Lawn Man

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The other day Chris said to me: "You know what? My grass is looking good. Lookin' REAL GOOD." He said it as though the fescue in the backyard had suddenly developed breasts overnight.

"Yes, it does look nice," I said, looking up from my copy of Domino.

"Yeah it does! It looks AMAZING."

It's spring again, the time of the year when animals come out of hibernation, when baby critters are born, when men ultimately talk about fertilizing their lawns whenever gathered together. It's apropos. At a recent gathering of friends, I noticed that the conversation from the man-half of the group delved into grass fertilization and yard work and mowing and machinery. Whereas a man's fishing stories are akin to a woman's labor story, so is yard work discussion akin to something chicks talk about, I'm too tired to think of a competent analogy. You get it. 

The other day we were at Lowe's, often thought of as man territory, but I love it there. I love the shiny objects and the smell of the wood. Basically, I love it for the same reasons as would a cat. Chris convinced himself that he needed a blower-slash-sucker. Some mechanized elephant to remove the dead leaves from under the deck and from the flowerbeds. He spent thirty minutes examining the different types of blower-sucker machines (my mind is about to explode from the juvenile opportunities here) before trotting out proudly to meet me in the garden department with the box in hand.

That afternoon as I pruned and planted like a 50s' housewife, he stood in the backyard and adorned himself with the blower's bag and strap as though gearing up for a joust. He slipped on a pair of the manliest garden gloves I could find him (blue and green stripes), a pair of yellow goggles, and for a moment, I could've sworn I heard the Vienna Boys' Choir and saw a Photoshop starburst behind him as he stood satisfied, his hands on his hips.

21 Comments

A man with a big leaf blower is....well...a man.

I dream of having a husband like that. Mine? He spends his time fishing or laying on his ass. I'm the yard "guy" in my household.

I was noticing how nice my lawn was looking, too. There's always room for improvement, though.

sltbee69,

I tried laying on my ass once...boy did that tick off the other drivers on I-70!

Your descriptions are so, well, descriptive. I could almost picture him standing there.

The lawn maintenance supervisor at my house instructed me last week to use my lunch hour to "swing by Lowes" and get him a bag of XYZ fertilizer for his beloved bermuda grass. I did hastily "swing by", and guess what. Upon his inspection of the $32.00 bag he says....You will have to "swing back by" tomorrow. This is the wrong kind. The only thing I wanted to swing was..well you get it. By the way, I'll be flinging my water bill soon, he has the sprinklers going full blast.

Nice visual...
My man will NOT wear gloves or goggles..and I can't get him to get power tools for the yard. He's the one down on his hands and knees trimming the yard. WTF?? He feels at one with the yard. When we drive around the neighborhood he'll say things like, "Well our yard is for sure the best looking, don't you think?"
And I answer, "YES OUR'S LOOKS AWESOME, YOU DO A GREAT JOB"..

Dana,
First of all, I'm so sorry to hear about your server going down - I would have hyperventilated for days on end.

Second of all, please tell Chris he is more than welcome to come over and do his magic on my yard.

I agree with Kim. You created such a clear image that I would swear I could see him. Thanks for a good afternoon chuckle!

Yeah yeah, your perspective is very interesting, but could you put your husband on so he can share his lawn care secrets?

All I've got is weeds. If Chris feels like a challenge, my lawn is always open.

Sadly, my husband cannot participate in this manly activity of lawn maintenance with the same alacrity as other men. His allergies force him to mow the lawn in a mask. Which I think sort of kills the buzz for him.

(Yes, I have offered to mow the lawn in his stead because of his allergies. But no, he won't let me do it.)

Down south of I-10, we HATE grass. We think people who fertilize it so it will grow better are insane. People down here have to mow year-round so it's easy to get burned out on it.

We love it when we get brown spots or die-off in the St. Augustine grass, and love it when less invasive species of grass start growing instead. We don't believe in a monoculture lawn.

And - y'all midwesterners who mow your grass in a diagonal pattern - you are crazy. Grass doesn't care what pattern it's cut in. When we lived in Columbia, MO, I had several midwesterners tell me it kept the grass healthier to mow it in different patterns each time. We were too polite to say so at the time, but we came to the conclusion that people who believe that are 3 kinds of crazy.

As southerners on the Gulf coast, we don't care about it being healthy, we just care when it grows tall enough to obscure the entrances to the house. This can happen in just a few days during our summer rainy season.

We gloried in our brown lawn with green edges around the vegetable plots during summer droughts in Missouri. One summer we were able to go 10 weeks without mowing. That good ol' fescue would green up nicely on its own after a rain.

Down here, the guys talk about sports, politics, golf, you name it except grass. Everybody hates it too much to enjoy talking about it.

My husband too loves the leaf blower/sucker! It makes me laugh to watch him try and and get the straps all on without tripping!

I never want to live in anything other than a condo unless I have a child of grass cutting and law care age, I have never cut the grass and the HTB hates doing it so it looks like we will either A) be the neighbors everyone hates b/c their lawns looks terrible, or B) stay put because they pay people to do it or C) put a sign on the lawn advertising for an independent neighborhood kid with a hankering for law care.

We've a miniture, city-backyard-sized Botanical Gardens. There's not a single blade of grass; it's all flowers and pavers and bricks and lush beauty. And it's made even more beautiful by the fact that Jeff and I don't have to do anything but admire it. It's one of the perks of still renting.

Funny, my husband is going through the same dance. All our Yard Sale of the Century proceeds went to the purchase of a new weed whacker (insert juvenile snicker and know that I'm thinking something in my head that I won't say here) because a tiny little switch on our old one broke and they wanted nearly the price of a new one to fix it.

He actually called me at work after using the new one the first time to tell me how well it whacks. (snicker snort slpfffft) He was impressed.

I was amused.

Maybe he and Chris should get together to compare equipment. And gloves. HA, I crack myself up!

I'm just relieved to see someone other than myself refers to a weed wacker...as a weed wacker.

When I was 19 my brother and I ran a small lawn business. He ran the mower, I was the official weed wacker. HAHA

Perfect imagery. And lawn/breast analogy? Never heard it, but find it hilarious. My husband has one of those blower/sucker things and loves it.

I have the same sort of pride towards my lawn-we just bought our first home last fall, and now that spring is here I have a chance to rescue ours. The house was vacant the entire summer so half the back lawn was dead so this past week I've done nothing but stare at it hoping the new seed I put down last week would somehow sprout and cover all the damage. Alas, a watched lawn never sprouts.

Now maybe I'm just different... but while I take pride in my home and make sure the lawn is manicured properly... I HATE yardwork and would sooner stick a crochet hook in my eye!

If I could pave the yard and paint it green, and remove every living green thing and replace it with silk, I would!

I don't get the "at one with the yard" mentality. Does that make me less of a man?

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