Opinion: Lawn day’s journey

Spring is just around the corner and I am already a wreck about what a lousy-looking lawn we are going to have again this year. I’ve tried everything in the past. Even watering. I don’t understand why a dandelion can grow between two slabs of concrete, but I can’t get grass to grow anywhere in my front yard. Dandelions should never have been referred to as weeds. That’s where the problem started.

Somehow, it has become my responsibility to take care of this growing problem. Mary Ellen doesn’t mow the lawn even with what little grass we have. If I ask her about this, I’m afraid she’ll assume I want her to mow the lawn. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If she started mowing the lawn, that might jeopardize her femininity. Of course, if she really, really wanted to mow the lawn, I wouldn’t stop her.

When I decided to marry Mary Ellen, I guess it didn’t matter. After all, she was intelligent, beautiful and caring. So I just assumed that if push came to shove (like, if I threw my back out and the grass got really tall), she’d mow then.

Sometimes I watch other women mowing and it turns me off. They’re wearing old, ratty slacks and t-shirts, so it’s the last thing I’d want my wife doing. Of course, I wouldn’t have to watch. I could go inside and turn on the TV. And when she finished, she could just freshen up before dinner. I’d order some take-out, of course. A man should always do his part.

It’s chauvinistic for a man to make his wife mow the lawn. On the other hand, it’s kind of chauvinistic for a man to assume that a woman can’t or won’t mow the lawn, so I should at least ask her. Maybe she secretly wants to, and she’s afraid I won’t let her.

Mowing the lawn is not easy. Doing it well requires a little planning and an effective technique. But my wife is capable of all that so I wonder what the problem is. And those new mowers kind of guide themselves and require very little strength. I’m sure that if she knew that, she’d jump at the chance to mow the lawn.

My friend Bob came over the other day and we were talking about landscaping. He asked me why Mary Ellen never mows the lawn.

“I don’t know,” I said. “I never really thought about it.”