1. Patty Downie
    May 18, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

    Christine was delighted to have her braces removed. She was fitted with a retainer and it wasn’t two weeks before she threw it away in her brown paper lunch bag at school. By the time she told me about it, it was late in the afternoon. Knowing that she would have to pay to replace the retainer (over $200) and knowing it was probably futile to try to find it in the trash….I decided to go with her to school and see if it was worth a try. The janitor directed us to the dumpster and the 21 or so black plastic trash bags that held lunch trash from over 1,000 students at Yorktown High School. I prayed, please Lord, help us find this thing. We put on rubber gloves, and Christine climbed in the dumpster and started throwing out the bags. The thick, double bagged trash was not too bad to go through….and actually, there were very few brown paper lunch bags inside so it was quick work. Christine had made cupcakes for a friend that day….the funfetti kind that left polka dot designs on the cupcake wrappers….the friend had another lunch period…so it was interesting to find those. Also, I liked checking out what wrapper/ treats were in other kids’ lunches. About bag 15, we found the brown bag with “Christine,” AND THE RETAINER. We were so happy, but couldn’t yell too loud because we didn’t want to drawn attention to ourselves dumpster diving. Hooray! (BTW, just for the record, this is the only time I have ever been dumpster diving)


  2. Erica Chapman
    May 18, 2009 @ 9:05 pm

    I have been dumpster diving twice during my early high school years. I was on the same mission to find my mistakenly trashed retainer. I used to wrap the retainer in a napkin so as not to gross out myself and those who were eating with me. Oddly enough I threw it way at Burger King then later at McDonald’s. In the midst of going through the trash bags I tried to distract from my glaring forgetfulness by noting that throwing away my glow-in-the-dark pink retainer at the competing restaurants was only fair.


  3. davidmartinhanke
    May 19, 2009 @ 8:32 am

    Patty and Erica, these are GREAT stories. thanks


  4. Jeff Walton
    May 20, 2009 @ 9:51 am

    Lon Solomon at McLean Bible Church has a great sermon about dumpster diving for his son’s retainer. As he rolled up his sleeves to sort through the trash and save $200, he said “I know Christ, but I’m still Jewish.”

    I was amused at his humor (and sense of thrift!)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *