It was a normal afternoon. Hilary and I had just a few short days before the move. Hilary had just finished her final exam, and was now a graduate from BYU. To celebrate, we headed up to Pleasant Grove to eat at the Purple Turtle, because nothing says fancy better than a purple turtle. Our trip also meant a stop in Alpine to look at some computers and check on Sammy, the pug we would take down to Texas. After eating some decent burgers, we were headed to Alpine to finish our trip. This was when the adventure started.
We turned onto Ridge towards Hil's home, casually noticing the garbage cans lining the road. Jack FM was playing a classic eighties song which seemed to stage the scene as if we were in a John Hughes film. We went around a corner when she spotted it: a yellow colander crowning the top of a garbage bag, a treasure among the unseemly.
A sharp inhale of breath preceded, "Mike, did you see that colander in the trash? It's just the color for our kitchen."
"That's nice, Hil," I said, taking a sip of my fruit punch.
"It didn't look broken," Hilary continued, "let's go back and take it."
I laughed. "Dumpster diving? In Alpine? What will the neighbors think?"
Undeterred, Hilary said, "Nevermind. I'll just swing the car around (for some reason, people find it strange that Hilary does most of the driving in this relationship. That's for two reasons: 1. She's the better driver. And 2. I'm lazy, so it works for both of us), and you can pick it up for us."
The plan seemed flawless: Hilary would get us close enough for me to grab the colander. That was the plan, until we came car to garbage truck with... the garbage men. They were two houses down from the prized kitchen piece. Rhetorical questions about neighbors aside, I wondered to myself, "Will Hilary still want the trash strainer?"
She did. "There's the garbage truck," I said.
"Well, we'll have to get there before them," she answered, pulling the car around in front of the truck. She didn't get close enough to the can. I opened the door, taking the few steps to claim the yellow colander.
It was, well, something. The perfect yellow was rusting on the perforated bottom. A handle swung from its spot, and the entire thing gave a faint odor of its former thrown out abode.
"It stinks," I said as we drove to the in-laws. "And one of the handles is messed up."
"It doesn't stink. We'll wash it up at the house. Besides, it's a project."
I have come to a knowledge that project is a key term in marriage. When something doesn't go right, or doesn't look well, or isn't progressing as fast as one would like, simply shrug a shoulder, and say, "It's a project."
We took this project to the house. After washing it, Hilary said, "You're right: it does stink a little, and the rust is bad... I don't think we can fix this handle."
"Do you want to keep it?" I asked.
"I'll tell you in a minute," she said pensively, studying it.
A few deliberating moments later found the discarded colander back in the trash. If there's a moral to this story, I haven't the faintest idea what it is. Maybe, "One man's trash is another's eventual trash," while "The Circle of Life" blares from speakers.