As a red-state liberalish moderate, my geography doesn’t match my politics. I’m hopelessly buried in Jesusland, and so perhaps inevitably, I’ve fallen for one of the shallower badges of suburban conservativism, the well-groomed lawn. Here’s a picture I took this morning:
Actually, it’s starting to look a bit ragged now — I haven’t mowed since Saturday — but you can still see the hallmarks of an overseeded, overfertilized, perfectly trimmed Southern Baptist lawn. Since my heritage is actually northern atheist, the lawn really doesn’t make sense. Growing up, my mom never watered our lawn, which remained brown all summer long (the portions not covered with dandelions, that is). Perhaps that’s the source of my obsession — some inferiority complex formed by that juvenile notion that not only was the grass greener on the other side of the fence, it was greener anywhere you looked. Regardless of how I acquired it, I now have an uncontrollable urge to make my lawn look perfect. I mow, I aerate, I overseed, I spray, I weed-n-feed, I ply over lawn-maintenance guides, I reprogram my automatic irrigation system, and then I start over again the next weekend.
But I do pay for my obsession, oh, how I pay. Our house has the first driveway on a sidestreet which connects to the major road out of town. At least half a dozen people a day turn onto our street and use our conveniently situated driveway to facilitate turning around. At least half of these people don’t know how to drive. Look what they have done to the parking strip next to the driveway:
Whenever this happens, I have to stifle an urge to head down to Wal-Mart and exercise my God-Given right to buy a 12-gauge shotgun with which to defend my property. I’ve even thought about putting up a sign with a handy-dandy map showing how easy it is to just go around the block instead of RIPPING UP MY LAWN.
Maybe it’s all about identity. Maybe it’s actually a subtle hint from my fellow citizens that I shouldn’t even have a lawn — after all, native ground cover species are much more ecologically viable, especially if you’re a liberal. I’ll have to think about that someday. But first I to find need a shovel and a rake to fix that treadmark.