Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"I Only Know He's Human Because Sometimes He Smells"

My husband and I have a dynamic in our marriage predicated on his innate superiority and my unwillingness to be fazed by it.

Since I'm someone whose self-esteem can be shaken by a student commenting casually, "You sure have been an interesting teacher" (What the hell does "interesting" mean?  Did no one ever teach you to use precision in language?  Cripes, but you should take an English class once, Junior...hey. wait. a. minute.), I have to believe my confidence--my Blind Eye--within the marriage stems out of the magical ju-ju called Luff.  My groomeo is awesome at everything, and somehow I've decided that means I'm great, too.  I gather his abilities around me into a swirling crinoline and take the bow for both of us.

Someone has to.

The truth is that I weasel myself into his achievements by promoting them, by doing the talking, by pointing out that the dinner at our house is always amazing because he makes it.  There was actually one time when Groom ran by during a snowshoe race, and a reporter for the newspaper asked, "Who was that man?  Does anyone know his name?"--at which point I provided the information as though I'd birthed him myself (in a grueling 36-hour labor that ultimately took my life).

Listen, the guy is so good that a few months ago, at the request of our former realtor whose daughter was getting married to a Frenchman, he baked TWENTY BAGUETTES IN A SINGLE DAY AND THEN PULLED THEM IN A BICYCLE TRAILER DOWNTOWN TO THE WEDDING RECEPTION, WHEREUPON THEY WERE GREETED WITH "TRES BIEN!" AND "OOH-LA-LA!" BY THE ASSEMBLED CONTINENTAL GUESTS.  Groom's response to all the praise was, "I've always had a dream of delivering some baguettes by bike."

Jocelyn's response was, "Did the Frenchies really like them?  He makes good bread, doesn't he?  I took about ten pictures of them.  He does this thing where he uses a misting bottle to spray the insides of the oven while they're cooking, so as to assure a crisp crust.  He also uses that bike trailer each week to pick up our CSA box of produce from the farm.  Plus, did you know he took six weeks once to bike from Seattle to Minnesota?  And also, as he was making those twenty baguettes, he took a few hours out, during the rising, to go volunteer in the first grade classroom when 31 kids were making gingerbread houses."

See how I'm great?  'Cause he is?

Oh, all right.  I'm just a carnival barker, but I'm his carnival barker, and I wear the striped shirtsleeves instead of a wedding ring.

This is the moment during post writing when I slow down for a minute and think, "I'm pretty sure I started out with a point.  But isn't it always interesting to see where we wander off to once I start the typing?"

So, refocusing:  in our last episode, I'd abandoned crinolines and death in childbirth to don the duds of the carnival.  I'm a regular host of the Oscars here, with all my costume changes and snappy one-liners, ain't I?  You'd best jump back and check your Facebook before I trot out an "Uma, meet Oprah. Oprah, meet Uma" bit of schtick like Letterman did when he hosted.

Okay, so anyhow.  My. point. was.  That Groom is great, and all I ever want to do is hear the world shout that right alongside of me because he's smart and funny and talented and never gets annoyed with my many obnoxisities (go figure) and can do everything and comes from a family where they live forever (as long as I'm doing a digressive post here, here's some indignation for you:  Groom's grandpa will be 97 in a few weeks and has been in hospice the last few months; his wife passed away next to him mere months ago, too.  Once she had passed away, he rebounded a bit and decided he needed a new laptop to help him while away those draggy hospice hours, so he ordered one.  When it arrived, he drove several of his children nuts with learning the new programs and applications, but he was getting there.  Then, one night his son left the hospice center after a visit and plugged his dad's new laptop in so it could recharge, leaving it on the chair next to his aged father.  By morning, IT WAS GONE BECAUSE SOMEONE HAD STOLEN IT.  The whole thing makes me want to believe in hell, so that the crapass Laptop Thief Who Takes Expensive, Life-Sustaining Stuff from 97-Year-Olds in Hospice can roast for effing eternity). 

Yea, that sucked, but the fact that Grandpa is soldiering on is amazing.  I'm pretty sure Groom has that kind of longevity bidness in him, too.  In fact, I've told him for years that he can one day put me in a nice home so long as they wheel me out to watch Jeopardy every day at 4:00.  If he wants to swing by once a week during his long run and pat my hand for a few minutes, I'll be good with that.  Maybe he could check the batteries in the remote while he's there, before he trots home to cook up a fritatta for four.

Hmmm.  Self-check here: yup, I've used the words "fritatta" and "Uma," so I can finish now with this post's ultimate unveiling:

In addition to my usual ramblings posted here, Groom's going to blog our year in Turkey in a comic form.  He loves a good graphic novel and is aiming to use the shades that come from black layered over white as he captures some of our best--and worst--moments.  He's putting up his first post August 1st, at which point I'll provide a link, but in the meantime, I ask you to ogle his first few panels for the thing; it's the invitation we sent out to the bon voyage (İyi yolculuklar in Turkish) party we're having this weekend. 

Based on what you see here (click for enlargement and know that he used his mad Photoshop skillz to obliterate our family's surname on the third panel, so that's why there's a white space in the text)--

...don't you think his blog is going to be fabulous?

Better than this one, in truth.

Rest assured, though:  I'll act as though I invented his every idea.

At the very least, I'll provide him with an endless source of material.


flutter said...

his blog is going to be amazing. But it is so clearly because of you :p

monica said...

looking forward to the blogging - from both of you!
and, if I'm in the neighbourhood on July 24, I'll stop by... for some tonguu and stuff...

Deborah said...

Jocelyn, Jocelyn, Jocelyn...

Ok, here's what I think about this post. The name Jocelyn should be retired, just like they did for Wayne Gretzky's number 99, because there was never going to anybody who could live up to that anymore.

I would have been perfectly happy for the rest of the day just with the first line. More laughs came, and amazingly, even BETTER laughs after that.

I can hardly wait to see what your Groom has to say about you in his graphic fashion. We've had the view from your side of the fence and it'll be a lot of fun to get the other perspective. You know why he luffs you, Jocelyn? For the same reason I luff you although certainly with all kinds of other addendums.

Anybody who would deliver his baguette donation by bicycle trailer not only qualifies for honorary French citizenship but a Legion of Honour medal. And my affection. The closest I came today was to toss cubes of stale baguette in olive oil and herbes de Provence and bake them into croutons. At the end of every sentence I run into the kitchen and eat one.

But enough about me. This was a fabulous, and fabulously funny post, with one exception. Show me the guy who stole the laptop and I'll make sure he never walks upright again. Can Grandpa get another one?? Can I send him mine? Can I call Dell and tell them to make him their new pitchman? They'll surely provide a lifetime supply of laptops....

Thank you for this, Jocelyn. You are like nobody else on earth. (Groom knows that too - of that I am 100 percent certain)

unmitigated me said...

Just another dimension of wonderful, as provided by Jocelyn!

yogurt said...

behind every amazing man ... or in front of pitching his cartoon and baguettes ... I truly am amazed at the baguettes. And the graphic novel. You've got you a good one, Jocelyn.

secret agent woman said...

In my opinion, once you've grown a baby inside you and delivered it, you're kind of allowed to rest on our laurels while the man excels for a while.

Have a great party!

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I read this correctly "respectfully raised liver and tongue"? I don't have my glasses on, but that is hilarious.
I think the laptop story is one of the most horrendous I have heard in a long time. I agree that maybe he could be a spokesperson, and/or get a new one donated. If I had a laptop, I'd give it to him.
Your husband and you seem to be equally matched with a great partner. Can't wait for the Turkey News!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Much too much fun going on at your house. As always, much to comment on and don't know where to begin. However, before yesterday, I wouldn't have understood your CSA reference. Pathetic, I know. But was reading a book about a co-op, and discovered this entire world unfamiliar to me. The joy of reading.

I must say, such kind words you have for your mate. Makes me want to take up a pen and write mine a note for tomorrow.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

So fabulous.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Groom is indeed quite marvelous! Really and truly amazing, and guilt by association works fine for me, too. The story of Ali Biker and the 40 loaves is perfectly adorable and yummy.

The invitation is great! See you then!

geewits said...

That looks like it will be fun but what the heck is "respectfully rassed liver?"
I can't believe it's almost time to go. I am so excited for you guys and look forward to all your posts and groomeo's strips. Yay!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Of course he will--because any husband of yours will have to be awesome and amazing and funny and brilliant.

Patois said...

Totally endless source of material from you.

lime said...

listen, do you think i stick around here because you're a mere hanger-on?

yeah, his blog is gonna rock but in a very different way than yours, which always has and will continue to rock.

Pam said...

I think there should be a militant group called SOGRAI. The Society of Grandparents Angry at Injustice. Laptop theft should be right up there on the agenda.How mean. Who would do that! Another great post from you Joce and now it seems we may have twice the value with Grooms creative efforts. Rich pickings - can't wait!x

ds said...

O, wonderful! I will look forward to his graphics and your words, and be in vicarious Turkish heaven (which reminds me, I need to connect you with my friend Ruth who lived in Turkey for several years--that sound you heard was the head smack for not having thought of it earlier. Then I'll play David Letterman: Jocelyn, Ruth. Ruth, Jocelyn...)

Word veri is muzuz. Somehow appropriate.

Becky Cazares said...

I can't wait for you to leave! No, that didn't sound right. But you know what I mean. Get gone already so we can live vicariously through your grand adventures! I hope the young 'uns will occasionally add their perspective, too. Bon voyage!

Steve said...

Tell Groom I need one graphic blog about that misting part for the crisper crust. Sometime in November would be perfect. Can wait to read both of your blogs!