Jill Chen/istockphoto


lI grew up with busy parents. They had full-time jobs and 3 kids, and, therefore, a host of priorities that dutifully included lawn maintenance. However, yard work was at the bottom of the to-do list.

I think our neighbor intentionally maintained his lawn to always be a couple inches shorter than ours, so that the line was distinct. As if to say, "This is where the neat people live, next to the people who don't mow their lawn." Whenever my mother would get the hairy eyeball from our anal-retentive next-door neighbor, she would, like clockwork, force me to mow the lawn. I appeased her only after I was sufficiently bribed or threatened, because nothing makes a surly pre-teen look more dorky than mowing the lawn.

Guess what? I still think mowing the lawn is dorky. Don't get me started on the lawn mowers you sit in and drive.