I just witnessed something which has had me in a mix of amusement and revulsion at the same time. I really have no other idea as to where to post this, so I'll put it here and you can all tell me if I'm crazy or not...
I posted in this forum a few months ago, re: our former landlord who hadn't returned our security deposit. The short version of that story was that we were tenants for almost 5 years in a little apartment attached to our landlord's townhome; we were great tenants, always paid rent on time, were social friends with the landlord and his family, etc., etc. Last year we ended up purchasing the house right next door, and our landlord (who's also a real estate agent) acted as our buyer agent. He's a nice guy, but a notorious cheapskate-- and when we moved out, he stiffed us on returning our security deposit. So, we haven't really spoken since, and for all I know, he doesn't even realize we're pissed. But that's a whole different story...
Anyway, fast-forward to last weekend... he got new tenants in one of the units, and when the family moved in, they erected a HUGE pile of trash on the corner of the property, where all the tenants usually put out their garbage for weekly pick-up. And this pile is HUGE-- I think they must have decided to toss half of their crap when they moved in; it's WAY more than what you'd expect from moving, and the stuff is CRAP-- broken chairs, old ratty toys, bagged garbage, so on and so forth. I know it wasn't stuff left behind by the former tenants; we knew them and they didn't have kids-- a lot of this stuff looks like kids stuff.
As I said, we live right next door and are often outside on our porch, so we see the comings and goings at our former apartment pretty regularly. The funny thing is, our former landlord is a bit of an obsessive neat freak, and I'm absolutely certain this mountain of trash is driving him up a wall. (So at least he's getting a bit of his just rewards for stiffing us, haha)
So this stuff has been sitting around for over a week now... trash day came and went, and the trash guys didn't take a BIT of it. Either the people haven't set up trash service yet, or the trash guys are just refusing to take it-- it's way over any reasonable quantity limits, and very little of it is actually in bags or cans-- it looks like a dump!
So here's where I am amused/repulsed... this afternoon I was sitting outside, and I see a strange car pull up to the "dump." A woman gets out, starts RIFLING THROUGH THE TRASH HEAP LIKE IT WAS A BOOTH AT A FLEA MARKET, packed at least 3 trash cans' worth into her (already junk-laden) car and pulled off!!
Okay okay, I can totally accept is someone is legitimately poor and NEEDS the stuff, but judging by the looks of this woman, I really don't think that was the case... I think she was just one of those types who can't stand to see "good stuff" thrown away-- you know, a hoarder.
But the thing is, I know a LOT of people who see nothing wrong with this! I work in a professional setting, and in the town where I work, there are spring clean-up days where everyone puts out their old junk for the township to haul away. There are a lot of people in my office who think that's like an annual flea-market festival, and they'll go out over lunch to see what great finds they can get.
This completely freaks me out!!! There's just something about rooting through another person's designante garbage which just seems inherently WEIRD and WRONG to me. I am certainly not an elitist by any means; I wear clothes from Target, we have loads of "furniture" from Wal-Mart, and my DH and I are certainly mot materialistic in our lifestyle. But this dumpster-diving thing is just STRANGE to me.
Am I nuts, or what?