So if you’ve been around me at all the past month, you had to know this post was coming. I think it’s been well established that I don’t get along with the yard equipment. What can I say? Ignorance is bliss, until deployment strikes.
Six years we’ve been married and I’ve never seen Caleb have a problem with that lawnmower. Six weeks into my summer stint as gardener/handyman and it decides it’s had enough of me. Well really, it lived a long and full life and was ready to be retired. At least, that’s what I like to tell myself. In reality, I killed it by hitting a huge piece of concrete buried in the back yard.
It was a complete accident, but I still felt horrible about it. And Caleb was all “Baby, the thing was six years old. Just buy a new one and move on.” So that’s what I did. It took me about a week… you know, a day to load it in the car, a day to go to Home Depot, a day to unload new mower, a day to read instruction manual, a day to put new mower together, etc… and by the time I had the new one running the yard was creeping beyond ‘jungle’. But I got it cut, and everything was working fine, looking up, and that wasn’t so bad. I CONQUERED THAT.
Fast forward two weeks and I was at it again, only this time as I made my second pass of the yard, the brand new lawnmower sputtered and died. The brand new lawnmower DIED, ya’ll. There are so many things wrong with that sentence. And when I went to crank it again, the pull cord would not budge. So I released it from the hook on the handle and the engine slurped it back up and wouldn’t let it go again. This is so not good. I’m not even kidding. I actually looked around and said “Really? Seriously?!” like where’s the prankster with the camera hiding.
Then I called my Aunt Vickie and went UM, if anyone could dispatch two lawnmowers in one month, it’d be me. CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THIS??
I’ll just stop right here and say how blessed I am to have family that love me even when I’m on the edge of unwarranted hysterics. Sometimes it’s refreshing to have someone put things in perspective for you, remind you that the glass is half full, and there are worse things—I mean, I could have killed the car.
Anyway, through deductive reasoning it was decided I seized the mower engine because I starved it of oil. I totally followed the instruction manual to the letter and because it didn’t say “Dump entire bottle of oil down the cylinder” I only gave it a fourth of what it required. Apparently a fourth was enough to mow the yard once before the engine starved. Aunt Vickie suggested I take the mower back to Home Depot and I was all “I don’t think stupid is covered under the warranty.”
Brief aside: About a week after the destruction, I did take the mower back to Home Depot and they replaced it, no questions asked. So apparently stupid is part of the warranty.
Anyway. I couldn’t see that far ahead, at the time. I was still in a hazy disbelief and oh, duh. Engines require oil. They shouldn’t have to include that in the manual. And I was still on that train of thought when Caleb called that afternoon. I’m 100% aware of the fact that broken mowers are somewhat of a joke when you live in a combat zone, so I tried to be normal for all of five minutes before I gave up and emotionally vomited all over him.
“Okay, well, did you learn something?” he asked.
“Yes,” I wailed. “But if learning something costs this much money, then I pass!”
And then I just sat there and waited for the judgment or the rebuke or whatever I thought the normal response would be because I JUST AXED A BRAND NEW LAWNMOWER. You read me?? Over.
You know those moments when the person you love says just the right thing, or pays attention to the most inconsequential matter like it’s the most important, or suffers through your theatrics for the sake of the calm on the other side? It’s kind of like a neon sign flashing in front of your face that says “You married the perfect person for you!”
And truly I did. Because when I paused for a reaction on the other side of “THE YARD IS TRYING TO KILL ME, CALEB!” he just laughed and said “I’ve never been more proud of you.”
Which was exactly what I needed to hear.