Monday, September 10, 2012

lawn mowing and liberation

I want to mow my own lawn.

I've been dreaming of a garden for over a decade and now that I finally have property, I want to maintain ALL of it.  Every rock and weed.  So, the men who were mowing the lawn, who continued mowing the lawn after I bought it, like some old hereditary serfs, had to go.

Well, to excuse my heartless letting-go of hard working men in this economy, the lawn hadn't had more than a mow and a trim in YEARS.  It was 75 percent serge, dandelion, and some other noxious weed I couldn't identify, and just a little bit of grass.  The grass was hanging on for dear life.  So I organically fertilized and then began weeding and reseeding by hand.  A foot at a time.

The lawn men kept mowing everything.  The new seed, the old weeds.  I couldn't identify and pull the weeds, and my newly seeded grass was doomed.  So that was part of the reason.

I'll bet they laugh at me now.  The lawn is now great huge spots of brown recently seeded fertized ground, remaining serge, and foot long grass.  I'll bet they drive by and make disgusted noises and think 'serves that mean b**** right' when they see it.  It looks like the pelt of some great green molting animal.

I've got a lawn mower.  I bought it new.  I read the manual cover to cover.  And I can't start it.  I thought it was because of something I didn't put together correctly.  Or some basic misunderstanding about the mechanics of the thing, but I finally stooped to ask a young man for help. And he started it right away.

I mowed for a bit and then aggravated the machine in some way and it gave a great 'POP' and died.  I was too embarrassed to ask the young man again, so here I am with a half mowed lawn, weeds, lumps of fertilized as yet ungrown patches.  And a brand new shiny orange lawn mower.

This is my mother's fault. Or my father's.  I give them both equal responsibility for never teaching me this simple task.  I learned to cook, and iron and clean.  I can, resentfully but adequately, feed a room full of hungry men if necessary.

But I can't mow the damned lawn.  That was my brother's job.  That and taking out the trash.  I HAVE mastered that manly task, at least.

Alright it's nobody's fault but my own.  I like the idea of machines.  The plans and instructions.  I love computers.  Clean, transistors and mother boards and neat little cables and stuff.  But oily greasy hot things with metal parts and rows and rows of DANGER in the instructions just never turned my crank. 

I don't like to maintain my automobile either. 

I hang my head in shame.  I am a lousy feminist.

With an ugly lawn.


  1. I'd be out there slogging along with one of those old-school, non-powered push mowers because I've gotten freaked by spinning blades in my dotage. But since I was the mowing person when we were growing up, it is TOTALLY out of my system and I appreciate my condo. (Of course, we lived on a farm and the lawn was an acre or two, so I just had to turn the key on a riding mower - much easier than what you're trying to do, I suspect.)

  2. I'm trying to get someone to give me a lesson. I figure if my brother could do it when he was nine, then I should be able to get the hang of it.

    It's a little too much for a push mower and not enough for a riding mower. And I'm super picky about lawns, which is kind of funny since I'm apparently hopeless at them. But I like them cut just so...

    Worse... I'm going to put down pavers and have a curved border around the grassy area. Making the entire process even more complicated. But I love gardens and gardening, always have. Its a surmountable problem, I'm sure.

    1. Just don't mow in sandals... that always makes me cringe. As does the guy in my neighborhood who never starts mowing until after dark. I dread the night I hear a thud and a choked off scream as the mower cuts out...

    2. I'm a manual reader and I read that part. Also the part about wearing 'protective eye gear'. So there I am with science goggles on and my bangs sticking up swearing at a lawn mower. No wonder they came to help me! I was scaring the children!

  3. I've mowed plenty of lawns, but have never been able to pull the cord hard enough or fast enough or whateverly enough to start the mower. There's a doohickey you can attach to use your drill to spin up the motor, though. I saw it years ago when I didn't need it, and now I need to start looking for it again.

    Weed-eaters really are a lot easier to run. They just kill your back.

  4. My gf told me she uses a weed eater too. but I like those mowed dents in the grass, lol.