Friday, August 19, 2011

19 August 1957 “More Disillusion of Modern Days”

I have become a victim of our throwaway society yet again. The lack of respect for what we own and what we buy for our children because they are so cheaply made and cheaply bought was brought home to me.

As many of you know I am continually struggling with our rental house. It still sits empty (well, of people at least) as of Sept 3. However the amount of literal garbage, waste, old broken furniture and endless broken and unbroken toys and baby things litter the yard.

We went there the other day to get the power turned back on and saw a note from the town. Though they have our mailing address, they saw fit to send a letter to the actual house, which we had no access to legally (though we own it-well the bank owns it mostly). We are now being charged $100 a day due to the yard being full of garbage, broken furniture and a large unwieldy refrigerator our tenants felt the need to leave on the deck.

Amid all the rubble are literally piles of children’s toys dumped here and there. A giant, but shoddy and torn ‘Disney Princess’ play tunnel rots and gathers bugs in the front yard. We, now, are expected to pay for all this clean up with NO obligation on the old tenants who are long gone after months of not paying rent. They left their dirty dishes not only all over the house but saw fit to throw them out the second story window so they smash into bits.

So, last night hubby and I headed over to start the process and soon found ourselves oddly itchy. We looked down and were covered in fleas. So we had to buy many flea bombs, close up the smelly house and set them off. It just keeps getting more and more hard work, costly and insane.

Back to my original thought: How our cheap to buy and make throw away society teaches us to value nothing, including people. If your children’s toys are so cheap and easy to buy and pile up, are they cherished? No. If your dishes and pots and pans are pennies at Walmart, why clean them up and take them, you can always buy more and its not as if you had to pay your rent or clean up costs.

I think the most obvious thing I have come to see that has changed our culture since the 1950’s is the mass production. Many people can say this or that about free enterprise or the joy of so much so cheap, but how does it affect us as a culture and individuals as to how we treat our things? If they are easy to get and break and we throw them out, we have no respect or care for them. Doesn’t this same disrespect wash over into how we treat one another and relationships? Is it all throw away? Are we all entitled to easy and cheap everything and if we don’t like it anymore, spoiled brat style, can’t we just toss it on the wayside, be damned how it affects those around us or even the earth we live on? Who cares, we can buy more.

Many people cherish antiques and toys of old. They were special because they were few and well made and cared for. How many children today will think fondly of their rooms full of the latest toy which becomes obsolete as soon as the next big blockbuster commercial, er…I mean Movie comes out. We our given a new product in the form of entertainment and then flooded with clothes, accoutrement, toys and the like emblazoned with that image. Then, a few months down the road, its something new. We are on an endless cycle to want more and to be shown the ‘next thing’ so we know what to buy.

All I know is this year, after the past two years in 1950’s, couldn’t be more a trial by fire to demonstrate our current country, world and human psyche of disposable and cheap relationships, living, things, and even homes.

I am honestly not sure when the nightmare of this house situation will end for us. We have a long road ahead just to clean up the mess and now we have to go to the town and try to talk them out of charging us so far 1800 dollars for a mess we didn’t make and weren’t allowed to clean up (as we were not allowed on our own property). The laws and rights of private property, the continual growth of the ‘throwaway’ and the continued training in the “I could care less about anyone but myself and my things and even those I don’t really care about” has really been brought home. I hope we can make it free and happy out of the end of this year, but its seems so far away. And at every turn our personal rights and personal property seem to be up for grabs for anyone who wants to step upon them with the law behind them. The power and right for the small middle to own and try to improve seems almost a joke, as it is bombarded from both ends. The top with its endless buying up and conglomerating into a few small controlling companies of airwaves and production and below with the endless laws set in place to basically create those who have no need to care for themselves or their belongings or others, as someone else shall always clear it up for them and they have no responsibility.

I am sorry this is such a sad post, but this past week has been just day after day of increasingly bad and frightening news about what we understand about our personal and property rights. Do we really own our own things? And have we any rights?


  1. I am so sorry that sounds awful. I hope the town will see some reason and not charge you the fine. We also own rental property (an apartment above my husbands business) and so far have nice tenants but I have heard many horror stories from others.

  2. So sad to hear of all your troubles. I hope the 'powers that be' will have mercy on you an not charge any fines. It is appalling how some folks take advantage of others and disgusting how filthy people treat things that do not belong to them. It is heartbreaking that those types of folks raise children who will never know any better life, and will never know how to value what they have. Blessings to you both as you wade through all the mess. Amy, aka Ma kettle

  3. I don't even have the words right now to convey my sympathy and disgust. I hope it turns out well for you. Keep us posted.

  4. I am very sorry to hear of these developments and like the other posters have said, I hope the fine is waived. However, don't give up. Keep your sweet personality and sunny disposition and keep doing what you know is right. We need more people like you.

  5. Oh my, what a frustrating problem. What I find maddening is they had enough money to buy all those unwanted items, but not enough to pay you rent. Horrible.

    In regards to our consumerism, I am reminded of Laura Ingalls and her corn cob wrapped in a bit a fabric as her only toy in the book Little House In The Big Woods. In this day and age, I wonder if CPS would be called if a child had only a corn cob to play with. I read an article the other day about a kid who called 9-1-1 because his mother was making him do chores! *sigh*

    Thanks Doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

  6. You really have my sympathies over the tenants. How abusive they were! Yes, now it seems we must stand by helplessly while people like tenants abuse us. This isn't right.

    We are a totally throw-away society. Nobody values anything any more. Everything is to cheap and too cheaply made. Very sad. We can always "get another one." It costs more to fix something than to repair it. Seems like that is true with relationships, too. We can always get another spouse, friend, whatever.

    I wonder where this is going to end?

    I really hope you will not be charged that much to clean up your place. This is so unfair.

  7. no advice, just wanted to tell you I am sorry for such a big mess with no end in sight.

  8. That completely stinks. The whole situation.
    And yes, I think the rampant consumerism is having a long reaching effect on the way we think. It is so hard, even adults, myself included, have to be aware and actively control themselves with regard to acquiring too much. My gram, a depression era babe herself, would have called what you are describing "a dirty shame." :-(

  9. I am so sorry. Reading things like this makes me more adamant to my husband when he brings up renting our house. It truly is horrendous. I hope that things are able to be rectified for you.

    Everything that you mentioned made me think of this quote and that maybe more people should take it to heart. It is an utter shame that it has turned out this way :

    "But to believe that getting stuff is the purpose and aim of life is madness."
    Hubert Selby, Jr.

  10. I am very sorry to hear of your continueing troubles with the rental. I truely hope you can speak with the town and have the fees waved as you were legally unable to access the place! It seems more and more our laws are protecting those that want something for nothing. Please do not let this get you down, for all the people out there who care not at all, there are others who care very much. You will get through this.

  11. Well...your (finally ex) tenants obviously showed everyone that they live a "disposable lifestyle" that includes disposing of any goodwill between you and them and also of the neighbors.

    I agree with Shannon's grandmother...all of this is just a "dirty shame."

  12. i am very sorry about all of this..i have been a reader since the very beginning and know how hard you worked to make the house look cute. i remember all your dining room pictures that were adorable. so sad to think it's all ruined. you have my prayers and best wishes for a good resolution. ~kelly

  13. Thank you so much for all your kind words and support. The other day, after standing in the dissarray with hubby and Gussie and our realizing we were covered with fleas and had to now add bombing for them to our list I said, "Well, I guess my Pollyanna atitude towards people genarally being good is finally shattered" They looked sad at me.
    But, hearing all your comments and thinking about all the good people out there, I need to remember that if we don't currently we should work to far outweigh all those who are bad and don't care.
    It's funny mentioning the dining room. I almost took a picture of its current state (Included broken glass panes in the antique corner china cabinet I installed as well as some animal droppings filling the floors) but thought better of it. I almost didn't want it recorded for posterity. It truly made me want to cry.

  14. What a terrible situation. For the fleas - a safe, cheap way to deal with them is to use Borax. Sprinkle it every where, it dries them out. Wish the rest was that easily dealt with.

  15. If only! Simply sprinkle a little Borax on your delinquent tenants and watch them clean and write cheques. Ah, well...Good advice though. I used borax to rid my terrace of ants this Summer and worked like a charm.

  16. Just wanted to say how sorry I am and it's just amazing that anyone could be as awful as your former tenants sound. Good riddance!

  17. When we moved here (with 4 children) we couldn't understand why it was SO HARD to find people willing to rent to people with children. We finally found a nice little 3 bedroom (which we were told by several landlords would be 'much too small' for our 'large' family (we didn't even feel 4 was LARGE! LOL)) 2 bath and we lived there for 3 years.

    We paid our rent on time every month and kept our yard clean and mowed. We found out why our landlords would tell us how much they loved us and give us big 'Thank you SO much!' when we'd drop off the rent check.

    They owned several houses on our street, and no one stayed as long as us. We saw one family down the street get evicted and they *ruined* that house! It looked like that show 'Hoarders', and the yard was so overgrown you could not walk through it. They couldn't even use a riding lawn mower on it, it was so high. They left several playsets buried in the grass.

    Apparently, according to the landlord, this was normal. They said that out of all the tenants on the street we were the only ones that paid on time consistently and kept a decent yard. They were so sad when we moved out.

    My inlaws owned a rental property and when their last tenants moved out they took everything--light fixtures, shower curtain rods, knobs off cabinets, light switch plates, plug outlet plates, window shades, the microwave, shower heads, faucets in the bathroom, carpet out of one room, wiring for some electrical things, breakers out of the breaker box for the house! It was ridiculous! They rented it to us for a couple years and when we moved they sold it.

    Can you hire a company to just shovel out the house and yard and just throw it all out?

    Mrs P

  18. Oh 50s gal you need to have a rental property here in Queensland! Or a really good agent. We rented for months when we moved here 10 years ago - there were monthly inspections by the estate agent and when we moved out although we had cleaned we hadn't a receipt for a professional cleaner and we got taken to court - we hadn't cleaned the top of the ceiling fans and had tried to plant some vegies in the 'garden bed'. Hubbie is a lawyer, so we had no court costs, but they on and we had to pay more money!
    Wishing you happy thoughts and a big hugxx

  19. Hmmm, this would be a good news subject for the local TV people. I'd start a campaign to make sure that judge doesn't get re-elected.

  20. My Hubby and I were just talking about this concept yesterday, the disposable relationship. Facebook, email, myspace, whatever social networking you use is all just disposable. Relationships are often just superficial. I can go on with my life with just a few quick posts to my best friends and THAT is considered staying connected. How easily it is to just "unfriend" someone?!? I had a gf and one day I was "unfriended" from her facebook page without an explanation or anything. I racked my brain to find an reason why but I still to this day don't know. She text me to never contact her again and that was that the relationship was over. How sad that we've become so connected and so disconnected at the same time.

  21. I would take photos of the damage and filth and post them on your facebook page along with the names of the tenants, as a warning to other landlords to not rent to them!


 Search The Apron Revolution