I need to mow my lawn.
Because it looks bad like that, the grass is too high.
Why does it “look bad”?
I don’t know, I just know that it would look better if the grass was trimmed.
Why? Why does short grass look better?
It’s just something within me that feels better when the grass is shorter.
Do you remember anyone telling you short grass looks better?
Not especially. Everyone where I lived when I was growing up had short grass in their yard.
Why would that have been?
Because they thought long grass looked bad.
Why do you think that is?
Societal convention? I don’t know.
Do you think short grass looks good?
Yes, of course.
You asked me that before.
And you didn’t really give an answer. You said other people told you it looks good, because they did it for themselves. Where do you think they learned it?
From their parents and the people around them, probably.
Where might they have learned it?
From the people before them.
How far back should this go?
Maybe back to the castles.
Tell me more.
Well, when there were castles, they kept the grasses beside them trimmed. Made the castles look nice.
How did they keep the grasses trimmed?
Probably by having sheep, and horses, and cattle around.
What did that do for the castle people?
They always had milk and meat from the cattle, and wool for clothes from the sheep, and transport from the horses.
So that means…
They were always well-prepared for anything.
It’s more than that.
Okay, having a castle and short grass meant that they had a lot of money. And power. So, short grass was an indicator of status.
How did the high-status people in the castles know that short grass would be an indicator of status?
There were people before castles, right?
And aren’t there whole societies now who’ve grown up without ever having castles in their history?
And don’t they also feel that short grass on the lawn “looks better”?
So why do you think that is?
Look, I can see that you think you know better than me what the final answer is. Why don’t you just come out and say it?
Because this way is more fun!
Because I get to see the exasperation on your face. It’s enjoyable to make you squirm.
It touches something within me that I can’t quite explain.