Ever have a problem that to anyone else in the free world isn’t really a problem?  It’s ONLY a problem to you, or maybe to a minute percentage of a population somewhere that you can’t find?  But it’s a huge deal to you, but when you vent and complain to others they look at you like you have fourteen eyes and a really hairy mole that also has fourteen eyes?  Well, that happened to us in the last few months.

You see, it was horrible.  It was a terrible, terrible thing that was wrought upon my family.  We couldn’t stop it.  We didn’t know how to stop it.  There was no foreseeable way to stop it without hurting feelings and being jerks.  It was awful.

The neighbor wouldn’t stop mowing our lawn.

Yes! You read that right! Can you imagine?? Who does that to people?  What kind of person goes to another person’s private property and does their landscaping for them without asking?  AN EVIL PERSON, I TELL YOU!

You can see our dilemma, and I know, I just know, that you, my dear reader feel no sympathy for me.  How do I know?  Because out of the say thirty people we have complained to,  about two people sympathized with us, and that’s because they don’t want anyone messing with their lawn either. Most people say they would LOVE for someone to do that for them, or we get the world’s smallest violin played for us by people who really don’t have it mastered yet.

Our problem began with the elderly man next door who mowed for the previous owners because they no longer could.  After we moved in, I don’t think it occurred to him to stop.  My husband loves doing his own yard work but every time he came home from work it was already done, but not how he would have done it.  We have a mower that picks up the grass, the neighbor has a tractor that doesn’t.  My husband likes a lush, longer, thicker yard that gets cut twice a week, the neighbor apparently wants to live on a golf course and mows almost every other day.

We told the neighbor the phrase that doesn’t really mean what you think it means: “You don’t have to do that.”  People want others to translate that into : “Please don’t do that anymore”, but most people (myself included) translate that into: “I don’t want you to feel like you have to do that”.   So he did just that and continued.

So I had a plan to go over myself and tell them directly thank you, but we can take it from here.  Besides, we’re forty, we can’t let people do our yard work yet!  So one day the neighbor and I were talking and he said he was going to mow the back yard the next day. I seized upon that and said: “Thanks so much for all you’ve done, it helped immensely as we got settled, but my husband is eager to take over, and it’s a huge stress reliever for him to mow after a rough day at work.”  He nodded and smiled.  I was so happy to tell my husband the good news, that I handled it, no feelings were hurt, etc.

Then the next day I’m upstairs playing with the kids and I hear a tractor.  I think ” no, he can’t be mowing, I told him not to, right to his face”.  I look outside, and THERE HE IS, mowing the back yard.  But we left toys outside, the grill, some beach balls, so he’s just mowing around them in circles going about 45  mph.  I emailed my husband who wanted me to jump in front of him to stop him, but by that time he was almost done. So afterwards I scooped up my kids for buffers and marched over to his house.  I was so mad.

Yes, I was mad.  I was mad that someone was mowing my yard.  Does that sound bizarre?  Like I said, hardly anyone felt bad for us.  Many people told us to suck it up and let him feel useful.  I understand the sentiment, but I didn’t even know the man’s first name, let alone feel it was my duty to make him feel useful.  Did that make me a bad person to want to take care of my own property?  I walked over there and wagged my finger at him with a smile and said: “I TOLD you not to mow the yard any more!”  He smiled and said he had to get the tractor going anyway. So I told him again, that we really appreciate it, but that my husband really wants to do his own yard work.  Then he said:”Well, this way he has more time to do other things.”

*facepalm* (Did he just tell me he was going to keep at it?)

“Seriously, my husband is really picky about the yard and he really wants to do it himself, but thank you.” Then I changed the subject.  He nodded, smiled and I went to email my husband about the exchange. We hoped it was enough, but wondered what happens next if he still continued to do it?  I mean, if he REALLY wanted to do some yard stuff, we have a plethora of weeds he can pull!

This was about two weeks ago and so far, he hasn’t mowed the yard since.  But every time we hear the tractor fire up, we run to a window to make sure, and sometimes the neighbor mows a little on our side, or when he goes to mow the elderly neighbor’s yard on the other side of us, he “accidentally” forgets to lifts the blade as he drives across our yard to get there, but so far, so good.

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