The Suburbs: Doing Yardwork


One of the most embarrassing stories I could tell about myself is the first time my dad let me cut the grass. I was nine or ten and thought it would be pretty awesome and “adult” if my dad, unsupervised, let me cut the grass in our fairly large yard. I always rode on the riding lawnmower with him as a toddler, so I assumed I had enough experience to get this job done. About three minutes into my inaugural cutting journey I ran over an electrical cord. That was the last time I ever cut the grass.

Flash forward fifteen years later and I’m a homeowner. I have to cut the grass. Sure, I could pay some snot nosed neighbor kid to do it, but I’m not giving that kid ten dollars so he can go buy something that will more than likely annoy me. It’s me and no one else to do this job. And you know what? I’m the best damn grass cutter in the neighborhood. If there was a contest to enter I would enter and win. If there was a magazine called Better Grass Cutting Monthly I’d be on the cover or write their back page article. I’m a maestro with the blade. And I haven’t ran over any electrical cords yet (probably because their are none in the yard. Give it time). I think I’m going to earn the reward to cut the grass without my shirt on eventually. You earn that right, correct?

I’m actually finding myself enjoying the yard work, too. Since we are getting married in the backyard we want the actual yard to look as nice as we can have it look. I’ve also been putting down grass seed and more dirt and (much to my surprise) the grass is actually growing. I mean, sure, it’s not rocket science to grow grass – but I’m impressed with myself, damnit. It feels nice to be taking care of more than, well, nothing. When we lived in the condo we just had to make sure nothing broke.

The sense of accomplishment is a great thing. And going to Home Depot or Lowes to buy stuff like shovels and whatnot is something I don’t think I’ll ever get used to. I don’t buy shovels. Shovels are for construction workers and serial killers. As a house warming gift my parents bought us a really nice trimmer. My dad made me use it that day before he left. I think he wanted to make sure I didn’t cut off a finger or something. I respect that. Not the best track record at “Wes’ Home and Garden.”