Friday, August 13, 2010

An Inconvenient Truth (that is, surprisingly, both true and inconvenient)

Ready for it?

....................

Growing up, I NEVER had to mow the lawn. No, not "seldom," not "rarely." Never.

Now. I'm sure that there are lots of other adults out there who've never mown a lawn. But I am equally sure that those other adults didn't: ONE-grow up in Utah where EVERYONE has a lawn and EVERYONE makes their kids mow it, and TWO-graduate with a four-year degree in HORTICULTURE. Yeah. You begin to see the level of my pathetic-ness.

No, it wasn't until I was a real adult, with my own house and a lawn to mow, that I finally realized that at some point in my life I was probably going to have to mow a lawn. So, I did what any other self-respecting Luddite would do: I went out and bought a reel mower. (You know, those silly looking mowers with no motor that you probably thought were extinct? Yep. One of those.) I was feeling pretty good about my choice. It's earth-conscious, quiet, smells lovely (like fresh-mown grass--go fig!), and best of all, totally self-propelled, so that I can do it with the kids around without worrying about injuring one of them in a freak accident. Unfortunately, it also doesn't work when your grass is more that six inches long. Which ours is. All the time.

And that brings me to today. I decided to spare my busy husband a little and mow the lawn for him, so that on the one night he isn't at meetings, he didn't have to mow AND trim the lawn. (I know, nice, right?) Except for that whole, "I've never mown the lawn" thing. Yeah...

Let's just skip to the morals of this story:

1. It is far better to be humiliated at age 12--when you are far less likely to remember it--than age 28. And, yes, I did hear the neighbours guffaw at my 20 failed attempts at getting the thing started. Okay, that's a lie. I didn't hear them. But that doesn't mean they didn't.

2. Some of us were just meant for another era. When people used reel mowers (of whom, I am the only one left that I know) and hung their laundry outside (which a FEW other people still do--thanks, Grandma!).

3. It is ASTOUNDING how good you can feel about a really crappy "job well-done."

6 comments:

Linda said...

I love it! Grandma D. had one of those at her condo that David and Loretta (Loretta) used for a while. I'm not sure if they still have it or not. But I do know it was not easy to use! I never mowed a lawn growing up either (I had two brothers, for Pete's sake!) But I sure know how now...My friend says I never should have learned...I'm proud of you--for your consideration of your husband, and for your success!

Juanita said...

My son bought his first house in Utah and he says he had never mown a lawn. (I didn't believe it but he said when he was a teen and it was his responsibility to do the lawn that he hired someone. I did not remember that. In Utah he couldn't decide whether you were supposed to go back and forth or round and round so he watched the teen next door so no one would laugh at his attempts. (You see , you are not alone.)

Juanita said...

When I mowed the lawn once to help my busy husband he got mad and said I didn't need him for anything!!! So much for helping out.

Gramma Joy and Grampa Todd said...

What a fun post! I've always thought what a wonderful writer you are, Amanda... it's great to read your "musings!" I was a bit surprised however to learn that you had never mowed the lawn! I was nearly certain you had helped out with that job at home... so much for my memory :o) i can relate to the push mower experience, as that's the style of mower we had growing up. (You should ask Uncle Jeff about his memories of mowing--he ended up with both arms in casts one summer :?) Cudos for your efforts and thoughtfulness--and for sharing the experience with us :o)

amanda j said...

Thanks, everyone! Ivan was appreciative, or at least polite. ;D Because my mowing was inexpert, to say the least, the edging took him longer than usual. But he didn't complain!

And, Mum, the ONLY memory I have of mowing a lawn was when we lived in the condo near Sharon. When our lawn was less than 10 square feet. And we had, that's right, a reel-mower. (That's how I knew they still existed, actually!) :)

Sarah said...

lol! Love it! Our lawn mower is electric...so when I mow it looks like I'm using a really big vacuum on the front lawn. nice, right?