Emotional Avant-Garbage

Wendy Aron
Aug 17, 2015 · 2 min read

A Sherman Colins Disorder Critic

Growing up, my mother and I always disagreed about what constituted “garbage.” In her mind, anything that I left lying on any surface for more than one second was garbage and had to be disposed of immediately (including my retainer).

In my mind, “garbage” constituted homework assignments. Usually, in school, I was forced to write reports on specific topics that could only be of interest to dead reference librarians. Therefore, I dedicated myself to learning the fastest, most creative ways to plagiarize.

My teachers consistently recognized my talent and often asked me to read my papers out loud for any classmates who had not already been put to sleep.

I tried to explain to my mother that this was a sign of my impending genius.

Since my mother was a retired English teacher herself, she was skeptical.

So, in order to remove all doubt from my mom’s mind that she had raised a genius, I decided to put something special together for her upcoming 90th birthday:

My Garbage Collage

I was so proud of my work, I showed it to the woman who occasionally comes to my apartment to help me find my kitchen counter whenever it gets buried under clutter.

My house cleaner took one look at my collage and passed out. I brought her to by holding an opened bottle of Mr. Clean under her nose for several minutes.

At this point. it occurred to me that my mother might not be an appreciator of contemporary avant-garbage, either.

Thinking quickly, I begged my house cleaner to let me take a video of her artwork. After all, she had just been given a retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, to which my mom had been a major contributor.

She agreed:

And I was right! My mom loved it!

She said my apartment was so orderly, it was beyond recognition (except for the giveaway Sherman Colins Disorder ear plugs I always keep on my desk).

I’ll tell you — those people with Genius Disorder never miss an opportunity to hiss at me.

Genius, Me?

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