A hedge of thought

I gained some vitality this week, after an extended period of lethargy.

I decided to tackle my lilly pillys in the front yard. The plants had been in need of hedging for over a year. I was always intending to do the job myself… eventually.

It took me three sessions of more than two hours each to get the work done, but let’s not labour on that point…

Our suburban property has a footpath along the front of it. On my second day of gardening, a happy, middle-aged man walked by and hollered out a single sentence. He was the only person who spoke to me over the three days, despite many who passed by.

He said, ‘You need a good man to do that for you!’

At first, I thought it was a sweet, fatherly thing to say. I imagined he cared that I was slogging it out, fighting my overgrown plants into submission.

But I turned feminist real quick. How dare he think I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, achieve what I’d set my mind to do, just because I’m female!

Then I thought, hang on – his words are completely invalid… for these reasons:

  • I don’t need a man to do everything for me. I’m entirely capable of looking after myself AND my garden.
  • If I did need / want a man to hedge for me, I’d have a man hedge for me!
  • There’s no such thing as man’s work and woman’s work anymore. It’s the 21st Sheesh.
  • I enjoy hard work and had no problem with hedging (and sweating). I like gardening most of the time. I alone chose to get the job done. I wasn’t forced to do it.
  • I do have a man, he’s just not a gardener. He was looking after my 3yo son while I hedged. This was my man’s way of being supportive.

I think the moral of the story is probably just: people say dumb things.

I often think too much about what people say, bothered or not by their words.

Is there something that a stranger has said to you that you’ll never forget?

Jodie How

Jodie How

Jodie How is a writer who blogs about life, relationships, wellbeing and writing. She aspires to publish both fiction and biographical works.
Jodie How

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9 thoughts on “A hedge of thought”

  1. I can’t think of any strangers’ comments off the top of my head. I do know that sometimes, purely to make contact and say something more than ‘hi’, I’ll say whatever comes to my head, and like that guy, it may not be the brightest thing.
    I do have a funny comment a friend received however. This friend and I have both had weight issues ie being very underweight, not by choice. She was eating a banana in a shopping mall when a guy came up to her and said ‘You could do with a few more of those!’. We both laugh about it still! 🙂

    1. Thanks for sharing, Karen. It seems people feel quite free to comment on thinness in our society. I’ve experienced many similar comments.

      I don’t think it’s nice though. It’s not like I would reply by saying, ‘looks like you need to eat less’ if they were overweight :0P.

  2. Yes, Amazing Jodie can do her gardening herself 😉

    I get sometimes comments from strangers when I’m on my running session. The highlights:

    “No need to run. The bus is gone.”
    “You can stop running. There’s no one after you any more.”

  3. That’s funny. Love your moral too; ‘People say dumb things.’ I guess its the flip side of vacuous small talk about the weather.

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