Those are the words I heard from our new neighbor as I was mowing the yard this afternoon.

Itzl and I spent the morning in Norman, helping friends with their clean-up (Woodward is too far away for us to help), then came home to have lunch and do the yardwork I need done.  The winds knocked some limbs down, so I need to use my handy-dandy chainsaw to chop them up small enough for the Big Trash Day coming up, plus, my yard, instead of seeking shelter during the storms, grew 6". I had no choice but to mow or face a hefty fine for having tall grass.

In the middle of mowing, my new neighbor wanders over with a beer in hand, and tells me I shouldn't be disrespecting my man by doing hte yard work. I should be prepping the food for him to grill for tonight's dinner while he mows.

I shrugged and said I didn't have a man.  So he says maybe my father should do the lawn while I cook him dinner. I said I didn't have a father. So he says my brother should be mowing while I feed him and his family. I said my brother was in the ICU and I doubted his doctor would approve of him mowing should he ever live to leave it. So he hesitatnly asks if I have a son.

So I tell him, "Yes, They're in Afghanistan fighting for the right for men like you to go around insulting their mama while she goes about her business."

He steps back, arms spread wide, and he says, "Hey, babe, didn't mean no harm.  This your boy's house?"

Notice that he didn't offer to mow my yard for me?  He just wanted some other man to be doing what he seems to think is a man's job, never mind I've been mowing this yard for 15 years.

"Not that it's any of your business, but since we're neighbors and all, it's my house, the one I bought to raise my children in. Now, if you don't mind, I still have the back yard to mow and tree limbs to chop up with my chainsaw and axe."

He gulped his beer, dropped the can in my yard and walked away backwards. I don't know how long he walked backwards because I turned my mower back on and finished the front yard.

I'm back inside cooling off and drinking some pineapple KoolAid before I get busy with the back yard.

I guess he won't be inviting me over for BBQ, reckon?

Edited to Add:

This is a pretty typical conversation here-abouts, nothing sinister to it. Everyone in the neighborhood knows I live alone, it wouldn't take him long to figure that out. There are a couple of other single women living here, too. In these parts, men who talk like that rarely follow up with anything more than more empty beer cans and the occasional rude gesture.

I met his wife and dog yesterday, and they're pretty nice. She says he doesn't like seeing women do yard work, because he doesn't think they should have to.

As for the beer can, the dog was trotting around with one in his mouth. Maybe he's just in the habit of dropping them for the dog (which is a mutt that looks like a cross between a Corgi and a Golden Retriever). Aluminum cans are worth money, and if he's going to be tossing them around, I'll pick them up and cash them in. There were months when I paid my rent or bought my kids food from aluminum cans. I kinda like aluminum cans.

Your Email has been sent.