Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Come Back, Little Mowing Dude

Matt wound up sleeping at a Motel 6 in Spartanburg, South Carolina late last night, because he ran into major traffic delays between D.C. and home. I was like, "Honey, treat yourself to the Super 8! It's 2 more!" But he is a frugalisto. We always joke (in that way that jokes are totally true) that if he didn't have me and the kids, he'd be happy living under a bridge. The Motel 6 is like Xanadu to him.

So while he was making his way home this morning, and I was starting my day with the kids. some switch in my head flipped and I was like, "Okay, the business of today is to find someone to cut the grass and deep clean the house like RIGHT NOW, immeejitly." You know how you can just sometimes feel very urgent about something that isn't actually a matter of life and death? I just wanted it done, son. As I mentioned yesterday, Matt wants us to get the house cleaner back, so I got right on that, and I thought I'd also get someone to come do the yard, just this once, so he didn't have to do it. And the grass was getting so long that I sensed an HOA howler coming our way. (True story: Laura and Hank made a playhouse out of a big box last week, complete with mail slot. Laura made fake mail for them to receive, and all the pieces of mail were bills and HOA letters.)

Well, you'd think it wouldn't be that hard to get someone to agree to come and do our grass. All my neighbors use big chemical services who also cut grass, and I just wanted a dude to mow. Like a lone dude. So I got a bunch of numbers on Craigslist and called them. I was like, "You sir, good day! I am in possession of money that I would like to exchange for your mowing services! If you would do me the honor of coming 'round to my place. . .what's that? Such much? A contract, you say? Well surely our word as gentlefolk. . .I see. Very well. And best wishes in all of your endeavors too, Chad."

So that's how that went. I finally found one young entrepreneur who agreed to come out. And he did, looking all of about 14 years old. Though he was driving and he does own a business, so he must be an adult? He said that he would cut the whole yard for $35, but he didn't have time to trim our big hydrangea bush because he had a doctor's appointment. I said, "That's fine, Mitch, just do what you can." He mowed, and I could see him dumping the grass clippings in a bag, and then he got in his truck and drove away. Without coming to the door to get paid. Huh? I was on the phone, and I could see him climb into his truck, and I thought maybe he was going to prepare a little invoice or something, and then he was gone.

So I called his cell and left a message saying, "Hey Mitch, you didn't get your money!" I don't know if he had to rush to his appointment or what. But I feel bad. He just seemed so young and vulnerable, or something. I'm going to call him again tomorrow, if he doesn't show back up, and I'm going to hound that kid until he gets his $35. Weird. I told my friend that it felt kind of like the ding-dong ditch, if the person who rang your bell also mowed your lawn.

I also had four conversations with house cleaners, including my old cleaner Bobbi, but I'll save that for another post. And OMG, the mountain of laundry I did today. The absolute Kilimanjaro of laundry. Last night I was dumping it over the landing from upstairs, down onto the living room floor. The load from my bedroom was so big that when it hit the hardwood floor, the booming sound woke up my child.

Hope y'all are easing into your week.

22 comments:

Ginny Marie said...

I once paid some kids to shovel our driveway, thinking hubby would like to come home and find out that someone else had done it for him. I was wrong...he actually enjoys doing things like shoveling and mowing the lawn! Go figure...hey, at least I don't have to do it! But laundry, on the other hand...it really piles up when you have to change your toddler's clothes three times a day due to stickiness, muddiness, or other gross things I don't want on my furniture.

Elisa said...

I can never get my laundry done. If dh didn't do it, I'd have to get clean underwear every two weeks and we'd all drown in laundry.

So weird about the kid who mowed your lawn! Why wouldn't he come get his money?

Sara said...

You'll probably be getting an invoice in the mail from him. With a late charge because you didn't pay him on the day of service. Hee! Maybe it's like the person in front of you in the drive-thru paying for your coffee?

I keep dropping hints about getting someone to do the lawn or trim, not every time, but just some times when there's too much going on. "I'm not paying someone to cut my grass!" Sigh.

I know that laundry boom sound!

And ditto on the husband living happily in a cardboard box if it weren't for the civilizing influence of his family!

Coffee with Cathy said...

Becky -- You are too sweet! Your yard dude probably won't remember he didn't get paid until his mother asks him later how much he made. Hope your trip-packing is going well and you got your house-cleaner back. And when you do, could you send her over here? Please?

Michele Renee said...

Are there any boys in your hood who could do it? Any flyers at the pool? I'd send mine over if he were closer to you. At age 11 (he's now 13) he went door to door and got 2 customers that he still has. It's weird to read this today because this a.m. a neighbor lady stopped me to ask if he could do her lawn. He has more money now than I do. And laundry--ugghh! So hot to do in the summer.

Michele Renee said...

Also, before you picture this son a mature age 13 "going on 30" it is too funny that you mentioned ding dong ditch because he played that game in January to a neighbor (don't really know them) and he got grounded by us for 8 weeks because of it.

Cassie said...

It's a nightmare trying to get someone to mow your lawn ONCE. One time Phil was out of town for two weeks and our yard got out. of. control. Everyone I called wanted me to sign a contract saying I would use them weekly, in sickness and health, 'til death parts us. Needless to say, the grass never got cut. Talk about a mailbox full of angry HOA letters.

I hope Matt makes it some safely from his luxurious stay at the Motel 6 and that you make it through that laundry without incident or injury.

Kelly said...

I finally laid out new pine straw today after getting quite a few notices from the HOA...what can I say? I was waiting for them to finish building!!

Bex said...

maybe mitch was like a lawn mowing pooka? good luck in the finishing of your chores!

Jenni said...

laundry, laundry, laundry over here. my cleaning lady will do mine for $7/load, but I do 8 loads a week, so I just can't pony up that much. and I'd feel weird about her touching our undies.

Keely said...

A Super 8 is two more...what, exactly?

We're drowning in laundry over here too. I just hate doing it in the summer.

Drama Queen Jenner said...

The ONLY good thing about our dryer being broken is that we don't have the heat adding to our inside temp. (Forgot about the lower electric bill.) It's not so bad, we only have to take it to the laundry room across the yard, but I'd be tempted to dry it over there if the machine did work. Or rather, if I ever did any of the laundry...

bsouth said...

Sorry, stupid question I'm sure but.... what's the HOA?

The Messy Mom said...

That is so strange. I have had that feeling before where I was practically throwing money at people to get some help and I too had a hard time finding anyone. You would think that with the economy the way it is...

Becky's future sil said...

Hi Becky. I have a funny lawn story. Well atleast I think it is funny. I wonder if Chris is going to read this post? (If so, hi babe! Love you) Back to my story. Our lawn needed to be mowed. Chris mentioned in the morning he was going to mow the lawn later that night. He just had to get the lawn mower from his old house as he had left my lawn mower there. Chris left to get the mower. The kids were eating dinner. Chris came back with the lawn mower. He hadn't eaten yet and I wanted him to eat while the food was hot. I wasn't hungry yet. And I said, "Do you mind if I mow the lawn? My back hurts from sitting all day and the exercise makes me feel better." And as we stood in the front yard, he said "well you can mow the back yard." And I said "Well the mower is here. I will start here." And he insisted I could mow if I wanted to but I had to mow the back yard as he didn't want any of the neighbors seeing me mowing the yard now that Chris lives with us. I thought he was joking at first but he said "Only the back yard. I am serious." And when I finished the back yard and sauntered over the side yard he reclaimed the mower! Chivalry is not dead! He's my knight in shining armor. Lawn mowing is something I enjoy. A nice time to think. I have paid someone to do it before when it got really long. But I prefer to do it myself. Now cleaning house - I love my cleaning lady - and if she didn't come every other week I would cry!

Wendy said...

Too bad you're not my neighbor because I can recommend an awesome house cleaner AND an awesome yard mower. But then, you'd have to live next to me which might not be great for you. On the other hand, I'd probably fit right in with your other neighbors. :) Hmm, I wonder if any of my neighbors have blogs. Damn.

Casey said...

I feel bad for your poor little mowing dude. I want a house cleaner. Jamie's on board but he works from home and I have kids that need naps so it's kind of intrusive to have someone cleaning while we're here. Plus, I feel guilty watching someone clean for me.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

What a dear little mowing dude, having a senior moment at the tender age of 14. I forget my "cash back" at the grocery all the time . . . but I'm in my forties.

No doubt you'll have another fun tale when he returns for his cash.

gretchen said...

One of the peculiar benefits of living in Los Angeles is the availability of eager, cheap immigrant labor. About a week after we bought our house, a team of guys showed up with very loud equipment, and did the whole mow and blow thing to our yard. When I went outside to ask them who on earth they were, a terribly polite Korean man introduced himself as Mr. Kim and presented me with a bill for $45. That's the price per month! Apparently, he came with the house. He continued to just show up regularly, twice a month, mow, blow and go. Sometimes I paid him, sometimes not. He'd stick a bill through the door and I'd leave him the money when I got around to it. Then one day, Mr. Kim knocked at my door and introduced another terribly polite Korean man, Mr. Yi. Mr. Kim informed me that he had purchased a lawn mower store (American dream, baby!) and that now his brother-in-law Mr. Yi would be our yard guy. Mr. Yi always wears a Park Ranger hat from the Grand Tetons, which I find terribly charming.

Oh damn. This is good blog material. I need to go write this down instead of wasting it on a comment!

Amy said...

I find the story of little mowing dude quite poignant. I must be hormonal!

Gretchen--that is awesome blog material. I think we need more Mr Yi's in our life.

Fantastic Forrest said...

Lawsie, child, you crack me up.

Laundry Kilimanjaro, frugalisto, imeddjitly, HOA howler....where the hell do I start? Let me just say that this is a post for the hall of fame. You are a bundle of fun.

XO

Amy said...

Oh--and bsouth...HOA is Home Owners' Association. They kind of police the neighborhood and make sure people aren't leaving cars to rust in their front yards. They can go a bit overboard in their duties though! So I've heard--our neighborhood in the States wasn't quite nice enough to have one. ;)