My Superpower: Trash Can Girl

I have discovered I have a superpower. It doesn’t allow me to fly, see through walls or stretch my arms long enough to reach the remote without getting out of the chair, although all of those would be nice features.

No, my superpower is the ability to throw things away.

Don’t smirk, now. It is much more difficult than you may think to throw things away. For example, I have two huge Rubbermaid boxes full of old papers and photos of people no one knows that came from my grandmother. They were given to me because no one could throw it away. (Even I can’t throw it away. Heirlooms are Kryptonite to Trash Can Girl’s superpowers.)

Trash Can Girl is also desperately needed in the following situations: the VCR no one can operate anymore, even if we had a single VCR tape left in the house–Trash Can Girl! The entire drawer full of scrawled, unfinished “books” Jordan made when he was five and six, now devoid of charm–Trash Can Girl! The shredded towels jammed in the back of the closet that trail streamers of fringe and smell like cat pee–Trash Can Girl, we need you.

My mother-in-law, who lives downstairs, is the Goodwill Addict. We are arch enemies. I have no powers in her house, but once she has reached capacity and starts filling my house, Trash Can Girl goes into action.

(Recyclers and others faint of landfill heart: Trash Can Girl will return as many items as possible to Goodwill. Thus she may keep the balance of power righted.)

Yesterday Trash Can Girl really broke out the cape and goggles. Last year Maya moved back in to Jordan’s room because they like to sleep together and her room became the dreaded “back room”–you know, the one where you can “store” things. (Note: if all you can think to do with an item is “store” it, that is a job for Trash Can Girl.) We decided to clean out her room so we could get her bed back in there. It was an innocent plan.

By the time this mission was accomplished, Trash Can Girl and her trusty sidekick, Reluctant Husband, had carried about twenty boxes down to the basement for the post-snow yard sale and had filled the back of the pickup with fourteen bags of garbage. Fourteen! Bags! Of broken, useless, crushed, unnameable, mostly plastic crap. And all of this filling the living space of my two children.

Trash Can Girl’s real power is not just the throwing away of broken plastic stuff. It is the recovery of breathing space. My kids are stoked about their rooms now, because they have, you know, room. Shelves of stuff no one recognizes is suffocating, and until yesterday we could hardly get the kids to go in their rooms. Last night they wouldn’t leave them.

So, cape fluttering, Trash Can Girl leaps away to find another overstuffed closet, groaning shelf or knickknack cabinet. She’ll be back soon.

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~ by robinomayberry on December 28, 2010.

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