Go out and get yourself a brand new, electric start, self-propelled lawnmower. Do not borrow your neighbor's. (We are girls, after all. We take help where we can get it but do things right the first time.) When they deliver the mower in a box, call Jo to help you get it out and Sam to oil it up and pour in the gas. There. Now you are ready.
We do not mow as guys mow. Oh no. We are multi-taskers. Queens of doing five things at once. Therefore, make your mowing time matter. Think of it as an opportunity to fit in a little spa time. Assemble the following products: teeth whitening strips, sunscreen, foot lotion, anti-cellulite cream, heat-activated hair conditioner, and hand moisturizer. Before heading out, apply teeth whitening strips. Apply moisturizer to hair, comb, and tuck under baseball cap. Rub in anti-cellulite cream before sliding into jeans. Apply foot lotion and cover with heavy cotton socks and rubber boots. Apply cuticle cream and hand moisturizer and put on gloves. Stand back. Gloat that by the time the yard is neatly mowed, your teeth will be whiter, your body and hair softer and your thighs less cellulite-y. Ha. Let's see a guy think of this.
Start Your Engine
Approach lawnmower. Engage your abdominals (like that brunette on your pilates video). Remember you forgot the lawnmower key. Disengage, run inside, return with key. Start lawnmower. Activate self-propelled feature and wince as it nearly jerks both shoulders from their sockets. Hang on, girl. (And engage those abdominals.)
Lawnmowers are violent, ruthless machines by nature, therefore don't think about it when you run over crickets. Also, try to avoid sticks and bricks. And rocks. Decide that, once upon a time, your yard must have been a stone quarry. Or a Civil War era rock garden. As such, it's okay to yelp and scream when the mower hits and flings rocks, just make sure no one's watching and remember to ease off the self-propelled feature. And... oh... that. That was just the grass cover-thingy. It's okay. It falls off all the time, I think.
Or maybe it was important. When the lawnmower dies, don't freak out. It's okay. Reattach grass guard thing and try to start mower. Hmmm. Realize mower's probably out of gas and run to get your cute gas jug. Carefully unscrew gas can and stare with disbelief when you realize it still has gas. Try to start mower again. When it makes that little PUFF sound as you turn the key, begin to mutter under your breath. Rock mower back and forth to dislodge whatever's under there. When that doesn't work, pull it around awhile and try to start it again. Speak clearly and sternly to it. (You won't put up with this, after all. It's a new mower.) When that doesn't work, take off your sweaty/lotion-y gloves and ... go inside.
Phone a friend.
Repair and Maintenance
When friend asks if something's caught in the blade, act as though you'd thought of that already. Turn mower over. Don't sound surprised when something is, in fact, caught in the blade. Politely hang up and find a stick. Poke at the clumped-up mass. When it doesn't budge, poke harder. DO NOT dwell on the fact that one false poke could leave you without your right hand for life. Take off glove, wipe stupid lotioned-and-creamed-hand onto your dirty jeans, and poke harder. When it doesn't move, cry out in frustration.
Being a Team Player
When the guy working on the home next door hears you scream, don't be surprised when he runs over. Smile and politely explain your dilemma. When he stares at you, keep smiling. When he says, "What in the world kind of get-up is that?", and gestures to your "get-up", continue to smile as you explain that it's a little something called spa mowing. Don't expect him to understand.
When he tips the lawnmower over, don't panic. When he frees the blade, thank him profusely. Remind him that you are new to mowing and will soon have all this down. Be extra nice to him when he restarts the lawnmower and stares at you again. (And don't tell him, when he asks, that the strong peppermint/caffeine smell is anti-cellulite cream.)
Completing Your Yard
Finish mowing, stopping only to readjust teeth whitening strips, to re-readjust teeth whitening strips, and to finally remove teeth whitening strips and fling them in the grass. (And okay, you can stop once for a Diet Coke with lime.) When yard is completed, stop to admire. Tell yourself that next time it won't look as though a drunk person did it.
Storing Your Equipment
Start to wheel mower back to starting position and realize it's hard to push once the motor is off. Tug/pull it halfway across the yard and decide to leave it and start there next time. Find your phone and Diet Coke and go inside.
Finishing The Job
Once inside, remove every nasty article of clothing. Consider burning them, then decide to wash them - twice - in really hot water and bleach. (Think Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner.) Go to the bath. Go immediately to the bath. Do not pass the kitchen and do not collect another Diet Coke. When you get to the bath, scrub. When you close your eyes to rinse your newly-conditioned hair, try not to think of all the hopping crickets you massacred.
Now then. The yard is mowed and you are a brand new creature. (Girls are so clever.) Pat yourself on the back for mowing the yard all by yourself, and wonder why guys always gripe about mowing. Realize that they must not know how to do it effectively. Decide to write a guide for other mowing girls to share your newly-acquired knowledge.
Write the guide. Publish it on your blog. Remember why your blog is called My Messy, Thrilling Life. Now go outside. For heaven's sake, go outside and enjoy that newly-mown lawn....