If I ever go completely daft and circumstances are such that I would even remotely consider marrying again, I know -- from the ripe old vantage point of almost 50 -- at least one overlooked attribute I would now require of my new hubby.
He would have to love, and I mean LOVE, yard work. Or he would have to be of such financial ilk that he could afford a lawn boy. And I don't mean the kind with wheels and a motor.
I did, as luck would have it and my pocketbook could afford, purchase a retooled Lawnboy for $85 from a neighbor at the beginning of the summer. It started great -- I was able to pull it and start it without throwing out my lower lumbar region -- and it cut great, and I thoroughly enjoyed my first mowing romp of the season. Until I went to shut the thing off, that is. I let go of that grip/bar thing, which is supposed to automatically shut the mean, green machine down. But it did not shut off. So I just kept mowing until the gas ran out.
Not economical, what with the cost of gas and oil these days. Plus my lawn was nothing but nubs when the ol' girl (and I don't mean me) died.
My neighbor came over the next day, gave it a tug here and a tweak there, and varoom! She started up, and when he let go of that grip/bar thing, off she went.
So the next week, when it was time to mow, I tried to start her up -- and voila! She started! Off I went, mowing to my heart's content. Until, once more, I needed to take a potty break (yes, my son is almost 14 and I still say "potty break" -- so sue me) and the dang thing would not turn off. Have you ever tried to push a mower with your legs crossed? Not a pretty sight, my friends! I jiggled and wiggled the grip/bar thing and finally -- saints be praised -- it shut off.
The next time I mowed, I got some Christmas light cords (yes, I still had a few errant strands of lights tucked away in and dangling from the bottom of an evergreen) caught around a wheel. Do you think I could get the mower to shut off so I could extract the cords from the wheel? Heck, schmeck, no. I yelled for my son, who ran for another neighbor, who ran over and yanked out the spark plug, and that promptly shut her down.
Great. I, the woman who couldn't bring herself to light a match till the age of 33, was going to have to swiftly pull off a spark plug from the front of the hot mower just to turn it off every time I mowed?
Don't think so.
Once, out of total desperation fueld by 20 minutes of huffing and puffing and not getting the blankety-blank mower started, I cajoled the mail lady to try her hand at it. She tossed me her mail bag, gave the primer a couple pushs and yanked the pull, but to no avail.
"I think it's your primer," she said, taking back her mail bag and handing me a pile of envelopes. "Oh, and here's your phone bill, a couple of credit card bills, and a letter from your insurance agent. Have a nice day!"
So I call the neighbor who sold me the piece of crap, he gives the mower a little lookie-loo, and says, "Ah! It's your primer!"
My golly! The mail lady was right on the nosey!
Quick as a bunny, my neighbor repairs the primer hose, replaces the spark plug ( just for good measure), starts it, stops it; all is right as rain. And that's exactly what it did about 15 minutes later. Foiled again.
Fast forward to today. By cracky, the grip/bar thing was done busted. I called my mechanically-minded bro-in-law who wiggled and jiggled it, shot a little something-or-other oil down the cable but alas, the mower was, apparently, just plum wore out. Much like my hubby who spends his work week driving a tour bus, maintaining a nursing home and helping a friend haul trash. (My that marketing degree sure is coming in handy.)
"Well," I whined to my brother-in-law. "I could, I suppose, hitch a goat to the front of my son's bike..."
Suffice to say, we borrowed my bro-in-law's mower, and my dutiful sonny boy mowed the lawn -- he got stung by a bee, but hey, life is like that. Which is worse, a bee sting or mommy keeling over from heat stroke?
Besides, he really seems to enjoy mowing.
"Hey, mom! I love mowing the lawn!" my sweet 13-year-old sonny boy called out to me, as he rounded the side of the house, the borrowed mower purring like a kitten. Then my helpful little offspring gave a wink and nodded toward my neighbors' backyard where their 20-something granddaughter was sunning herself in an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, nothin'-to-it black bikini.
They grow up so fast.