I have a friend who doesn’t like grass. Actually, she detests grass. When she first confessed her disdain for the odd patch of green we had come upon in the city, my face crinkled up in confusion. “What do you mean, you don’t like grass?” In fact, my face is now crinkled up in confusion as I write this. Who hates grass? I guess I can understand not being excited by it, but to hate it, despise it, as she does – I mean, come on. Seriously?
Grass is not a subject that comes up often in our conversations, but when I have the opportunity, I mention it. Sometimes, I bring it up in the company of others – just to see whether I’m the only one that thinks it’s crazy to hate grass. Sometimes, I mention it to my friend as a reminder to myself that our friendship is true – so true, I have intimate knowledge of her weird grass phobia. We have certainly graduated beyond the deep things in life and on to the completely random and mundane. To me, that’s a sign of a good friendship.
A few weeks ago, we attended the wedding of a mutual friend that took place on the lawn outside a log cabin in the Presidio. As we were walking to take our seats, it occurred to me she was walking on grass, and in high heels, to boot! I grabbed her shoulder from behind as we were nearing our row of folded metal chairs and said, “How are you handling it? Are you doing OK?” I didn’t have to mention the word grass – she knew exactly what I was talking about. She said she was OK – she knew she only had to step on it for the ceremony, and when that was over, we’d be inside the log cabin drinking the night away. She did say she wished she’d brought her flask, but she thought she could handle it. I was glad.
I’m still unsure why she hates grass as much as she does. She did grow up around LA. Maybe that’s at the root of the problem. I grew up in the Midwest where there is more grass than you could ask for. There were things about the grass I hated – mowing it weekend after weekend when it was supposed to be my step-dad’s job. Being harassed if I didn’t walk the mower across the lawn in exactly the right pattern. Inevitably spilling it on the driveway when trying to empty the unwieldy canvas bag that caught the clippings. It’s impossible to sweep freshly cut grass from concrete, by the way. It just sticks, sometimes moves an inch or two, always dying the concrete green the more you attack it with a broom. You should just skip the broom and go immediately for the garden hose on high pressure. I hated cleaning up the dog crap in the back yard before I could run the mower, too – although it was easier than chiseling it out of the frozen snow in the winter. But none of those things made me hate grass itself. One of these days I’ll have to ask again why, exactly, she hates grass. Oh well, to each his own, I guess.