Here, let me show you a dead spot on my lawn.
Giant brown dead spots, courtesy of my pride and vanity. A few weeks ago a lawn company representative stopped by and gently pointed out that my lawn looks… oh… awful. It doesn’t help that the neighbors on both sides of us paid for gorgeous sod and sprinkling systems so their lawns look like golf courses.
Except for one couple across the street who care even less about their lawn than we do, we’re the black sheep of the grass community on this street. But listen, I have other things to do. I don’t have time to be obsessing over the lawn.
But the lawn company guy made me really look at my neglect, and then in a fit of vanity I went out and bought a bag of lawn fertilizer and applied it to the grass.
I did not read the directions. Not all the way, at least.
Because who reads the directions on a bag of nitrogen? It’s basically chicken poop in an easily carried container. I read this much: “Apply to dry grass…blah, blah, blah…lasts for three months.”
Two days later I mentioned the fertilizer to our friend and neighbor Josh, who lives on the next street up and has a lawn that makes golf courses look slovenly. Josh’s lawn is lush and a freakish shade of green, like angels come and tend to it at night. He looked at me and said, “You know you need to water that, right? It’ll burn your lawn.”
Luckily we were on a bus at the moment, bouncing our way down I-94 with a herd of 4th graders headed to a field trip. We were shouting at each other over the open windows and the hyper children, so I didn’t actually have to come up with a coherent answer.
Of course I didn’t know that, because I didn’t read that part of the directions.
And now my lawn looks worse than before.
I don’t know if this is a lesson in humility or reading the directions, but take your pick. Apply whatever lesson you need to learn.
And if the lawn guy comes knocking, just plug your ears and refuse him an audience.