What is the deal with men and things that require jerking a cord to roar to life? I know I’m old fashioned in many ways but sometimes I simply don’t understand the attraction. Every time there is something extra to be done around the house, I opt for a quiet, non-mechanized way of doing it. My husband, on the other hand, reaches for the nearest motorized rattletrap that just might get the job done; sort of.
My current bone of contention is the stinking leaf blower. Our beautiful back porch, just built by a fellow firefighter who is also one hell of a carpenter, has quickly become a place of solace for us. As busy as we are, we steal at least a few minutes here and there to simply rock in our chairs and enjoy the peace of pausing. With spring winds, falling oak leaves and our dogs tracking dirt and grass across it, I admit that the porch gets dirty quickly. For this reason, I like to sweep it off regularly.
Being a guy, my husband feels this 3-minute sweep is too time consuming and labor intensive. He instead chooses to spend 45 seconds yelling through the roar of the leaf blower that the kids need to move their toys while our old dog nearly totters off the end of the porch, blinded and choking on dust, hobbling away from the terror as fast as his arthritic joints will let him. But that’s it. “Forty-five seconds and it’s done,” he says. I call shenanigans.
He forgets to factor in 3 minutes digging the blower out of the back corner of the shed where I threw it last time he used it. There is also the minute spent finding a gas can, about a minute filling the blower, at least two more minutes of cussing while searching for another gas can with more than a couple tablespoons of gas in it, and another 30 seconds topping it off. Oh, and I should count the last thirty seconds of shutting off the blower, holding it at arm’s length to admire the splendor of manly technology, and placing it resplendently in the middle of the porch so I can trip over it every time I step outside. Altogether, this endeavor takes about 8 to 10 minutes.
The outside chaos is enough to annoy me, but the final indoor results put my happiness somewhere on the level of Chernobyl. I’ve worked hard to achieve some sort of personal utopia in my home and property. Currently, laundry and kid toys are the obstacles I haven’t mastered. Other than that, a spring evening at my home is complete with curtains rippling in the breeze, dinner simmering on the stove, smells wafting through windows and beckoning to my family, and dew just starting to snake its way down the curves of my wine glass.
Within 45 seconds, my utopia is left in tatters by the jerk of a cord and a motorized roar. Dirt covers every surface in my house because, God forbid, somebody think to shut a door or window before using a leaf blower, weed eater, lawn tractor, etc. Grass that had been on dog paws, simmers like bay leaves in the pot on the stove. Bugs breast stroke their way through my wine. With every bite of dinner, there is a distinct crunch of dust and underlying hint of dog urine spice that we all taste but no one dares mention.
So why, why must men always opt for something mechanical, even when they know the consequences could be dire? Why?