Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: How did I get here?

Posted July 17, 2011

On a recent Thursday after my morning run, I found myself with eight garbage bags spread across my driveway.

I was looking for the bar code from a box top that I needed to send in for a $50 rebate. It was trash day, which meant several of the bags had been in the trash can as long as a week in 90 degree heat. Imagine the decomposition that takes place with food remnants in a sealed garbage bag. Let's just say it wasn't pretty. Miraculously, I located the box in the top of the third bag untouched by leftovers or spent coffee grounds. My husband drove in from his workout just as I was cinching up the bags and gave me a questioning look.

"You don't even want to know," I said as he pulled into the driveway shaking his head.

I had considered just blowing it off. But, then I told my friend the story about throwing away the bar code, and she said, "That's a tough one." She asked me to consider what I would do if I had thrown away a $50 bill in the trash, would I try and find it? Point of full disclosure: This is a woman who once retrieved four U2 tickets out of a port-a-potty at the RBC Center after they fell out of the back pocket of my jeans. She's my hero. So, the answer was clear. I had to find the box.

It is moments like this one, however, that prompt me to wonder, "How did I get here?" I don't mean here on this earth, or here in North Carolina, but here in this crazy life where I leave my cell phone in the refrigerator or drop it in a puddle, lock my babysitter out of the house, lock my cleaning lady in the basement or spill mustard in a unfortunate spot on my dress. When did I become a modern-day Lucille Ball starring in my own personal comedy show with all of the self-deprecating humor at my own expense?

I guess I asked for it when I decided to have two children and two jobs - not to mention one husband and one puppy. It's a full life, but it's one that I wouldn't change one bit. Although, I'm still waiting for that $50 check.

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including two on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.


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  • MomOfTwins Jul 19, 2011

    So mwpait, please tell me what types of boxes can't be recycled in Raleigh?

    And maybe for some of us the humor in the story isn't about someone digging through the trash, but that a mother in this day and age isn't doing everything she can to ensure her children inherit a world not drowning in trash.... :-)

  • mwpait Jul 19, 2011

    Not intending on being critical of well-intended suggestions, as yours were, just asking folks to lay off assuming that she doesn't recycle and worrying about her 8 bags of just enjoy her story for what it's worth...sorry I came off as offensive...

  • snowl Jul 19, 2011

    Wow! So quick to be critical of other people's comments or suggestions! lol...mwpait. Works both ways.

  • mwpait Jul 19, 2011

    Wow! So quick to jump to conclusions and assumptions! First off, not all types of boxes can be recycled...secondly, a bursting to the seams kitchen-size trash bag is not the only thing that qualifies as a "bag of trash." The bags that line my small cans in the bathroom get tied up and thrown out, too. Plus, I'll go ahead and throw out a halfway full kitchen bag if something smelly is in it. Folks, just enjoy the humor of the story and don't look to be so critical! I'll borrow Ty Lawson's quote, "lol..some people are too serious...fall back."

  • snowl Jul 18, 2011

    We recycle everything allowed in the city's new rollout cart. Then we keep "wet" garbage only in a separate small white trash bag that we secure with a twist tie and then add to the larger one. This keeps down the smell, and it's really easy to go back into the large trash bag to find something if needed. Problem solved...:)

  • Telecomtodd Jul 18, 2011

    I have an ex-wife who didn't wear the gold jewelry I bought her. Instead she put the gold in a large hair dye bottle, but it back in the box it came from and then glued it shut. She then put it under a large piece of furniture. When she walked out on me in late 2000, she left 22 semi-empty bottles, feminine products, and trash everywhere - 22 bags worth. When I moved the furniture and saw the box of dye, of course I simply threw it out. Four days later she remembered the gold - but it's now there's $14,000 worth of gold under tons of garbage in the now-closed North Raleigh dump! Happy digging.

  • superman Jul 18, 2011

    The funny part of this story is-- that you will probably never ever get the rebate check. They will say you forgot to send the original sales, slip, you didnt send the last page of the instruction booklet, you didnt fill out the info correctly. And maybe they will say the offer has expired. You ever try to track and keep up with the rebates you send in. I only get about half of them back. Good luck but with a $50 rebate chances are your getting it back are slim to none. You had fun but wasted your time.

  • bchbuddys Jul 18, 2011

    I can relate to this. I puchased a new computer, printer and left the bar codes on the boxes next to the street on trash pick up day. After getting to work that morning after reading the fine print I realized what I had done, so I took off from work an hour and retrieved them! But I saved a hundred dollars. Way to go Amanda!

  • Killian Jul 18, 2011

    Wow. So much for the old adage, "If you cannot say something nice, keep quiet."

    Amanda -- everyone has amazingly dumb stuff happen in their life. But the reaction is what makes the story depressing or hilarious. Your sense of humor takes a gross circumstance and makes it into a story to share. Thanks for the laugh.

  • MomOfTwins Jul 18, 2011

    I wonder that too, beaupeep- my family of 4 with 2 cats rarely have more than 3 bags of trash, and that's including used cat liter... but if she's searching for a boxtop chances are she's not recycling? 'cause the boxtop should have been in the recycle bin (and she's not composting because the coffee grounds would be in the composter, but lots of people don't compost).