There comes a time in every single girl’s life when she has to face certain truths. A day when she can’t avoid the inevitable any longer. A moment when she has to square her shoulders and accept a responsibility she doesn’t want but can’t shirk.
Yesterday was one of those days. The grass HAD to be mowed. I couldn’t put it off another day – the grass had taken advantage of all the recent rain and had grown “halfway to [my] ass” as Himself put it (yes, we’ve talked a bit but I’m not sure what to report yet so I’m not reporting anything). It hadn’t rained in a couple of days so the ground was dry enough, but rain was in the forecast for last night and today so I needed to strike while the iron was hot. Get while the getting was good. Make hay while the sun shone. OK, given the height of the grass, that one really was my goal.
I came home from work, suited up for the attack, then wheeled the lawnmower out of the garage, swiping off the cobwebs as we went. Checked the oil, gassed 'er up (spilling gas all over both hands in the process) and headed for the backyard.
Pushed the primer button three times, as instructed. Pulled the cord thingy. (What? It’s a technical term.) Little Ms. Green Machine didn’t respond. at. all. Pulled the cord thingy again. And again. LMGM whirred a bit just to tease me.
I took a deep breath. Pulled. Took a deeper breath. Pulled. Looked heavenward and calmed myself. Pulled. Pulled. Pulled. (Does that word look weird to anyone else yet?) Walked away from LMGM and said a prayer: “God, my needs are simple. Please let the lawnmower start. Please. Pretty please with a cherry on top. I'll never do anything bad ever again.” Pulled. Promising whirring but still no real action from LMGM.
I decided that maybe after sitting all winter she needed several pulls in a row to really get her warmed up. Pullpullpullpullpullpullpullpull…still nothing. I groaned. Pulled. Pulled some more.
I should be typing in all caps because by this time my blood pressure was climbing higher than the neighbor’s clematis. HIGHER THAN THE NEIGHBOR’S CLEMATIS, I TELL YOU!!! I stalked away from the mower and kicked a plastic patio table, which was very unsatisfying because it didn’t fly across the patio and thwack against the wall like I wanted. It just sort of bounced a couple of times, dammit.
More deep breaths. More prayers. More muttering and cursing. More pulling. Finally, tears and a kick to LMGM’s right front tire, which was more satisfying than the table kick. Except she didn’t even respond to that.
I admitted defeat.
I wheeled the blasted thing back to the garage and closed the door and came inside to compose myself. As I was cooling off, I thought to call my landlord to see if he could help. He lives down the block and fortunately he was home. So he walked over with his dog while I wrestled LMGM back out of the garage.
When he arrived, we exchanged pleasantries then Mr. Landlord handed me the dog’s leash, pushed the primer button on the mower and pulled the cord thingy.
Dammit. You knew it was going to happen, didn’t you?
Mr. Landlord gave me a look that seemed to say “poor, silly woman,” traded me the dog for the lawnmower, waved as I thanked him, and waltzed off down the street. I watched him for a moment, LMGM vibrating in front of me, and felt stupid, weak and embarrassed. Yes, I know all of those were probably unnecessary emotions – and probably mostly untrue – but there I was.
When I marry my last husband, he will happily mow the lawn. I will never have to touch a lawn mower again or risk dousing myself with flammable fluids. I will not suffer another sore armpit muscle and we will live happily ever after.