Blurred Lines

If you have to define people by a characteristic or a personality trait, make it something arbitrary–just for fun.

Historically, we’ve defined/segregated/excluded/persecuted groups of people based upon sex, color of skin, country of origin, religion, intelligence (think eugenics)… Currently, our national obsession is drawing lines among us due to sexual preference and/or proclivity. It’s kind of ridiculous.

I’m either super-duper naïve or super-duper whatever the opposite of naïve is, but why in the world do we have to draw lines? Why can’t we all just be people? Why does someone have to be a single-ish, semi-queer identifying–but totes gay on Thursday nights and asexual between 2 and 4 PM on weekends, Pacific Islander American, Christian Anarchist Scientific Kabbalah Monster? To me, you’re Jason with the quick wit who is the only one who has the guts to eat the last cookie. I couldn’t give a shit who you go home to at the end of the night, I don’t care exactly what shade of taupe/beige/brown/fuchsia your skin is, and as long as you’re not trying to get me to join a cult, I’m cool with you believing whatever you want to believe.

It’s time to start hating on groups of people for legitimate reasons.

  • Is your ring finger longer than your index finger? You’re spending the rest of your life on an island with other freaks like yourself.
  • Did you just look to see if you qualified for the finger thing? There’s a separate island for you. Buh-bye.
  • Are you one of those people who “accidentally” tells me what happens on Scandal before I’ve had time to catch up on Netflix? The hairs on your head will be individually plucked until you renounce your stupidity.
  • Notre Dame fan? You’ll be executed at dawn.

It’s just that simple, folks. Make sure your hate is based on real, important, non-ephemeral things. And get me some tweezers for Sarah’s hair-plucking.


On Politics and Property Lines

If you have to mow your lawn, there are some unwritten rules by which you must abide. I’ve learned this over the course of the last month or so–since I started mowing my own lawn (not a euphemism).

  • People with fences are apparently responsible for mowing one pass beyond the confines of said fences. I mean, it’s probably better that I don’t use a weedwhacker along my neighbor’s fence… because I don’t think the good doctor would enjoy my beating the hell out of his pristine wooden lawn enclosure. Where’s the actual property line? No idea. Does it matter? Probably not.
  • Speaking of the doctor, he’s better dressed while mowing his lawn than most other people are at a wedding. Or a funeral. Or prom. Do I need to up my yard work wardrobe game?! Is there a store for this?
  • Some people think it’s appropriate to just sit and watch other people mow their lawns–and by “some people,” I mean all my neighbors, and by “other people,” I mean me. Is that weird? I’m not sure, but I def don’t sit out and watch the guy two houses down while he’s sweating it out pushing his John Deere on a Saturday. (And to be clear, I don’t watch the doctor, either. I’m just saying.)
  • Um… women don’t mow lawns, which either means a) I’m a dude, or b) I shouldn’t be doing this.
  • Regarding the above point, I’m totes not a dude.

A weird thing happened when I mowed my lawn for the first time last month. There was something cathartic about moving that lawn mower (wtf–why does it weigh 800 lbs?!) in tight little rows. I was making my lawn pretty. I was doing something. As I pushed a loud machine that lobbed off the top 1/4″ of the blades of grass that comprise my lawn while listening to music that was nowhere near loud enough to drown out the drone of the mower, it all made sense.

I spend all day clicking a mouse and moving things around on a screen and reading stuff people send to me and printing papers and typing things and walking through the same halls I do every day. When I leave after eight (okay, let’s be honest, ten) hours at the end of the day, I’ve returned everything to zero. My desk is clean, the chaos calmed, and the office is back at baseline, ready to tackle the next day.

However, after I mow my lawn, there’s sweat on my forehead, there are what look like the beginnings of blisters on my hands, and I want to sit down, have a beer, and take in what I’ve done. I’ve accomplished something. I’ve completed a task. It looks nice. I did it.

I’ve never really appreciated manual labor for what it is:  a physical manifestation of accomplishment.

I could click my mouse all day (again, not a euphemism), but there’s no satisfaction in a visible, measurable, meaningful way.

There’s beauty in a freshly-cut lawn. There’s a deep and profound pride when the job is done. I get it now. I hunger for it. I want to do.