On my way out the door the other afternoon, I was greeted with the smell of freshly-cut grass on my lawn. I stood for a moment, taking it in, the sun baking down all around me and really drawing the smell up from the ground. Suddenly I asked myself a question:
What's so fucking great about the smell of freshly cut grass?
Just about every person I've ever met looooves the smell of a wet, recently-sheared patch of lawn. There are even webpages for people to jerk each other off about how deliciously wonderful the smell is. But despite what abbadabbadoo18 and panicingchemically have to say about it, it remains one of my least favorite smells, right up there with baby shit and broccoli cheese soup. The smell actually turns my stomach, but it also reminds me of the miserable, blistering hot days spent mowing the acre of land my family still lives on in Lancaster. My younger brother and I would trade off responsibilities, one week driving the riding tractor around the majority of the yard, and the other doing the trim-mowing around the mulched flowerbeds and trees and clotheslines with a questionably self-propelled push mower. At least we traded until my brother got smart enough to consistently do a terrible job with the push mower, so that I forever was put on Trim Duty and he got to do figure-eights while sounding off peals of victorious laughter. The little bastard. As if it wasn't enough to do our own mowing every week, we also got shipped off to my grandparents' to do theirs, and to my violin teacher's to do his, but for those jobs we at least got paid.
My parents can't, for the life of them, understand how I can live without a yard, but I count that as one of the many benefits of living in a city. I don't have a son to play catch with or a dog to shit everywhere, so a lawn is pretty much useless to me anyway. And if I ever do get a dog, I can just let it shit all over the park down the street from my house. Problem solved. Give me a balcony (or at least a fire escape) over a yard any day. The only thing I miss about having a big swath of greenery behind my house is the fact that we could play quoits on it. But I think the two little patches of grass on either side of the walk in the front of my house here in Pittsburgh are big enough that I could probably dig quoit beds if I really wanted to. Which I don't. Or I would.
Don't get me wrong, grass absolutely has its place: in parks, in the woods, in vast expanses of country estate in northern Scotland. To be honest, I think that our world absolutely does need more grass and trees. But as a 22-year-old, exceptionally lazy and opinionated city dweller, I just don't have the time or effort to concern myself with going out and mowing a lawn. If my house did have a ton of grass that the landlord wasn't expected to take care of, it would probably look like I live in the African Savanna. Frankly, I'd rather have sand. Show me a big ol' yard of bright, healthy, green grass and I see the potential for a totally sweet personal beach.
Now the smell of the ocean, that's a smell I can get behind.