Yes, I’m coming out!
I’m horticulturally mechanically panicky!
In this age of openness and tolerance of difference I feel at last that I can be honest about this condition. It has been with me my entire life and continues to be a problem. Spring is the worst time, a time of anxiety, even fear, but no season is without its difficulties. Men, especially, do not speak about this – out of embarrassment or for fear of ridicule. However, it is about time to bring this into the open, to stop hiding it, to acknowledge it and, perhaps, give courage to others to do likewise.
The first grass cutting in spring is normally the worst experience of the year. I sit on the mower, run through the practiced routine of pushing buttons in the correct sequence, watch the various lights, press the green and think “Oh, please start! Come on, first time! Please start!” Panic tightens the chest and shortens the breath; I resort to prayer, invoke the gods and always fear the worst. I just cannot face thoughts of spark plugs, air filters, fuel filters, fuel lines, carburettors, discharged batteries or any of a range of aspects of the inner workings of the lawnmower that not only do not interest me in the least but belong in a different universe to where I wish to be.
The first outing of the hedge cutter is another occasion of panic. Like the smaller lawnmowers it has to be started by pulling a string. Three or four pulls is acceptable. Five or more brings a sense of impending doom – panic and distress! (accompanied by litanies of foul language – generally silently so as not to disclose my panic).
Electrical tools (strimmer and blower) are less bothersome – once plugged in and button pressed it is very simple: they either work or they don’t. The occasional loose connection is easily sorted. Recently, a pond pump has been the cause of bother and I have resorted to purchasing a replacement after exhausting all investigations.
I do not enjoy these things – mechanical things of the garden and things not working – and I never have. I am not interested in how they work – I just want them to work. I am not a Mr. Fixit, never was and never will be. When they work they are a great help in the garden but they are also a cause of stress and bother.
There, it’s out. I’m going to start a support group, maybe even a charity collection. I might even take to Facebook with daily updates.