phone while driving here, so the poor fellow just missed the whopping huge 4'x6' sign.  And then he said "But these aren't all mine, someone else dumped grass too." 
And I'm thinking, 'are you 6 years old? did that excuse work when you were a child? someone else did it, so it must be OK?'.

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