I don't know how familiar you are with the American suburban male, but much of their life revolves around the lawn. At least if their name is Mike and he is married to me. We all used to dread the start of spring because as soon as the grass started peeking through the snow, Mike would sprint to the lawn mower and make sure it was in working order; that there was enough gasoline, back-up gasoline, and an updated map of all the local gas stations in case the lawn mower ran out of gas. And then once the mowing season began, so did the obsession. It was not unlike living in the Stanley Hotel from The Shining as the protagonist descends into a lawn-induced madness. Every morning would find Mike patrolling the yard, whipping out his tape measure and carefully trimming suspiciously long blades of grass with scissors stolen from John's art supplies. He spent many hours standing at the window waiting for the lawn to grow so that he could dash outside to mow it. At some point there would be a drought and the lawn would thankfully become brown and dormant and all mowing ceased. We would all breathe a sigh of relief and then the complaining would begin. "I hope the grass isn't dead. Do you think it's dead? I think it's dead."
"It's not dead. It's dormant. It will be green again once it rains. We go through this every year."
"I think it's dead."
When Mike moved to Rome two months before John and I followed, his last words at the airport were: "Make sure they [the lawn care company] don't cut the grass too short. And remind them to pick-up the grass clippings."
Now that we live in a city, Mike has tried to focus on the patches of green in our area and lament the lack of cutting, but it's so useless that he has finally had to look elsewhere to satisfy his obsession .
So now we are all subject to the desirability of where the car is parked. The best spot is in the free space ( free here means you are parked on the sidewalk) directly in front of our balconies facing the street because Mike can then see the car at all times. Any other spot in which the car is parked means that we spend family time waiting for this spot to become open so that Mike can move the car from its current position three cars to the left and reclaim "his" parking place. And once the car is in that space, we may as well not have a car because we can't risk losing that spot. Mike likes to scoff at this: "What, am I going to turn into someone who cancels on my friends for dinner because I might lose my parking spot?" and then he calls his friends and cancels dinner plans because he doesn't want to lose his parking spot.
We try to head him off at the pass by scouting for parking when we know he's on his way home. These are transcripts taken from actual texts:
6:17 pm Mike: I'm leaving here soon. I'm [out of luck] for parking.
6:32 me: There are currently two primo spots in front--I'll keep you posted
6:33 Mike: Thanks
6:53 me: Good free spots are gone, but there is still a good paid one
Silence. Suspected sobbing.
To be fair, not all our texts are parking focused. Sometimes I like to update Mike about the television show Sons of Anarchy. He stopped watching it three seasons ago, but I'm in for the long haul.
I think you should know that Opie was murdered. He was beat to death in jail. And Tig's daughter was set on fire while he was forced to watch.
Um. Maybe you should switch back to watching Sex and the City.
Wow, Jax just bludgeoned a guy to death with a snow globe.
Well that's good, honey.
It was revenge for Opie. He mushed his head like a melon.
I can't believe you are okay with watching that. (Admittedly, most things with the teeniest hint of violence cause me to leave the room/shut the book/ end the conversation, and stay awake at night worrying for the world in which our son will be raised.)
Well, you can't be in a motorcycle gang running guns & selling drugs & have everything be rainbows and unicorns.
Sometimes I'm leery when I am photographing people who may not wish to be photographed, but I knew I was safe with this one because no one in the world could run in those shoes.