When I was a young guy (not when I was a young girl. We don’t talk about that part of my life) I received a magical sort of self-help book (more than one. I was really screwed up) which contained some sage advice on self-worth. My worth, said magical, sage helpy-book, was not tied to job, or marriage partner or any sort of “thing.” Things, book pointed out, were just things. I know now, in my wise, older state of being, that this is not true. Self worth, I’ve learned, has a lot to do with the way my lawn looks. When my yard is having a bad year, I’m having a bad year. The wife I love and adore may speak of how fond she is of me, but if my grass has withered and turned brown I’m inconsolable.
My front lawn is on a pronounced slope. I find myself jogging behind the mower as it takes off down toward the neighbor’s house. The people who inhabit my little street, hobbit-like in the way they poke their heads out to see what I’m doing, all think I mow three sheets to the wind. I end up with crooked crop circles in the grass. If M. Night Shyamalan ever saw my freshly mown yard he’d make movie in which some kid sees dead people just before he gets abducted by aliens. This year the yard looks very presentable. I used Scotts Insecure Homeowner 12-Step Program on it. The green won’t last, but the hope of spring remains eternal. I put cooking whiskey in the mole’s holes so they’ll hibernate longer and I sit up at night waiting for people to walk over the grass so I can go all Clint Eastwood on them (“Get off my lawn”). I forgive those who trespass as they would forgive me my trespassing. As long as they say something nice about the yard.