I have had a lawn guy pretty much since I moved into my house almost 5 years ago. I am sitting here trying to think of how I found him in the first place, and I have no earthly idea. Strange. Anyway, from the day he laid sod in my backyard we have had a complicated, tumultuous relationship. Did he do good work? Yes. Did he do good work for cheap? Yes. Did we fight like siblings at times? Yes. Why? I am not really sure. There was the occasion when he raised the price to mow my lawn -- that really pissed me off. Then there was the time I had left him several messages and he had failed to respond, so I called someone else who had left a flier on my door. This other person did my lawn, albeit crappily, then John (my lawn guy) came the next day and "did" it again, charging me full price. We had a heated phone conversation that night where he said he couldn't tell my lawn had just been done because it was done so poorly; and i said I shouldn't have to pay him when I didn't ask him to come; he said I did ask him to come; I said yeah, 3 weeks ago. We both hung up the phone mad. Five minutes later he called me back and apologized, totally sweet-talking me, told me what a good customer I was, he was being an ass, of course I didn't have to pay him, and he'd lower the price of doing my lawn again. You might be wondering why I put up with this tricky relationship w/my lawn guy? Because there were also the good times.
And the good times? They were really, really good. Like when I left for work one day early in my home ownership with a muddy, rocky backyard and came home to a beautiful expanse of green lawn. Or the time I left the house with a giant dead tree towering over my house, then came home and the tree was gone, as if it had never even been there. No wood chips, branches, nothing.
Towards the end of our relationship, we finally hit our stride; he just came every 10 days no matter what; I could finally afford to pay him regularly so it was no longer an issue. And he always did a good job. He called me "hon" and told me if he wasn't married he's be after me b/c I was so "good lookin'". We both knew he was completely harmless and I was never weirded out -- in the end, he was just an emotional Italian man who did lawns for a living.
But. The other day he called me at work. And he dumped me. Out of the blue, he told me he couldn't afford to do my lawn anymore because it was the only lawn in my neighborhood and my neighborhood was nowhere near his other clients. So that was that. He gave me the number of someone else who did lawns in my area. He actually found me a replacement. The end. I'm still a little bit in shock. I mean, he did it over the PHONE. He couldn't even do it in PERSON??? After 5 years?? He couldn't face me, that's why. He was afraid he'd see me and change his mind. Coward.
So today I met my new lawn guy. I called him in the morning, he cut my lawn in the afternoon. Same day. His name is Ken. I instantly clicked with him, and before long he was making plans to come "shape" the bushes in my front yard and "aerate" the lawn. He told me several times that my lawn really "wasn't that bad", if I'd just water it. He proactively suggested filling in the tree pit in my backyard and planting another tree and some shrubbery. He wants to plant bushes in the corners of my backyard.
I'm cautiously hopeful, because I obviously don't want to get hurt again, but I think it's a really good sign that we're already making tentative plans for the future. I think I could love this lawn man. Time will tell, but I'm feeling really hopeful. Maybe, this time, it will work out. Maybe there's still a chance for my grass to grow lush and green. Maybe I've really just been killing time, waiting for Ken. And now he's here.
Random fact: he told me he has a high-maintenance maltese dog named T-Rex. This is funnier if you've met Ken; he said he walked into PetSmart for his 2nd doggie training class and everyone laughed and pointed and said "look at that big black guy and his little dog, T-Rex."
Ok, well I thought it was funny.