Friday, November 10, 2023

The lawn guy is going to clean up our leaves this year, and now I'm having a crisis of identity

The AI Blog Post Image Generator did a better job with this fake photo than it did on Wednesday's post, but I still question this AI-generated landscaper's facial features.

Many years ago when I worked at the Cleveland Clinic, I had frequent opportunity to interact with Dr. Roger Mee, a world-renowned pediatric heart surgeon. In addition to being very good at his job and a nice man, he was also quite wealthy.

Or at least wealthy enough to own one of the finer homes in our area, located in what is often referred to as the "tony" Cleveland suburb of Gates Mills. The house happens to be situated along the route we take to and from church each Sunday, so we pass it constantly.

Quite often when I drove by during my Clinic years, I would see Dr. Mee on a small riding mower cutting the grass. You have to understand, this stately home is located on a very large lot. There are acres of grass there, and from what I could tell, Dr. Mee would cut all of it himself.

One of the best pediatric heart surgeons in the world, who commanded a commensurately high salary, was out there for hours at a time mowing his lawn.

This always amazed me, and one time I asked him about.

"Dr. Mee," I said, "I see you on your riding mower all the time. Do you always cut the grass yourself?"

He said he did.

"How long does it take you?"

"About 5 or 6 hours."

"Wow, is it a stress reliever?"

"The first 3 hours are. The rest of it is just a pain in the ass."

Yet there he was, week in and week out, keeping that grass trimmed even though I'm sure he could easily have afforded a landscaper to do it for him.

That has always impressed me, particularly since I now pay someone to mow my much-smaller lawn.

Nick, our landscaper, does an excellent job. Like Dr. Mee, he's very good at what he does. If I was going to hire someone, I'm not sure I could have made a better choice.

But as I mentioned in a post here a few months ago, having a lawn guy (not to mention a snow plow guy) takes some getting used to.

I spent 30 years cutting my own grass. Even when I really didn't feel up to it, I always took some pride in doing the job myself.

Then I started earning extra income as a PA announcer, and suddenly the luxury of having someone else out there in the yard sweating instead of me became a real possibility.

Hiring Nick has turned out to be a good move, at least when I'm not questioning my own masculinity for turning the job over to him. I can never quite shake the feeling that I'm shirking one of my key responsibilities as husband/dad.

Now, with the advent of fall, it gets even better...or worse, depending on how you look at it.

Over the next couple of weeks, Nick is going to collect the leaves in our half-acre lot and deposit them near the street for the city to pick up. None of us will have to touch a rake or pull a tarp laden with leaves. He will handle the whole thing, and being Nick, he will handle it well.

It will be more than worth the cost to have him do it.

Still...I can't help but look at those as my leaves piling up in my yard. Part of me still believes it's my job to gather them up and haul them out of there.

I'm sure I'll get over this feeling in time, but honestly, how do rich people who weren't born rich adjust to having gardeners and nannies and such? I can't imagine.

Not that I'm aching to go outside and fire up the lawn mower or the leaf blower, mind you. But I'll admit, I'm still adjusting to the concept.

No comments:

Post a Comment