I was trying to be helpful. My heart was in the right place. My intentions were good. I wanted to show my hard-working spouse, the Carpenter, some support. So I did the unthinkable: I took the bold step of entering the Carpenter’s terrain, the manly-man world of landscape beautification.
It began with the cutting of the grass. For reasons probably outlined in the fine print of my marriage certificate, cutting the grass falls under the Carpenter’s realm of responsibilities. Sometimes I think it’s because he will do anything to avoid being inside where I am likely going to need his help in performing a task that is far less interesting than walking up and down rows of grass with obsessive accuracy to ensure grass blade depth and carpet-like streaks in the lawn’s appearance. It’s serious work.
I guess my inner Hippie loves the meadow look of our lawn, where the weeds and grass are co-mingled in a forest of lush, wild existence between the backyard tent, trampoline, pool and the various sports debris scattered without care by children who are mere years away from being trusted with the task of lawn maintenance. They will be allowed to be introduced to the toxic-burping gas lawnmower. A monkey could walk in off the street and be trusted with this task, but not me. Any relationship between the lawn mower and myself is strictly prohibited.
Remember, I was trying to help the Carpenter relax. I figured there is nothing sexier (absolutely nothing) than a man who washes dishes. Could the same not be true of a well-meaning wife who helps cut the grass?
I decided to use the non-toxic push lawnmower. Despite knowing that the blades were dull, I proceeded to walk back and forth, as straight as I could (while being easily distracted) in an attempt that resulted in basically trampling the long, plush grass into furrows of mulch gone wrong. Mother Nature would approve. The Carpenter? Not so much.
But I didn’t stop there. I decided to plant some flowers. The Carpenter loves to garden. I do not. Yet our house looked like it needed something, (understatement) and a few flowers would brighten it up, I reasoned. How could I possibly screw up flowers?
I took to the front garden with a flat of flowers, digging mini-holes in the dirt, just as I’d seen the Carpenter do before. That should have been my first clue. I started to pull out these weird rock things everywhere in the dirt, looking kind of like malformed onions. Then it hit me. These were the Carpenter’s tulips. He had done this before. Yikes. Quick as a bunny, I stuffed them back in haphazard holes and moved my flowers to a new home. Something tells me those tulips were replanted upside down. We’ll know in May.
The Carpenter returned home and saw his mangled lawn, his frustrated flowerbeds and his dirt-covered wife. Pretending not to look startled, he graciously faked his appreciation. It was the thought that counted. Good enough.
Five minutes later, I heard the emissions-spouting lawn mower purr to live. By dinner the wild dilapidated meadow was an army of green, crisp blades of vertical of perfect, standing at attention. (Show off).
Later, the Carpenter reciprocated my affectionate gesture by washing the dinner dishes. It is true; there is nothing sexier than a man who washes the dishes.
And let’s face it; I don’t really want to cut the grass.
Writing has been my passion since I learned how to hold a pencil (which I still cannot do properly). Despite my father’s insistence that I would starve to death in this career, I remain well fed and eager to write more. They say you should do what you love: I love to write.