The idea of dressing up for the rubbish collectors who visit my house every Wednesday started its life as a joke with friends on Facebook. I was often lovingly teased for wearing ridiculously inappropriate clothing for a work-at-home person. I took it on the chin because I do indeed wear inappropriate clothing. I’ve given myself tendonitis of the big toe by wearing sillily high and torturous heels, and I can always be relied upon to have a long and colourful story behind my clothes choice of the day. Because all life is a story and every day is dress-up day, some days I feel like being Robin Hood – green tights, brown robe and cincher belt; some days I’m thinking roaring twenties – I have far too many beads; some days I just want to be busy – black and yellow, like a bee; some days I’m just all over Dora Carrington or Audrey Hepburn or Dorothy Parker; some days, I just want to call myself Hortense even though my name is really Tracy and I was born in the 1970s and not the 1790s.
And so it was, a few months ago, that I found myself waking on a Wednesday morning and putting on a dress more suited to a dinner-dance in a glitzy ballroom than the distinctly middle-class road in Johannesburg, South Africa in which I live. I took a photograph of my orange wonder-dress and announced to Facebook that I was ready for the rubbish collectors to come calling; it was, after all, Black Tie Wednesday. So, that is where it started and now, well, now I have my poor benighted, blogger husband standing on the streets in the early mornings snapping away while I dance on the tarmac. Sometimes, the children even get involved. At this stage, the neighbours only stare slack-jawed through very slightly parted curtains as I prance about the place in dress-ups.
Not content with merely peeking neighbours, our cleaner who comes into work 3 times a week including Wednesdays, our gardener who only ever sees me on Wednesdays, my ever-patient two children who think their mother is crackers, the long-suffering, perfectly sensible husband, and my Facebook friends, I have now decided to take the Rubbish Collection Day Collection worldwide. It has been such a fun and off-the-wall adventure for my me and my friends – I certainly giggle all Wednesday. I hope you’ll giggle a little too. If all life is a story, most of it is far too serious to live with and in my book we could all do with a lot more silliness. John Irving was right when he said that “it is hard work and great art to make life not so serious.”