SUSIE CROWTHER is a writer and blogger; this piece originally appeared on her blog “I Don’t Have Time to Read This” . She anticipates the release of her book, The No-Recipe Cookbook, which will show readers “how to cook with common sense and spirituality versus how to follow a recipe.”
Originally published in The Commons issue #165 (Wednesday, August 15, 2012).
Waste (also known as rubbish, trash, refuse, garbage, junk, and litter) is unwanted or useless material. Wastes are materials that are not prime products for which initial users have no further use in terms of their own purposes of production, transformation, or consumption, and of which they want to dispose.
A landfill site (also known as tip, dump, or rubbish dump and historically as a midden) is a site for the disposal of waste materials.
A midden is an old dump for domestic waste and other artifacts and ecofacts associated with past human occupation. The word is used by archaeologists worldwide to describe any kind of feature containing waste products relating to day-to-day human life.
Middens might be convenient, single-use pits created by nomadic groups or long-term, designated dumps used by sedentary communities that accumulate over several generations.
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When my beloved proposed to me, he did so with a big bang: a 3½-karat platinum diamond ring, bestowed upon him by his grandmother (and bestowed upon her from her betrothed’s grandmother).
Two smaller stones sat on either side of a larger rock, which displayed grandly in the center. Symbolically, the three rocks represented me and my two young boys — a family that Mark was marrying, not just a wife.
It was beautiful. Grand. Stunning. Like nothing I’d ever owned.
I wore the ring proudly for the first year. The family jewels rang out, gloriously announcing the ring’s presence. The three majestic stones stood, gaping, proclaiming their magnificence. Friends gawked at and coveted the exquisite piece.
The exquisite stones rested in regal settings. These settings jutted the stones upwardly, creating opportunities to thwack walls and bump into low-hanging objects. The diamonds would bang into cabinets and counters and drawers.
The setting corners would catch on sweaters and pull at the ends of strings. Bread dough and bacon grease would become stuck in the crevices. Sometimes, I would scratch my face with the sharp edges of the facets.
The ring was expensive. Not to say it was valuable, which it also was. But, it was expensive to wear: Insuring the ring cost about $200 per year.
I wear sweat pants and schlumpy shirts. My father refers to my sister and me as Vogue and Vague, respectively.
Wearing the ring resembled shining a turd. I felt odd, like when one purchases a new pillow and suddenly the old couch looks out of place, which leads to a domino-tumbling of redecorating the living room and then, eventually, the entire house.
I didn’t want to redecorate. And I didn’t want to burn 55 cents a day, an act that was reminding me that this 3½-karat beauty was now running my life.
So I thanked my husband and then returned the magnificent beast to the bank vault, where it sits to this day.
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