May 17, 2007

Mommy Learns Something New

Today I thought I would be nice and help Chuck out by mowing and weed-eating/edging for him. I'm a pretty good mower, if I do say so myself. I've always enjoyed it, even when my allergies had me sneezing the entire time. Call me weird, but I just think mowing is fun (especially a tractor mower - now, that's a good time!). But in all my years, believe it or not, I've never touched a weed-eater.

Actually, I take that back...yes, I touched one, once. Again, I was trying to be helpful while Chuck was at work and I thought I'd do a complete job so he wouldn't have to weed-eat when he got home. I had zero clue how to work the thing. So, I found the instruction manual and sat down in the garage and read the entire thing. Then I attempted to follow the instructions and was left feeling like a complete idiot for not understanding how to actually make the thing turn on. You would think I just read the Chinese version. I love to learn new things...but this 'new thing' just did not compute. That part of my brain that was supposed to understand technical instructions just said, "Duh!"

So, today was Attempt Number 2 at learning how to weed-eat. I got the big, long, heavy, stick like object out of the garage. Chuck's is a gas powered one, not the kind you plug in and turn on - that would make my life much easier. But apparently it's not manly to plug in your weed-eater. Once again, I try to make sense of the instructions, and once again, I fail. I come inside and ask Chuck (who is at home working), "Could I bother you for a moment to come outside and teach me how to turn on that stupid weed-eater thingy you have."

I get a crash course on "How to Turn on Your Weed-eater for Morons". I decide its easier just to let Chuck start it and never let it turn off. Now that I know what a "throttle" is, I let it rip and get a tiny glimpse of the power surge men get when they rev a motor loudly. I did feel pretty cool making such a loud noise at 9 o'clock in the morning. Now all I had to do, was figure out how which side of the thing to stand on and then, how to make it make that neat little edge line between the sidewalk and the grass. That is SOOO much harder than it looks - let me tell you!

I now have a new appreciation for those in the landscaping industry that must walk with this heavy, stick-like object glued to their hands for 8 hours a day. It's hard. And did you know that when it actually cuts the grass, the grass comes right back and hits your legs and it STINGS! Also, did you know that it's very hard to hold a weed-eater, keep it running (finger on the throttle) and itch your nose at the same time? It involved me finding some very interesting positions in which to try to balance.

I ended up butchering my way through 3 sections of sidewalk before I threw in the towel. Yes, I gave up. I didn't want to embarrass Chuck that bad. Everyone will think he did it. I did walk away from this experience with several key points, however:

1. don't wear shorts or your legs will hurt and it won't look like you shaved them the night before
2. if you're going to balance a weed-eater on your leg, make sure it's your strongest leg or both of you will fall
3. don't go back and try to 'fix' the mess you made or you will only make a bigger mess
4. leave the weed-eating up to the boys

Here is a picture of my handiwork:


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2 comments:

Jennifer said...

Ok, that was hilarious :) You had me laughing at 'sitting in the garage and reading the entire manual'. Personally, I can't stand yard-work and have never attempted to help Michael. My idea of 'helping' was to hire it done so that Michael wouldn't have to do it himself - much like he told me to hire a maid so that I would quit griping about cleaning :) We're such a good team!!!!

However, should the desire ever arise for me to get out there to edge the yard, I will quickly remember all of your points and run in the other direction!

Philip said...

Probably the reason you like mowing is the same reason I do - it is one of the few jobs we can accomplish that lasts for a whole week! I'm with you on the weed-eater, though, tried it once and that was enough. It will forever more be Phil's job.
Love,
Kim

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