I have come to several conclusions about myself over the last few years. Some I’m proud of, some I would like to bury in the back yard for the dog to piss on.

While I am completely self- sufficient, I don’t necessarily want to be.

But I do.

It’s like trying to balance a see-saw in the middle of my head. I enjoy the ability of being able to accomplish these things from the everyday mundane to the supreme success of the out-of-the-ordinary classification of a modern day female. These activities do not warrant much praise from me after initially accomplishing them. I am frequently caught off guard when an outsider makes note of it.

Well, what the hell else was I going to do? Sit around waiting for my knight in shining armor? That dude got lost and ran off with the local pub winch.

I, instead, have two boys to assist with the household responsibilities.  

In our tiny pack of four, if you count the dog (which leaves this single mom a lone mutt because, let’s face it, you know the brats have run off with the dog), we work diligently to build our home.

Mind you, this mommy didn’t know how to change the air filter for the air conditioner let alone how to properly maintain the entirety of a home. I grew up with brothers. They were dragged out into the summer heat to learn to mow and dig holes. Like any self-respecting young southern-woman should be, I was an indentured servant doing laundry and dishes, vacuuming and dusting. 

And all girls should be shown how to mow a yard. Period.

I bought this beast of a lawn mower on clearance prior to moving into this house, just knowing I would have a perfectly manicured yard by the end of summer with the help of my giant orange Husqvarna leading the way. Visions of deep green grass begging to have the kids in the neighborhood play games of tag across it, making friends with the tiny people of my pack, raced through my head at a crazy speed and I was pumped for it.

The First Cutting

Round 1.

Pull out the mower and read the manual attached because I am not a man and manuals do not incite fear in me. Put in the oil, put in the gas. Simple. Turn it on and let run for a couple of minutes to warm up.


The neighbors stare at my orange stallion and me, idly hanging out in the front yard. I smile and keep letting the beast warm his engine. They shake their heads, grab the lawn chairs, crack open a beer.

I saddle up to the mower, wrap my hand around the blade bar and pull up.

Nothing. What the hell?

Grip it again and pull, harder…

The release for the blades is viciously mashed between the bars. Awesome. Brand new and already broken. Neighbors chuckling and taking long draws off their bottles.

It is this moment I realize that this self-sufficient single mom thing is going to be a lot harder than I thought.

 I also realize that not only are my brats watching, so is the neighborhood.

And everyone is laughing behind their cold drinks and glasses.

I will not be daunted. Pull up my big girl pants. Deep breath and move the broken assembly aside. It’s permanently broken but by squeezing the bar I can hear the blades engage and decide my new friend now has character.

Time to push on.

Round 2.

Engine’s running and blades are engaged. Time to take this bad boy for a spin. I squeeze the self-propel triggers confident that I will break this stead with no   effort.

 To my chagrin, I am now being dragged around the yard by a vicious beast with no humanity.

Round 3.

In what I can only describe as a poor effort, I am now racing my tiny 5’2” frame to catch up and I am hanging on for dear life, trying to restore some sense of dignity among the witnesses reveling in their afternoon entertainment.

I now acknowledge two things.

One, mowing is harder than it looks.

Two, neighbors will not help out the new single mom when the entertainment is free.

November 21, 2019 02:48

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