Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Girl's Guide To Mowing

As a new homeowner, I'm learning lots about handling a household on my own. Allow me, then, to share with you my Girl's Guide To Mowing. It just may save your life...

Mowing Preparation

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.


Rethink The (Lawnmower) Wheel

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.)

The Art of Mowing

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.

Troubleshooting

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.)

Resume mowing.

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....

22 comments:

Ann said...

Too funny, Brin! I hate to admit this, but I have never mowed a lawn in my life. During my growing up years we always lived in apartments. Someday, I'll have to refer back to today's post. :) I do like the spa treatment, though.

Where's the part about drinking an ice cold, tall glass of iced tea when you're done? :)

Anonymous said...

Brilliant!!! (smile, smile smile!!) You make me giggle and inspire me, all at the same time. Thank you for another adorable post.


Wishing you a blessed day,
Cindy

Amber said...

Leave it to you to make mowing sound like so much fun. I can just picture what that must have been like. Have a great day!

Amber

Anonymous said...

too freaking funny!! i emailed this to all my friends and my daughter, connie

Heidi said...

What a treat you are! I adore your posts every day! I wish I lived close because I'm sure we would be dear friends!

Just think how much easier it will be next time, now that you've got it all figured out! ;)

emily said...

you are too funny! thanks for the laugh!!!

Anonymous said...

So funny!!! lol This sort of makes me want to take over the mowing just to get a spa treatment! Not! :D But if I did have to mow, then I would def follow your spa mowing plan. Hilarious! Auntie M

Mrs. JoAnne Mabey said...

i feel honored that i am part of a step! yeah me!
but i have to say, that is why i have never mowed a lawn. but it does look amazing and your 'sense-of-accomplishment' gage should be off the charts! :) see ya soon!

betty r said...

That was hilarious and I chuckled my way through...why? maybe because there is so much truth in it~giggle, giggle~
That was so good...and laughter is good for the soul. You can call this a "healing post".

Sue said...

Too funny Brin, but why didn't you spring for a riding mower? lol Only you could make such a chore sound "hip"!! I'll say it again, you need to turn this blog into a book! Hugs!

Brambleberry said...

Ahahaha!! I haven't laughed so hard in awhile. I'm glad you have found a way to turn mowing into such a physical treat. Were your abs engaged the entire time? :)

bellacolle said...

Hwlol (howling with laughter outloud!) Oh my goodness, what a funny way to look at mowing the lawn! I must remember the spa gear next time I mow! hehehe! to funny! And now that I have to push mow our 2 acres since our rider died... I will try and remember to have my abs engaged!

grace said...

I'm almost frightened at how much I identified with this--especially the scream and the multi-tasking! Many years ago as I tried to mow a lawn for the first time at my own home as my Baptist deacon neighbor smiled and watched, I couldn't understand why the mower wouldn't start. No gas! Bless him for the many times he came across the street to rescue me...and bless you for bringing back the memories!

Wylee said...

Oh no! Please don't make me mow the lawn too. This week I have already repaired the TiVo cord and hot wired the refrigerator, please don't make me mow the lawn too. Please. I just can't take anymore, ahem, man chores right now.

Alison said...

No matter how much fun you make lawn mowing sound like I'm not going to do it anymore.
Have had my moments with mowers and they always won.I'm sure they saw me coming and decided this was the time that no matter what it was not going to start.

Lana said...

Oh Brin! I laughed and laughed as I read this! I have mowed for years, ever since I was a kid at home, with both push mowers and riding mowers. Two years ago my husband bought a brand spanking new riding mower. I was thrilled to get to ride (mow) in style! The first time I mowed, half way through, I stopped to ask my husband why the little red light kept flashing ~ he made me get off and I never had to mow again, lol! I still don't know why the light was flashing, but now the lawn care is HIS job...

Heather said...

This is SO funny!!!
Heather

Anonymous said...

Please write other Girls' Guides!! ! I want to collect them all :-> Hollie

Lallee said...

LOL I am SO glad my mowing days are over! You helped me remember why. I do my spas inside now. After hubby was traveling so much and the Florida heat was about to put me in the ground, I finally put my foot down and told him my mileage and warranty were up. I cried plenty of tears and said many bad words when I could not get the dang thing started. It did help when we finally got an electric start. But now I sit at my computer in the AC and watch yardman do it all. Bliss!

Bonnie said...

Thanks for the post, I laughed... ALOT. Growing up my dad owned a lawn care buisness and so I spent many a misserable teenage years pouting and sulking behind a lawnmower. If only I would have realized the powerful yet unhoned multitasking skills I would some day posess. Think of all the beautifying I could have done. Now that's what I have my husband for. However empowering it may be, if the bathroom and dinner are pink jobs at this house... the lawn is DEFINATLEY blue! I just don't enjoy picking catepillars out of my hair, call me crazy. Nevertheless, you should enjoy it while you can, and pop another diet coke for me, in the name of all womanhood! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

What a great LOL for a Sat morning!! Mowing was always my job, pushing around in the sun and heat. THEN the days of the rider came, finally I was relieved of the job. So now HE-MAN can ride around with a cool one!

Anonymous said...

Precious friend, you are hysterical! Loved it!
sw