A Middle-Aged Woman laughs at life! (And realizes it’s not easy being green.)
By: Mary Fran Bontempo

I’m seeing too much green.

Green is in; it’s everywhere. Green is the color of the moment in oh so many ways.

This week we celebrate Earth Day. Everyone from politicians to celebrities to the man on the street has ideas about what we need to do to keep our planet green. Most of the proclamations are pretty sound. Use cloth sacks instead of plastic bags for store purchases. Fill up re-usable containers with tap water instead of drinking the bottled variety. Carpool, walk or bike to work or the store. But I think some of us may be carrying the whole green thing a bit too far.

My best friend, Chris, and I walk regularly through our suburban neighborhood in our attempt at fitness and fat control. In actuality, we walk to provide each other with our own personal therapy sessions, thereby saving our husbands hundreds of dollars in doctor bills. Either way, our wanderings through the surrounding streets provide plenty of time to talk and to observe just who is doing what to their homes and the environment.

And lately, we’re seeing too much green.

Oh sure, it’s spring and the trees are blooming; flowers are blossoming; grass is growing. And therein lies the problem.

The grass is way too green.

My friend, Chris, and I know this because our grass is not green. Well, it is in some places, but it’s also yellow and white and puffy in spots. In fact, our respective lawns are remarkably similar in their appearances, kind of like Chris and me, somewhat splotchy and uneven. (You know someone is your best friend when you can call them splotchy and uneven on the internet and they don’t mind.)

The point is our lawns, despite the fact that they are supposed to be primarily composed of grass, are most definitely not wholly and exclusively green.

We have decided this is a good and natural thing. In fact, it is so good that Chris and I have decided to crown ourselves queens of the subversive new movement “The Sisterhood that Loves Ugly Grass” or SLUGS (since that is how we frequently feel on our 8 a.m. walks) for short.

As founding SLUGS members, we have decreed the following:

1. That the new standard for suburban lawn beauty shall rely on lawns which boast at least six different shades of green thriving on a single quarter acre of dirt, trumpeting their diversity of grasses and thereby proffering a model which we humans would do well to emulate.

2. That further enforcing the theme of diversity, lawns shall also offer a proliferation of pretty little yellow flowers, which shall prove so hardy that no matter how many times you pick them, they will reward you by spreading and multiplying to provide you with endless bouquets.

3. That thick, uniform stretches of singularly green lawn shall be hereby banned as discriminatory. In order to combat such discrimination, neighborhood children will gather dandelion puffballs from politically correct lawns and blow their fluffy white seeds on the offending stretches of green.

Obviously, this new movement will of necessity operate on the fringes at first. For generations, solid expanses of Astroturf-like green lawns have been the Holy Grail of the suburban landscape. And I’ll admit it won’t be easy to get the chemical addicted masses to embrace our weeds. (Yeah, let’s call it what it is. You know it’s bad when you only use a weed whacker to cut your lawn, as your lawn is composed entirely of weeds.)

But we SLUGS shall overcome. And if the Earth is lucky, this time, it will be a little less green.

Have your own theories about keeping Mother Earth green? Click “comments” below and spread the seed!