The Knoxonomist

Illustration by Alexei Chtykhine

Spring is almost here, and we need to purchase a lawnmower for our new home. My husband wants an expensive 48-inch zero-turn ride-on mower for our tiny half-acre lot. I think he should get a push-mower for some exercise instead. How can I convince him?


The Knoxonomist appreciates the idea that you are concerned about your husband’s health, but old Knox just doesn’t buy it. No doubt, sending him out in the sweltering spring and summer heat might strip a few unwanted pounds. However, the Knoxonomist thinks that you might be missing the point of his desire to purchase the mower of his dreams. Perhaps you should consider the idea that his choice of mowers has nothing to do with mowing the grass. What he is actually after is to establish his virile masculinity among his new neighbors, and the Knoxonomist thinks you might want to allow him some latitude on this decision.

By forcing your husband to push a tiny 19” electric lawnmower about the yard, you will have effectively emasculated him. Let there be no doubt that his new friends will know that he is not wearing the pants in the family. Stripped of his dignity in the grassy battlefield of the front lawn, he might resort to other ways to establish himself. The Knoxonomist suspects he would want to take up 4-wheelin’. On the weekends he could take his tricked-out side-by-side up to Royal Blue where he could get into untold types of trouble. Might it be better that he exhausts his manliness on the mower where you can keep a closer eye on him?

The Knoxonomist also encourages you to look at the world through his eyes. Has your husband intruded on the decisions he knows (and you know) that only a woman can make effectively? Your husband knows that you could easily paint your own fingernails, but he recognizes that a manicure is about much more than just nail color. Your husband also knows that you could dye your own hair and that you’re not any more beautiful to him with those extensions, but in allowing you to choose your path, getting your hair and nails done the way you like and spending time with your friends at the salon, you’ll be a happier woman.

There is a fundamental difference between what you see in your lawn and what your husband sees. You see a chore that needs to be done. He sees an opportunity. Some days the lawn will give him peace and solitude. Other days, the lawn will be where he will release the frustration of a difficult day. But no matter how he’s feeling when he climbs up onto that behemoth of a lawnmower, you both will have a cleanly-mowed lawn once he climbs down, and what’s more than that, the Knoxonomist assures you, it’ll be a happy man walking in the door.

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