To: The Lawn Guy

To The Lawn Guy1:

You’re quite great at what you do, you know? The guy before you, he was shit. Whereas you delicately mowed around my grandmother’s flowers by the flowery tree, he trampled all over them with his tools and completely ruined them like they were weeds.

So you can imagine how difficult this is for me to say when, especially given how I have a hard time even wishing characters on television shows to die because it means they’d not have the job anymore, I say this: I wish you didn’t mow our lawn.

Because I don’t see you not flirting with me or asking about me anytime soon on your own volition, I feel like the only other option is for you to no longer mow our lawn.

Since you know too little about me to actually like me—the language barrier not helping matters at all—your crush is just a crush, based solely on my appearance. I get it, though: I have quite a specific type in people, and when I see a member of such a type, I completely lose my cool and turn into the embarrassingly excitable person I am. I want to get to know them, but I also don’t, because it’s like, “OMG—I’m clumsy and also WHAT EVEN ARE WORDS?! and fuck, is she LOOKING at me? Crap, I think that was a smile. HOW do I even EVEN?!” and then I pretty much self-destruct.

And really, I also have this need to be friends with a person first. I don’t enjoy dating complete strangers, as I need to be comfortable with people I’m spending my time with. I guess I have a bit of demiromantic2 in me or something, Idunno.

I don’t feel comfortable with you. Instead of just putting on a bra, I feel like I should put on more clothes that, although they make me hot because Texas heat is quite possibly the worst heat, cover up all the places your eyes trail to when you think I’m not paying attention and right before you call me muy bonita.

I mean, yes. I am beautiful…some days. I don’t need any man confirming this multiple times to me, because yes, I know. I also know knowing I’m beautiful instead of “just taking the compliment” is viewed as stuck-up, conceited and disrespectful in most cultures, but I’m not one of those people who eggs that shit on. Yes, I’m beautiful. I say, “Thanks,” and attempt the best fake smile I can, only because I’m too fucking nice to do anything else because you make me too uncomfortable to figure out how to tell you you’re not my type, but perhaps the complete opposite.

But there is more to me than a fucking adjective. It’s not like my autism, which will always be a part of me and unchangeable no matter what I do to myself. My autism is omnipresent; I cannot separate it from anything I do. However, I can do ugly things, behavioral or no. I have many more identifiers than beautiful, in that I am nerdy and clumsy and funny and cute and cool and, occasionally, ditzy. I’m also absentminded, Native American, and a writer and so many more things.

But you were too busy asking me if I had a husband—then a boyfriend—to bother asking me about who I am instead of relying on external information, as if my singleness means I would be interested in you, a man, just because you find me beautiful.

It made me feel like you were checking out property you wanted to rent or buy when your eyes trailed from my head to my toes and back up again; I felt disgusted and like I needed to bathe after we talked. Women are not property. I know mainstream media and its followers and the rotten fruit residing in the White House all enjoy blaming women when they’re raped and thinking women should feel ever so grateful for being wanted by any man, but that isn’t how it works.

I am no one’s property, and I will not be bought or rented or sold.

I don’t need to be told how beautiful I am like no tomorrow by a man who can’t even remember my three-character name.

I sure as hell don’t have any interest in anyone who thinks it’s okay to move to the location of my eye contact when I’m meeting their eyes so little. I mean, no eye contact? Woah! It’s almost like I’m autistic or something.

You’re barking up the wrong tree. To me, you’ll always just be The Lawn Guy.

I’m not interested in a Desperate Housewives-style lawn guy romance.

Signed,
Liz


Why can’t there be any female lawn services around here? I know they exist (I googled 😏). (I doubt my conservative, traditional family would be for such a thing, however.)

Photo of backyard last year, featuring the growing tomatoes
#tbt to my old garden (June 2016) 💚
  1. In this case, I capitalized “The”, because he’s The Lawn Guy, Lawn Guy for short. It’s his business, so there’s technically only one of him, even if he has different buddies who help him all the time.
  2. Or maybe it’s demisexual.

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Comments on this post

Jamie’s gravatar

That’s really uncomfortable, I’m sorry you have to deal with that. 🙁 I had a similar experience with a repair guy from my old townhouse, so I definitely get the feels.

We had a lot of surprise issues when we first moved in, the dishwasher, one of the stove top burners, busted outlets and lights, the list went on and on and it was a nightmare. I ended up having to call in for repairs a lot. It wasn’t always the same repair guy, but it was most times and it was usually only me at the house since my fiancé and our roommate both worked long hours in the Navy and my daughter attended school.

Every time he came by he stood really close to me and talked to me instead of actually doing any fixing. He was always commenting on how nice my place was, how nice it must be to have a beautiful wife to cook and arrange the house neatly, and how he wished he had a wife but it’s just him and his son. He wouldn’t take long to ask if I was married or had a boyfriend after that, to which I politely notified him that I was engaged. It didn’t stop him from making the same comments every time he came by, and it made me extremely uncomfortable being alone in the house with him.

Nothing ever got fixed of course, he’d usually look for a few minutes, say that he needed some tool or to call in the office, and say he’d be back. I’d have to call the office weeks later to see if they could actually get it fixed and got a ton of excuses. I’m so glad to be out of that place. 😐

This sort of thing seems to happen to a lot of women and it’s so stressful, especially when they don’t take the hint. Folks don’t always realize how scary turning a guy down directly can be. What if they get mad? Women come off as polite both because of how we’re very often taught to be but also out of fear. I have severe anxiety and I don’t deal well with strangers. I usually try to be polite and get away as fast as possible.

The only thing you can do in that sort of situation is to speak to family about changing lawn services, tell them that he hits on you and it makes you uncomfortable. It probably won’t help depending on how sympathetic the family is (I know my family would tell me to suck it up).

Hopefully it works out though and you can either switch services or he takes a hint and backs off (if only, right?)

Liz’s gravatar

Geesh, that sucks. :/

Yeah, I’m definitely afraid to turn him down directly because of fear, no matter what I say or how I say it. :/

My family likes to tease me about it when it’s just us, calling him my boyfriend and saying he asked about me…possibly because I haven’t went out with but one guy in the time I’ve been here, and even then it wasn’t a bloody date despite the amount of times he’d decided it was (toxic masculinity, to the point of abusiveness and harassment, and all he really wanted was me in bed with him, ugh). The lawn guy is on a whole new level, though, because he knows where I live. :/ I can never figure out how to make our encounters brief enough for me to hand him the check and say thanks, because he seems to dominate the fuck out of it and not even give me a chance.

I wish more men understood why women are “polite” and that, no, we DON’T always want a man to talk to us/notice us/etc.