Mr. Doe thought, “Here I go again with the same routine of cutting the grass, pulling these weeds, and picking up bits of trash that have blown over from trash cans that don’t have tightly closed lids.”
As he picked up a bit of trash, he glanced over at the lawn two doors down from his. He stood there gazing under the afternoon sun, wondering how they keep the grass looking so green and weed-free. Just as he was lost in thought, he could hear Mrs. Doe calling him from the house asking if he was done cutting the grass.
“Boy, she can really kill a mood,” he thought as he answered her with, “Yeah, I’m almost done!” Then he walked slowly back to the lawnmower that was sitting idling softly, waiting as if to say, “It’s about time you remembered me.” He turned off the lawnmower and slowly walked it over to the shed, which was located in the far corner of the backyard, away from the house. Two weeks later, Mr. Doe was back outside in the blazing, hot sun cutting the backyard grass again.
“The weeds seem to be growing taller than the grass,” he thought, and “where did these brown spots come from? I water the grass every other day and put down fresh fertilizer every spring.”
As he was talking out loud to himself, he stood up straight and turned in the direction of that lawn he was admiring two weeks ago. To him, the grass seemed to have gotten even greener and it looked so evenly cut like someone had cut each blade of grass with a pair of scissors. While the sun was shining over his lawn, the other yard was covered by a cooling shade. He couldn’t stop thinking about that yard and stayed up late into the night thinking of ways to get a closer look at that yard. He didn’t know the owners, so he couldn’t just walk into their yard without a reason.
After weeks of admiring the other neighbor’s yard from afar, he decided to get up his nerve and just go over to that yard and see with his own eyes and touch with his own hands that beautifully kept lawn. As he got closer to the house with the beautiful lawn, he imagined his hands gently caressing each blade of grass, his nose breathing in the intoxicating aroma of the sweet, earthy smell of grass and fresh dirt while his body was cooled by the patches of shade covering the yard.
As soon as he walked into the yard, he noticed the ground was very uneven and lumpy in some parts, especially farthest away from the house. He also noticed, as he looked down at the grass he was standing on it had an unnatural color. He reached down and touch a blade of grass and it easily broke off in his hand. It also had a funny feel to it. He turned the piece of grass over in his hand, rubbing it between his fingers, and in shock he realized it was fake! This grass was made out of some of that same
This grass was made out of some of that same Astroturf stuff they use on the football fields. Mr. Doe couldn’t believe what he was really seeing. As he walked around the yard, he noticed bare spots of exposed dirt, and on the side of the yard closer to the house but further away from the view from his yard, Mr. Doe noticed a big hole that looked like something was once there but was removed and left a ragged, gaping hole. After seeing all this, he was in shock. He couldn’t believe the yard he had been admiring for months while standing in the hot sun in his own yard was such a mess up close. The vision he had in his mind of this lawn certainly didn’t live up to what he was actually seeing with his own eyes and feeling with his own fingers.
As he looked over at his own yard, he noticed the color of his grass had a more subtle green hue made even lighter by the afternoon sun. He could hardly see the few weeds that sprouted through the low grass, and the brown spots he always complained about were hardly noticed from this view.
He started to gingerly step through the uneven yard he was standing in, trying to make his way back to the sidewalk that led back to his house. As he started getting closer, he noticed the door to the fence that surrounded his backyard was closed. When he tried to open it, he saw it was locked from the inside. Mrs. Doe must have come out back, saw he wasn’t
Mrs. Doe must have come out back, saw he wasn’t there and locked the door to the gated fence with the new security lock they had recently installed. Now he couldn’t come back to his own yard because he was locked out. After seeing the other yard, he now thought his yard was not as bad as he complained about and he really wanted to get back to it. But now all he could do was look at it through a locked gate.
Like the “other” yard Mr. Doe was admiring, people and situations look and sound good from far away or when it’s new, fresh, and exciting. But when they finally get a good look, they start to see the flaws, the fakeness, and what was kept hidden that is now revealed.
The moral of this story is: what you think is better may just be Astroturf! Or, something worse!
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