Friday, May 30, 2008

Where the grass is green & the girls are pretty!

You've read about my observations/complaints about how difficult being married is. At least, how difficult it seems to be for Urban Cowboy and I. Last night was a great example of one of our continued difficulties when we got into an argument over the length of the grass in our yard. Let me give you some background:

1) we don't own a mower (yet) - previously we borrowed Urban Cowboy's brother's mower which was directly across the street. They have moved to a new house; thus, we have lost regular access to a mower.

2) we planted grass seed about 4 weeks ago because the previous owners had dogs that had created bare patches all through our backyard. As soon as we planted the grass Mother Nature decided it should rain and be dreary for 2 straight weeks which did not give our grass much of a chance to really grow. Since the rain has tapered off, we've seen grass growth but were hesitent to mow the lawn and damage the new grass.

3) currently, the grass in our backyard has been unmowed for close to 5 weeks. This is a very, very long time for springtime grass to go without being mowed! It's become a jungle and is very high. It promises to be hard work when we mow it and has become a serious eyesore. Our next door neighbors have volunteered, several times, to let us borrow their mower to cut the grass. I really think they're hinting to us that they don't like to look over and see the jungle that our yard has become.

Last night Urban Cowboy came home and I had been home for 2 hours before him. This gave me plenty of time to "decompress" from work and to relax and to also think way too much about the state of the yard which means I actually worked myself into a bad mood over how terrible it looks. He was only home for a few moments when I asked him if he was planning to borrow the neighbor's mower to cut the grass and he replied no and then that just lead to a nasty conversation and left both of us feeling very negatively toward one another for a short while. What did I learn from our argument? I learned that we were, in fact, arguing about 2 very different things but weren't able to connect the dots to realize our respective viewpoints had nothing to do with the other's.
My argument? I don't like how the lawn looks and I don't care what method needs to be employed but something has to be done about it immediately. His argument? I don't feel comfortable always having to borrow things to get jobs around the house done. I want to figure this out without outside help - give me more time to develop a plan or solution.

You can see where the disconnect was, right? I wasn't thinking about anything but the actual, phsycial problem and was only focusing on the currently available resources for correcting the problem. Because the neighbors volunteered their mower for our use, I wanted Urban Cowboy to get it done using whatever means possible. He, on the other hand, doesn't like how being in a position of obligation (obliged to feel grateful or return the favor) makes him feel and wants to avoid feeling this way by solving the problem himself. (SIGH) If only it hadn't taken me overnight and sleeping on the argument to figure this out. I now owe him an apology and together we need to talk through possible solutions.

One of the problems with our possible solutions is this: we already know what kind of mower we would like to purchase. We want to purchase a push mower (aka reel mower). Our lawn is very small and we have very limited storage space so a push mower is a good choice for us. Also, I like them because they do not create any pollution nor do they consume gas or electric engery and use only the energy we provide as the operators. Finally, push mowers get great reviews from lawn care experts for cutting the grass instead of tearing it which results in healthier grass by minimizing plant distress and maximizing healthy root growth. Why are these positives a problem to our mowing solution? Every bit of research we've done about the successful use of push mowers has pointed out one disadvantage to a push mower and that is this: if your grass is over 4-ish inches or has gone to seed (meaning the grass stalks have hardened) the push mower will not be able to effectively cut the grass and the operators will be forced to expend a lot of hard work/energy to get through each portion of the lawn.

Consequently, we're in a rock and a hard place due to Urban Cowboy's anti-borrowing position (which I don't fault him for and respect) and the reports of push mower owners and lawn care experts. Will the lawn get mowed soon? I don't know. I do know, though, that this has served as yet another example of needed improvement for how we choose to communicate our thoughts/feelings to one another. I really hope someday we'll actually be able to reflect back our our earlier marriage days and appreciate how much we've grown.


yllwdaisies (aka "D") said...

I had read once that you shouldn't mow more than 3 inches of your lawn at a time anyway (regardless of mower type), b/c it'll damage the lawn.

So, my question to you is...
Does the reel/push mower have the ability to raise it? B/c then you'll still only being mowing like 2 inches at a time anyway.

I don't know too much about mowers, so I don't know if they have reel mowers where you can lower the wheels (raise the mower).

Urban Cowgirl said...

You're right - typically we wouldn't mow more than 3 inches at a time but our lawn had grown into a small field and it was necessary this one time. Our new mower will be set at the highest setting (so the grass will be 3 inches tall) to promote healthy root growth and thicker lawn coverage. I'm excited to see how this works out and to see if all our research efforts are worth it.