Sunday, July 19, 2009

I Am The Joneses

Several years ago Brian and I were discussing a couple that we knew (not very well) that a friend of ours described as always trying to "keep up with the Joneses" or do them one better. If a neighbor bought a fancy-new grill, they had to buy an even fancier one. Things like that. I remarked well, actually I ranted to Brian that it must be "so stressful trying to keep up with the neighbors" and "who has time?" and "who gets to decide who the Joneses are anyway?" (I think I might have felt a bit insecure about our own grill). But that's when I decided that I was going to be the Joneses and everyone else would have to keep up with me.

For Christmas that year, Brian made me an I Am the Joneses T-shirt. Here's a picture of it:


I bring it up now because I need to channel my inner-Joneses again, only this time regarding my lawn. I live in a neighborhood of beautiful yards. Granted, several of these yards belonged to older couples who are retired or who do not have young children so they have more time to work on the lawn. But, even when my kids leave the nest, I won't be weeding; I'll be doing what I do every Sunday, namely the crossword puzzle.
It doesn't stop me, however, from feeling inadequate about my lawn. 'Perhaps,' I think as I sharpen my pencil, 'I should get out there and edge or prune or mulch or whatever one does to make a yard look nice.' I've even gotten as far as the garage before I realize how much I hate mowing let alone edging, pruning or mulching so I come up with an excuse and retreat to the porch and then stare at the beautiful gardens surrounding me.

But how productive is worrying about my yard when I know I'm not going to do anything about it? Honestly, I can be a good person without having a gorgeous lawn. In fact, I'm a better person because I'm not cranky from mulching. Sure, my neighbors have lovely yards but can they finish the New York Times Crossword puzzle in one day? I think not so I'm declaring a new order:
  • It's time to re-think our priorities.

  • It's time to forget about the petty chores that fill our day.

  • It's time to sit our butts down with a pencil and the paper.

  • It's time to be the Joneses.


  1. What a great post and perspective. Never thought about it that way. Wow!

  2. ha. there are so many more important things than the lawn. i try to tell T that every week, but i still have to cut it...all in for new priorities

  3. Thanks Amelia and Brian. I have a neighbor who thinks that we shouldn't cut our lawns but let them grown wild. Of course, her husband does the mowing...

  4. This post speaks to me quite loudly!

  5. Loved this post. And I so want that t-shirt. Today I walked out to get the mail and realized many of the weeds that I had so laboriously excavated in May were back on my cobblestone walk. Despite digging with a metal claw and spraying with a deadly weed killer afterward they are back. After staring at it dejectedly for a few minutes I decided, well, if they are that determined to survive, who am I to kill them?

  6. Wenderina, that's exactly how I feel! Who am I to decide?