Cutting Remarks

I see women in my neighborhood mowing their lawns. My wife doesn’t mow our lawn. I don’t think she will ever mow the lawn. Lawn mowing season is here and it just kinda drives me crazy trying to figure out why she won’t mow the lawn.

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 her independence and her femininity.

If she really wanted to mow the lawn, I wouldn’t stop her.

Don’t misunderstand. I am not accusing my wife of being lazy. She takes on a great deal of responsibility. She is in charge of all the family finances, is on several boards, does all the shopping and prepares dinner for me almost every night. She also monitors both of our medical appointments.

I’m just really curious to know the reason she won’t mow the lawn.

When I married Mary Ellen, it didn’t matter that she had no interest in mowing. After all, she was intelligent, beautiful, sensitive and caring. It was all a man could want. I just assumed that if shove came to push she’d mow the lawn.

The first year we were married, we lived in an apartment and she really had no opportunity to hone this skill.  Then we moved to a condo and the lawn was cut for us. When we moved to our first house, the lawn was pretty big and that’s when our son was born, so expecting her to mow and bottle feed at the same time would have been asking too much.

To be honest, I probably wouldn’t enjoy seeing my wife out there huffing and puffing and sweating. Of course, I wouldn’t have to watch. And when she finished, she could just freshen up before dinner.

There are some days, especially in the summer, when I’d like to just sit on a lounge chair and sip lemonade, but instead I have to mow the lawn. That’s where a wife who’s willing to mow comes in really handy. Not that I’d want her to.

It’s really 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 can’t or won’t mow the lawn, so I guess I should at least ask her. Maybe she really wants to mow but is afraid I won’t let her.

And maybe she thinks she’s not strong enough. But those new mowers kind of guide themselves. They require very little strength. I’m sure that if she just knew the state-of-the art technology available, she’d jump at the chance to mow the lawn.

Now, my friend, Jeff—his wife mows the lawn. He was over the other day and he asked me why Mary Ellen never mows the lawn. I was as honest with him as I could be…

 “I don’t know, Jeff. I never really thought about it.”

– Dick Wolfsie spent his career sharing his humor, stories and video essays on television, radio and in newspapers. His columns appear weekly in The Paper of Montgomery County. E-mail Dick at Wolfsie@