Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Lawn Affair

I was going to begin this post by saying that I'm an oddball but that's already been established so I'll just say that one of my odd quirks is going to be the death of me I think. I like to mow grass. On occasion, I've mown my yard and seen that the neighbor's yard is tall so I just kept on going and mowed theirs too. It's instant gratification to see a messy yard transformed into a thing of beauty row by row.

When I first got divorced, the only lawnmower that I had was one of those old school push whirly thingies. Non motorized is what I'm trying to say. I thought I was being so "green" by using muscle power instead of burning fossil fuels. My yard had St. Augustine grass which is pretty sturdy stuff. It's also the kind of stuff that doesn't make mowing with a muscle powered mower easy. In fact, it kicked my ass. It kicked it really badly. My ex took pity on me and gave me the gas powered mower that we had had for 10 years. It made things much, much easier.

I've been happily using that mower for 5 years now and when it runs, it still does a good job. The problem is that I think it's getting tired. It won't start unless it's cranked about a dozen times. Once started, it will run but the throttle slows bit by bit until it's putting so slowly it doesn't cut the grass effectively. I can hold the (broken) throttle handle to keep the speed up but then it makes mowing in a straight line a bit difficult. The process of starting the thing is what is killing me.

If you've ever pulled the crank cord on a lawn mower, you know that it can be a bit strenuous. If the engine is slow to respond and you have to crank it 10-12 times it can wear you plumb out. The fact that I'm still recovering from major back surgery doesn't help either. I can usually be seen huffing and puffing, cranking and cussing, sweating and swearing and begging the almighty to have pity on me and make the damn thing start. I've even resorted to asking strapping young lads to help me start it. It's getting worse and worse and I'm to the point where I'm ready to put it out to pasture (pardon the pun).

I told Mr. Man after a particularly stressful round of cranking that I hated that lawn mower and I was going to dip into my savings and buy myself one that wouldn't kill me and he insisted that he could fix it. I gently told him that I didn't have until infinity to wait for him to fix it - that I needed to get my yard mowed soon and he assured me that he'd come to my rescue. Four days later I was still waiting and the grass was waist high! OK, not really waist high, but it was tall. When I asked him again to help me, he pulled his usual stunt that he uses when he doesn't want to do something...he worked on it for about 15 minutes then got frustrated and threw the tools on the ground and walked away. My yard continued to steadily grow taller.

I must admit that he did get the thing running (a few days later) and I finally got to mow. It was hard because the grass was so tall, so I spent the evening storming around, mumbling to myself because I was so pissed that if the mower had been fixed sooner, it would not have been so hard for me to mow. The next time I went to cut the grass guess what? I couldn't get the mower started. I cranked until I was about to pass out. I cranked until my back was screaming in pain. You can ask my family in Arkansas; they heard my back screaming all the way in Little Rock. And I was angry all over again.

The other day I pulled the mower out of the garage and prepared myself to fight it in an attempt to get it started. It didn't. When Manchild got home and I had fed him a nice dinner I asked him to start it for me so I could mow. He cranked on it 5-6 times and got mad and stormed off. I stood in the driveway looking at the machine that I had come to hate and I did what any sane, normal adult woman would do. I started to cry.

I carried my crying, snotty, sweaty self over to my neighbors house and after crying out a tantrum, I managed to ask them if I could borrow their mower. Guess what? They loaned me theirs and it started on the first crank. I mowed my yard without having to hold the broken throttle handle. At 9:30 pm I had finally finished and I returned the mower. I apologised for having a temper tantrum/pity party on their doorstep and thanked them for loaning me their machine then I cried again because I was angry at my crummy tired mower, and I was angry at my man for not helping me more. My neighbor was very sweet and told me that that's what neighbors/friends were for; to cry with and help one another.

Today, I'm really embarrassed that I cried on my neighbor's doorstep over a stupid lawn mower. I could have asked them calmly and without snot and tears but they got "lucky" enough to catch me at my worst. Mr. Man knows I'm upset about something because I'm not speaking to him. He should have read my mind and known that he let me down and I was angry at him for not helping more. I'll forgive him some day in a thousand years but for now, I'm still a little miffed. I'm going out on the dang ol' interwebs and I'm going to research lawn mowers and I'm going to drive my cool sports car to wherever and purchase a lawn mower that has a throttle handle that works and that will start on the first crank. And when I do, the whole entire neighborhood will hear me singing and mowing. Heck, I might just mow all the lawns on my street. And when Mr. Man drives up and sees me mowing, I'm going to stick my tounge out at him. And keep on mowing.

I might get something like one of these babies:

P.S. Thanks Google for the images!

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