My husband mows the lawn. Constantly. For months on end, he comes home from a long day at work and immediately fires up the mower. I look out the window to see him gleefully zipping back and forth on our front lawn, grass clippings clinging to his sweaty face. We currently have about two acres of grass that, according to him, is perpetually “too tall”. We’ll pull into our driveway from whatever endless errand and he’ll always sigh, peer at the lawn and say “I need to cut that grass.” Personally, I don’t see it. It looks just fine and dandy to me. Grass is grass, let it grow baby, let it GROW. But he mows. Cuts the grass down to size. It’s so short it looks like green velvet. Welcome to the Richter golf course. “It looks fine,” I tell him. “FINE.” And then a few days later, he mows it again. Men.
One hot summer day I noticed this fascination with mowing is not just for my husband. The entire neighborhood around me is filled with giant lawns, all cut by other husbands seemingly every day. Some days I can hear up to four or five mowers going at once. All of the men out there on their mowers for hours on end. What is the draw? I had to find out. After having my husband talk me through the finer points of riding the mower (so the rabbit means “fast”? ooohkay, got it.) I set off to mow our lawn. Soon I’m getting the hang of it and I’m zooming around, cutting the grass in perfect lines, back and forth, back and forth. Then I notice something. The hum of the mower, the breeze on the back of my neck, the sense of….peace? I realize that in the hour and a half I was mowing, something strange was happening. I was zoning, almost meditating. This mowing thing ain’t half bad! Never in my kids/laundry/dishes filled days do I get such a glorious chunk of alone time. No diapers to change, fights to break up, toys to pick up. Just the hum of the engine. I am on the mower. No one can touch me. As I round the corner of the front yard, I glance over to see my husband, alternately playing with the kids on their bikes in the driveway and looking longingly toward me and the mower. Oh! I get it. Guess what, honey? I’m the Mower Woman now. And the grass is too tall.