Missing Mini-Fridge & Signs Of Summer
What to love and loathe about living in East Greenwich this week.
RAVE: Thank you to the person who “freecycled” the mini refrigerator from in front of our house the other day. Since the fridge was on top of a table covered with a cloth, set back from the road and had the words "Eggs $4” chalked on the front, you clearly knew this was not a curbside freebie. While a small part of me wants to get all Ted Nugent on anyone who messes with my property, the reality is, you did us a favor.
My friend, you stole a dead fridge. Not resting. Not stunned. Definitely deceased. Passed on! This fridge was no more! It had ceased to be! It had expired and gone to meet its Maytag maker! It was a stiff! Bereft of life, it rested in peace. If we could have been bothered to deal with the whole Freon disposal thing, it would have been pushing up the landfill. Its mechanical processes were history. It had shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the energy and joined the dead appliance choir. It was an ex-refrigerator.*
So I don’t really care that you appropriated my temporary egg store. Karma has already caught up with you. I do, however, mind the after-effects of your theft. It’s not like we have a lot of crime in our fair town but when it does happen, it does seem to shift our POV. The bottom line is even the most innocuous theft can feel invasive and make you feel off-balance about your safety in the world. I remember when I was seven and cut the flowers from a neighbor’s garden (we grew weeds at my house). When I proudly presented my mother with a bouquet of daffs, she made me tell her where I got the flowers from and go immediately to my neighbor to apologize for stealing from them and offer my bulb planting and weeding services for the foreseeable future. Tearful and scared, I asked my mom, “What if she calls the cops and sends me to jail?” Instead of reassuring me that I wouldn’t go to jail, she simply said, “Well, you should have thought about that before stealing from them.” I still remember the awful feeling in my stomach as I faced our neighbor. I cried the rest of the day for the shame I had brought on myself and my family. Not once did my mom try to comfort me and say it was “all right.” It’s too bad not everyone had a mom like mine who loved them enough to teach them that stealing, even a few flowers, was not all right.
Last week, I went to the Friends of East Greenwich Free Library program on summer safety. As Sergeant John Carter rattled off the myriad things we should be doing daily to keep our homes theft-free (lock doors and close windows, lock the car, lock the garage, don’t throw away bank statements and other revealing garbage, etc., etc., etc.), a little voice inside me protested. Sure, these actions are all eminently full of sense and sensibility. But I can’t help feeling that we SHOULD be able to leave stuff unlocked and expect to find everything exactly the way we left it when we return.
I know that is not the case – but it still sucks.
*Apologies to Monty Python for shamelessly pilfering and then mangling their Dead Parrot sketch. I’m guessing karma is going to catch up with me too.
RANT: Top ten signs it’s summer in East Greenwich:
1. The sprinklers are on every day at some homes – even when it’s raining.
2. The roads are full of new teenage drivers who tailgate, don’t understand what “full stop” means and blast the music so loud that they can’t hear me hooting my horn at them.
3. There are more empty cans of beer, fast food containers and other bits of nightlife debris on my front verge every morning.
4. Mosquitoes, tics and fleas, oh my!
5. You can’t be bothered to cook so dinner is a double ice cream cone (extra calcium). What? Don’t tell me you have never done this.
6. The parking lot at The Greenwich Club is never NOT crowded.
7. You have to wait through five traffic light cycles on Division before you can turn left to get onto Route 4 South.
8. There are no good movies to see at Showcase unless you are a 15-year-old man-child.
9. You choose the hottest day of the year to haul the air conditioner out of the attic and, after a morning spent sweating and swearing, you have finally installed it – only to have it tip over the windowsill the minute you let go. What, don’t tell me that’s never happened to you!
10. And the number one sign that it’s summer in East Greenwich is that your child has moaned that they are bored for the 213th time and it’s only 8:26 a.m. on the third day after school has ended.