She Might Be Right

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Unkindest Cut Of All

The grass needs to be cut.

Of this I’m certain. Or at least I sounded certain when I said those words to her.

What I do not know is what the DNA of the matter is. But I’ve come to realize that part of being a man is lobbying to cut the grass.

She didn’t need to look out the window to see if I was correct in my assessment of grass length. She was certain that cutting the grass has become something of a periodic male hormonal imbalance that leads me to whine and push and generally become impossible to live with every week to 10 days.

I reason that the grass will look better if it’s cut.

She counters that no one is coming over today or tomorrow, so we can spend our time (I believe that women use the royal we when speaking about their mates’ free time) on bigger projects like sponge painting the living room or the dog room or the dog.

I reason that the grass will be much tougher to mow the longer it gets. Exponentially so. It’s easier and less time consuming to cut the grass two times in two weeks than once in two weeks.

She counters that it really doesn’t matter. We’re talking about an extra half-hour or so being a self-propelled mower … big deal. There are other more difficult, more time consuming, more back-breaking things to do that we can label major projects; things that take 20 hours to get done that we’ll only budget an afternoon to complete.

(That last sentence was my wording. She said something about cleaning out the craft room or shopping for comforters or landscaping the entire neighborhood … I really don’t remember the specifics. What came from her lips to my ears to my brain was that we were going to take on something big today. Something really big.)

What I don’t get is the notion that mowing is a joy, not a chore, to me.

She thinks this is so. She tells me that I mow too much. She jokes with others that I’d mow day and night if I could, such fun have I walking that same green route over and over and over.

For the record, I am not happiest when mulching. The deck does not become tougher to stain if left a year or two or eight. Beds do not become harder to make when left unattended for a month. But cutting grass and changing the car’s oil demand timeliness.

I’m pretty sure that the grass needs to be cut. And I think it needs to be done soon, if possible.

I’m telling you that there’s a small family of possums that has taken up residence in my tiny back yard and hasn’t been seen in the past three days. The grass is that long.

I believe that the dog went in there to hunt them out two days ago. I’ll let you know how that went when poor old Bailey climbs out of the rain forest that my back 40 (feet, not acres) has become.

I can tell you all of that, but of course I can’t tell her any of that. I realized a long time ago that hyperbole is a one-way street with women.

Were I to say that I’ve sent our children out back with machetes to work a path to the swing set, she’d roll her eyes.

But to the benign statement that the grass might possibly need to be mowed in the near future, she volleys back this: “We haven’t painted a wall in years (actually two rooms in the past 18 months). Why can’t we just do one of my projects for a change because we’re always doing yours? (I don’t have projects. I have a quest for television time. There is a difference.) I can’t believe you won’t even consider doing this. (Consider? We’re talking about it.) Why can’t I ever get stuff done around the house that other women get done?”

Obviously her combination of verbal blows caught me at least once or two hundred times in the melon. I say obviously because no man with his full senses would reply with this: “Other women? I do lots of stuff for you that other guys don’t do.”

Over. Count me out.

When asked to produce a list of said items of toil, I couldn’t produce a single one until the 284 that passed quickly through my mind as I lie awake at 3 a.m. that night.

I too am surprised that I didn’t sleep better that night. Usually I sleep quite soundly after sponge painting for eight hours and moving heavy boxes around a craft room for another four hours.

(Incidentally, if it was a man who figured out that painting with a sponge leaves a nicer “effect” than painting with a roller, I’d like that man to e-mail me pronto for his comeuppance.)

But at least I used my time awake in the night to formulate a new plan. She on the other hand was sleeping, giving me a clear edge in preparation.

Here is what I came up with:

If possible, I’d like to set some time aside to cut the grass. Not this week, of course. Or next. That wall in the basement does need to be moved four inches and that’s a higher priority. Wait … how about if I put brick pavers over our existing grass?


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