Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

August 14, 2012

Wolfsie: Cutting remarks

Dick Wolfsie
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — I was thinking the other day about all the women in my neighborhood who mow their lawns. My wife has never mown our lawn. Lawn mowing season is here a little early this year, so once again I'm trying to figure out what the problem is.

I want to ask her about this, but I am afraid she'll assume I want her to mow the lawn. This couldn't be farther from the truth. If she started mowing the lawn, that would jeopardize our relationship by altering the delicate balance between my wife's independence and her femininity.

Of course, if she really wanted to mow the lawn, I wouldn't stop her.

Don't misunderstand me. I am not accusing Mary Ellen of being lazy. She works very hard outside the home as a college administrator, putting in five long days each week. I'm just really curious why she won't mow the lawn.

When we first got married, we lived in an apartment and she really had no opportunity to hone this skill. You don't see a lot of lawn-mowing women who live in apartments. Then we moved to a condo and again there were few really good role models for her. When we bought a house, I started mowing the lawn that spring and have mown our lawn for 30 years since, whenever the grass has gotten too high or the dandelions needed their heads chopped off.

Mary Ellen has never expressed any interest in this endeavor. I do vaguely remember her saying that mowing is man's work and I should accept that. I think at the time I was changing Brett's diaper and she was rewiring a lamp.

When I decided to marry Mary Ellen, I guess it didn't matter at the time. After all, she was intelligent, beautiful, sensitive and caring. She was all a man could want. I assumed that if push came to shove, she'd mow the lawn. But it never even came to push.

Sometimes I watch other women in the neighborhood mowing and I realize that I probably wouldn't want my lovely wife to do this. All the women wear ratty old jeans and have no make-up on. I wouldn't want my wife to look like this. Of course, I wouldn't have to watch her mow. I could go in and watch baseball and then she could freshen up before dinner.

During the summer, I prefer to sit on a lounge chair and sip lemonade, but instead I have to cut the grass. That's where a wife who's willing to mow comes in really handy. Not that it's that important. Just sayin'. Come to think of it, it's chauvinistic for a man to make his wife mow the lawn. On the other hand, it's also chauvinistic for a man to assume that a woman doesn't know how to mow the lawn. Maybe she really wants to, but is afraid her husband doesn't think she can do it. I'm sure that's it.

My friend, Steve, his wife mows the lawn. He was over the other day and asked me why Mary Ellen never mows the lawn. I was as honest with him as I could be. "I don't know, Steve. I never really thought about it."