Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Why can’t men vacuum?

Those who are friends on facebook know that we have recently done some upgrades to our yard. By June we finally had enough grass that required a lawn mower. So the weekend of my birthday my husband bought ME a lawn mower. IT WAS NOT A BIRTHDAY PRESENT! He bought it for me because he is still working as a consultant in Long Beach, CA.

Mowing the lawn is an entirely new experience for me. I grew up in the country and we did mow the 5 acres around our house, mowing was my dad’s job. Although, I do recall my mother hopping on the riding mower once in a while but it was definitely a parent job not a kid job. When I left my parent's house I was in college and then I got married so any lawn I had, my husband took care of. It is just the way we settled into our household chores. I got laundry, he got yard. Although THAT is not a fair comparison, I HATE doing laundry and he loves working on the yard. It’s the farmer in him.

We got an electric lawn mower, a pretty cherry red one (STILL NOT A PRESENT).  Our yard is so small that a riding mower would be ridiculous. A person would spend more time turning around than mowing. It made me think of Rosanne’s “Domestic Goddess” routine when she said she would do housework when they made a riding vacuum cleaner. (first vacuuming thought)

Even though I haven’t mowed lawns before, I remember watching my dad go back & forth in a pretty pattern. I also frequently would be outside doing other yard work when Jeff mowed and for some reason weed eating became my job. So I’m not a complete yard novice. However, adding the electric factor makes a difference when figuring out the best pattern method, you have a cord to contend with. There is also the tree and pool slide to maneuver around. It has taken me four or five times to figure out which patterns work best. The backyard was easiest just the outside edges were odd shapes but the front had the tree and phone trunk line box (why is it in OUR yard?).

Yesterday, as I finally found the exact right pattern for the front yard, I thought how much it was like vacuuming. Cord management is a large part, covering the area efficiently and getting around obstacles. I know that men take pride in their lawns and mowing techniques. It made me think, “Why can men vacuum better?” I know the few times that I asked my husband to vacuum, he just did a willy nilly starburst type thing in the middle of the room.

As a reminder, I live in a house of ALL boys, four sons in all, which brings me to another question, “With an all male household, why is mom the one doing the yard work?”

I'm living on the eighth day, right now!