The Neighbour’s Yard

We share a yard with neighbours who have a perfect yard, which is really annoying.
In our defence we probably have one of the nicer yards in the neighbourhood, thanks to my wife’s love of green things, but our friends next door are always just a little better.
Their grass was greener for the longest two weeks of my life when Spring came. I know it was greener because I checked fifty times a day.
Whenever I think “I should cut my grass today”, my neighbour cuts hers before I get home.
“It’s been hot today, I’ll turn on the sprinklers”
Too late! Hers are already on.
I know what you’re thinking: “At least YOUR neighbours mow their grass, you should see the yard next to mine!” We’ve had the same issues in previous locations, but it’s not affecting me the same. At least when someone would drive by and think the neighbour’s yard looked like a horse pasture they must automatically think my yard looked pretty decent?
“THERE lives a man of discipline! He must be a good dad too!” And so on…
Now to be fair we couldn’t have better neighbours and they are one of the main reasons we bought our house in the first place. We were walking through our new possible yard admiring it and trying to decide whether to fork out the cash or not when our future neighbour walked into her backyard.
“Oh, you’ll love it here! All the neighbours get along and it’s a great area to live!” (“AAAAANNNNNDDDDD every time you think about mowing your grass I’ll already be mowing mine”)
Now most of my readers have no idea what I’m talking about and wish I’d count my blessing and shut up about my yard, and they’d be right. But if you’d spend five minutes in my head you’d know that’s not how it works…
EVERYTHING is a competition.
Everything!
Competitions have winners (me) and losers (other people). Who cares if I’m stellar at something if I don’t WIN?
“You monster! Not everything is a competition!” You might say…
Look I envy you if that’s how you roll, but some of us can nod and smile and force a compliment through our lips but in the back of our minds we’re trying to figure out a way to build a better yard.
I was born like that. Being fast meant nothing if someone was faster. You can see it in my littlest daughter, her favourite soccer team is always “Whoever is going to win dad!”
She used to race her older sister everywhere and then sit down and cry when she lost because Katie can RUN, and also she’s clever enough to slightly stack the race in her favour and yell “Neela! Race you to the ____!”) Neela starts a step behind and then inevitably loses.
One time I heard her during one of these moments cry “Katie, why don’t you just LET ME win!!??”
I was marriage counselling someone yesterday and said something to the effect that I used to argue about things with my wife when we were younger with the attitude “Just let me win and I’ll take care of you!” Right, because that’s what she’s looking for in a relationship. Made sense to me in the moment though…
It is of course quite ridiculous unless you’re a competitive person. Erin is competitive in her own way if you’ve ever watched her do one of those fifty million piece jigsaw puzzles. Do NOT interrupt her when she’s like that. One time I tried to add a piece just to mess with her mind (oh, she would know:) so I stood there hovering over the puzzle for ten minutes when she left the room and finally got fed up, crammed the piece into a place it obviously didn’t belong, slammed it down with my fist, and walked away muttering “stupid puzzle!”
So back to my neighbours…
They’re lovely people: kind, funny, easy to talk to. We hang out, etc etc.
It’s just that their yard is slightly better than mine and it’s driving me crazy.
Maybe I should go cut my grass…
Never mind.
Corey Kope

Pastor. Father of 4 beauties. Devoted husband, Liverpool fan, and Jesus follower.

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