A Failed Liberated Woman, or Losing the Battle in the Lawnmower Wars

I love gardening. I love everything about it. I love tilling soil, I love planting, mulching,weeding even. One of the things I like best about our new house is that we finally have a front and backyard we where can cultivate some of the skills we learned last year about having a garden. And we also finally have a lawn. That needs to be mowed. Often. After all, like DH said, living in the South is a bit like living in the Degobah system with Yoda. Times two. I actually like mowing the lawn. The first time I did it, I was a wussy girlie man and needed DH to start the dang thing for me. When I asked in frustration why it wouldn't start, he said, "It senses weakness". He gave it one swift pull--vroom, it revs to life, and he impishly grinned at me, leaving me to the task. Annoying, I know. I love him anyway. Last week, I was determined to mow down our rapidly growing mini-forest myself. And you know what? I DID! I got the thing pumped full of gas, I gave it some swift manly, calmly assertive pulls, and whaddya know, it came to life, and I mowed the whole lawn. I felt strong. I felt powerful. After all, mowing the lawn was typically a boy's job, and here I was, in my swimsuit and shorts (of course we had just come from the pool, our second home these days), my straw hat and sunscreen, sweatin' to the oldies, as it were, mowin' my lawn in the Degobah system. A liberated, strong, self-sufficient, self-reliant, lawn-mower-butt kickin' gal. And, if I do say so myself, I did a fabulous job. Well, it's been a week or so since my power trip, and it definitely needs to be done again. And heady with my success of last week, I decided to tackle the grass again. The lawnmower will not be moved. I can't get the stupid thing to work. At all. I've primed it, I've pulled and pulled until I swear I pulled a muscle in my neck and in my back, and I called DH swearing at him about the *&$#@ lawnmower. He calmly asked, with a laugh in his voice, what I thought he could do from his office, since he hasn't developed that certain ability to apparate from the office to home to fix all of my daily problems, and he does actually have to work for a living. Slacker, I know. I love him anyway. But clearly he doesn't understand the war that is underway, this battle of wills between me and the lawnmower. That the inanimate object is not just a piece of machinary that is simply malfunctioning, or a piece of junk that I simply do not know how to work properly. It is a sinister minion of Satan who is laughing at my feverish attempts to own it, to have a girl operate it. He is telling me, "You may have won last time, missy, but don't bet your little spandex clad bootie you can claim full victory. Victory, lassy, will be mine!" And I don't know why the lawnmower is talking to me in a vaguely Scottish accent, but, there it is. I don't want to admit defeat this time, but I may have to. But watch out, lawnmower. This day may be yours, but this isn't over. Not by a long shot. Summer's not even half over. We've got a looong way to go. BWHHAHAHAHAH.... (The guy in picture isn't me, by the way, nor is it DH. It's just some random guy who appeared in this short film which captures the event perfectly. Enjoy!)


Anonymous Proud Daughter of Eve said...

Teach your mower who's boss: junk it and buy an electric one! Starts with the lifting of a switch and stops with the dropping of said switch too so it's very easy to turn off quickly. You've got to watch out for the extension cord but isn't it worth it just to be rid of the neck-straining pull cord on the gas-guzzler? :)

7/11/2006 03:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Mark IV said...

Heather O.,

Clearly, you still have a lot to learn.

Mechanical devices must not only be cussed at, but they must be cussed at in a masculine way. This is something boys learn at a very young age while following their dads around. Come over sometime when I'm working on a car - I can give lessons.

7/11/2006 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...


An electric mower? Wow, I've never seen such a thing. With my luck, though, I'd totally run over the extension cord, mostly likely while it is sitting in a puddle of water, electrocuting us all and blowing up the house in the process.

Still, getting rid of the neck straining pull cord would be nice.


Hmm, I guess I need some of those masculine swear words. Clearly mine, which I thought were pretty good, are clearly not good enough.

7/11/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Sue said...

Love this post! I'm right there with you on all of it. I also love, love, love yardwork and gardening and everything. I really like using the edger. And it DOES bothers me that I can't start the lawn mower myself. Get out of my head Heather, LOL.

I often find myself calling my DH about all kinds of things that there is no way he can help me with - "Have you seen my shoes?" "Do you know where my wallet is?" "Why won't the garage door code work?" I know he can't help me, and yet I feel compelled to call and ask.

7/12/2006 01:56:00 PM  
Anonymous jamisue said...

I could help you with the swearing thing!!! I'm really good at it! What do you think, a good session at AG should do the trick.

7/12/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...


Sounds great to me! We'll just have to do it out of earshot of some of the less "salty" cousins!

7/12/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Matt Jacobsen said...

Heather, you definitely need to get a picture of you and lawn mower, complete with swimsuit and straw hat.

I have a woman friend who loves to mow lawns. One time she and her husband were at our house and he and I just stood there watching her mow my lawn. We agreed that she obviously didn't have to mow lawns enough as a teenager or else she would have tired of it by now.

Oh, and it's spelled Dagobah. Not that you really cared.

7/12/2006 08:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Chad Too said...

I second the electric mower. I've had my cordless one for 9 years now and spent exactly zero on maintenance. It really does start with the flip of a switch and shuts off as easily. With the cordless model, you don't have to worry about running over your cord.

My favorite thing about it is how quiet it runs. I can start mowing right after the sun rise on Planet Dagobah (remember, I'm only one state away and it's in the muggier direction!) without incurring the wrath of any of my Wookie-like neighbors.

It's also nice that I use my Ipod while I mow and not have to blow out my eardrums just to hear Stevie Wonder challenge that Reggae Woman to Boogie On.

Link to the cordless model at:


7/12/2006 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...


There will never, ever, ever be a picture of me in a swimsuit on this blog, even if I am wearing shorts to cover the thunder thighs and a straw hat that makes me look a little jaunty. The only reasons I wear it outside to mow the lawn are
a: I am usually still wet from the pool, and I figure wearing a wet suit while mowing in the tremendous heat will keep me a little more comfortable
b: I sweat so much that the suit sort of absorbs it better than a t-shirt would, and then I can just rinse out the suit and hang it up to dry without adding another muddy, sticky, grass stained T-shirt to my laundry that will never get completely clean anyway.

And the only reason I am comfortable in a suit anyways is because most of the people I see at the pool are moms like me, and aren't exactly vying for the cover of Sports Illustrated, if you know what I mean. If SI ever asks for a stretch marks edition, well, sign us all up. Until then, we'll just hang out with our kids, thanks.

But no pictures. Ever. Sorry.

7/12/2006 09:01:00 PM  

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