I’m coming out!

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).

Papaver orientalis 'Allegro' (3)
The image has little relevance to the text but I prefer it to a picture of a lawnmower. Papaver orientalis ‘Allegro’

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.

13 thoughts on “I’m coming out!

  1. I would think you are definitely not alone! Men are under so much pressure to be good at “men’s things” in the same way that there was pressure on women to be domestic goddesses! We live in enlightened times when it’s OK for us just to be ourselves … glorious poppy photograph.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Definitely a man thing! As it’s said that men stress over lawns etc more so than women. So it would make sense that their tools, be they mechanical or electrical, must be up to standard no matter what, hence the anxiety. Bit like women and housework!! Ha

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have to say getting rid of the lawn was very liberating! We have a small garden and therefore the lawn was not large but just as demanding as one much larger … a big step but worth it. The hedge problem remains but repays by providing nesting places for the birds …

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We have a good amount of grass – a four to five hour job to cut it. Getting rid of it is not possible.

        Like

  3. At last a brave worrier has led the way and we can all acknowledge our fears of mechanisation.Bravo signor Tobin.you will yet be hailed as the apostle of the mechanically inept!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As gardeners I believe it’s the main problem for male and female alike. The work towards the first grass cutting is immense: to clear the debris left during the winter months, then as you suggested the lawnmower! Will it work or should it be on line waiting with all the others for maintenance/reparation. Each year it is the same: anxiety, and also relieve when it does…Thank you mentioning this important issue in such a humorous way…

    Liked by 1 person

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