Himself Pleases This Mass

Much of this blog has been a love letter to Groom.



I’ve felt lately, more than ever, that the blogging conceit of pseudonyms can be fairly tiring.  Anyhow, so,  yea.  He’s Byron.  Most of you knew that already.

If not, here’s your pneumonic device.  Byron.  As in, Lord Byron.  As in, Romantic Poet.  As in, my personal romance guy.

Outside of the fact that I married someone with an actual name (versus my first husband, who went by —–.  Lawsy, but it was hard to call out to him as he browsed the produce section in the Cub foods when I was trying to get his attention to tell him that there were samples of Dublin cheddar out on a platter in the deli.  I’d be all “——! ———!” and he’d never even glance up from the bundles of asparagus he was handling a bit too fondly…speaking of why we ultimately broke up).

In case I just fooled some of you:  no, I never had a first husband.

Wait, I mean, I did.  I do.  It’s the one I have now.


But there was never a ——- before him.

And I can’t foresee any kind of future with a —— after him.


Because he is my One and Only.  In every possible soppy way.

His many wonders have been chronicled on this blog in the past, so I needn’t belabor my swooniness.  But ho and what hark? Hold up! There is something new to add to the litany of Byron delights: he added a ton of spinach into our red lentil soup the other night because we’d brought home a big box of produce from his sister’s farm after Thanksgiving, and the spinach was going to go off pretty quickly,

and–don’t get me wrong, I really like spinach, just not as a flotilla in my soup–

…I’ll be damned if those lily pads of spinach streamers didn’t manage to enhance what was already a wonderful concoction.

This is what Byron did for my life.  His lily-pad-spinach-streamer self enhanced what was already a wonderful concoction.

He’s my lily pad.  He doesn’t like it when I hop on him, though.

He’s my spinach streamer.  He does like it when I pretend to eat him and then pop out huge muscles as I gravel, “I yam what I yam.”

He’s forty-one today.


Oh, hey, wait again.  Not only did he increase his repertoire of wonders when he pulled off the swampy spinach soup thing.

He also recently did this:

[tentblogger-youtube i6AmNsLdZGE]


He’s still working on mastering his unicycle, though.

Let’s give him ’til forty-two, ‘k?


Here’s the thing:  I want to acknowledge his birthday because he hung my moon, bedecking it with spinach streamers.  However, he will be bored worse than a presidential debate if all of y’all nice people just say “Happy birthday” in the comments.  To keep his attention, howzabout your comment contains the food/dish/recipe in your life that you were skeptical about…until you ate it, at which point you were won over completely?

I’ll start:  I have long been long-suffering and visibly tolerant when asked to eat soup with streamers of greens floating in it.  I can do it.  Don’t wanna.  Until the red lentil business the other night.

….which is to say,

I love you beyond all green things that stick in my teeth, Byron.

May you enjoy your new Lego set–although Paco’s pretty sure you might need intensive assistance with it.

May you continue to enjoy reading Habibi–although I had to pull it out of its hiding spot in the closet and give it to you a month early when you got all excited about requesting it from the library.

May you enjoy developing your art–although you are relegated to sketching it out in the darkest unfinished corner of the basement. I still love this “Seattle” that you inked after visiting there a few years ago.

May you tamp down your annoyed reactions when faced with the fluctuating attitudes of our middle schooler–for she really does love you.  Even though I sometimes hear that you squeezed her too hard when you kissed her goodnight.  Maybe tone down your brute strength? Because she’s very, very fragile.

May you savor the gradual return of the light in the next few months.  Until then,

may you enjoy my cold feet on your calves under the covers.

You are my human radiator.  You make my every particle thrum with warmth.

You are my spinach-streamer juggler.







18 responses to “Himself Pleases This Mass”

  1. Jess Avatar

    I understand how you feel about ByroGroom because I have one of my own and he’s just peachy. He makes the most amazing pizza on Friday nights and we’re all ruined for any other pizza now. Also he sometimes drives me crazy but that’s part of what I like about him. Byron, you rock for being the spinach in Jocelyn’s soup. I can’t imagine two more wonderful people and just thinking about you guys makes me happy. Also, it’s ironic that my dad, at 40, is even younger than you, especially since I’m 37. His age seems to vary as the years go on, but I’m pretty sure he was not THAT precocious a lad, especially since my mom is 4 years younger than he is. Also, ew.

  2. Lil Avatar

    Ok, well I wouldn’t want to bore Byron to death because then you’d have to hunt me down and rip my head off. So. Two dishes.

    Kafta.(or Kofta if you prefer). I’d never tried it but deemed it unedible. ‘Cept my brother in law is Lebanese. And his mom makes awesome (and I do not use the word lightly) Kafta, and I said, “Well I know I won’t like it”, and he made me taste it, and it was awesome (see above parenthesis) and damned, if since then I haven’t felt obliged to at least taste something before declaring I don’t like it.

    Which was the case with the next thing: escargot (yeah, chichi word for snails). I had been invited for dinner at my brand new mum-in-law’s place, and she’s very good at intimidating people through food of the chichi variety. First meeting of inlaws, you get escargot in Cointreau sauce. When you are basically a steak (or kafta) and potatoes type. My first thought. “Oh fuck, what if I hurl”. My second. “I can do this”. My third: “Hey, this isn’t half bad”. Not that snails will ever be my favourite “i must have this on my birthday” dish, but still, they’re not bad at all.

    Still and all, I prefer the kafta.

    Happy B-day Byron!

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      It’s so cool to know the “kafta” dish exists throughout the Mideast. It’s spelled “kofte” in Turkish and pronounced “kof-tay” or “kof-tuh.” GREAT answer, chicabelle. No need to rip your head off.

  3. lime Avatar

    it always makes me happy to read of your love for byron. it really does. and i wish him a very happy birthday and many more years of juggling on bosu balls and mastering unicycles and bedecking the moon he hung with spinach. ok, so a recipe is not leaping to mind but for years i have strenuously stated my aversion to brussels sprouts. this thanksgiving one of my cousins brought them to the family dinner….some with mustard, some without. i tried some of each, even though i hate mustard. i still maintain my general dislike of mustard but i can state that the brussels sprouts were pretty ok and i’d be willing to give them a try again. i am told they are quite yummy with a balsamic reduction and i do like me a nice balsamic reduction.

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      Try them with soy sauce and sesame oil, and you’ll be won over entirely. I rate them one of my favorite veg.

  4. Rebecca Avatar

    I’m so glad you have one (a Byron). And here I thought I snapped up the very last one (or Juan). Anyway, the food I never thought I’d like but actually l-o-v-e is artichokes. Dipped in lemon butter, and I mean dripping with it. Yum.

  5. Jenn @ Juggling Life Avatar

    My husband juggles, too! Though I don’t thinks he’s ever tried it on a Bosu. Hmmm.

    To be perfectly honest, I can’t think of a food I was skeptical of trying. That’s how much I love food. This weekend, though, I’m making one of my favorite dishes that I bet you’d both enjoy–butternut squash/goat cheese lasagna. Technically, it calls for pumpkin, but I use butternut squash. http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/pumpkin-and-goats-cheese-lasagne

  6. chlost Avatar

    What a guy! No wonder you always seem so happy (unless you are crabby….as in last post). And just so you know, he is a lucky guy as well.
    I never thought I’d like black olives. Go figure. Now I use black olives in as many ways as I possibly can.
    I still don’t like mushrooms, though….fungi-yuck!
    And if I recall correctly, 42 is a pretty great age…..

  7. Green Girl in Wisconsin Avatar
    Green Girl in Wisconsin

    Many happy returns. I’m glad you found Mr. Wonderful, One and Only.

  8. Meg Avatar

    I love food, pretty much all food, and I’m always game (get it?) to try anything new, so answering this question as posed is difficult for me. How about if I tell you about a food I used to love and used as a weapon? I loved liver when I was a kid. As the 5th of 6 kids, I had little power over my siblings except for one day of the year – my birthday. That’s when we each got to choose the family meal and I always chose liver and onions. Yes, I liked it, but it was mostly for the devilish pleasure of forcing the meanies to eat it. I thrilled to watch them writhe and gag. I smile now just thinking of it. Oh, and I smile at how well-matched you and your Byron are. I share a similar blissful arrangement and it has made all the difference. Happy day of his birth to you both.

  9. Jeni Hill Ertmer Avatar

    WOW! I can easily understand why Byron would become “Lord Byron.” If I’d ever have been so fortunate as to encounter someone like that, I’d be calling him Lord Whatever the Name” for sure too! Hope he does have a great birthday but I’m pretty sure you’ll figure out some fantastic way to show him even more how much you do more than just appreciate him. As to the menu items that I encountered with a great deal of skepticism over the years, let me start off with two things that always graced our table every year at Christmas -one being a dish call -in English -Jellied Veal but which I won’t even think about trying to write the Swedish name for it and the other would be Lutfisk. I’m the only one I think of my generation of cousins who ever liked either much less both of those dishes. Over the years a few other things I decided to give a shot were escargot (Once), oysters on the half-shell and oyster stew (many times now), cabbage, as in coleslaw, lima beans and grape jelly. Hell of a combo, isn’t it? I have no clue as to why, as a child, I hated coleslaw, limas and grape jelly but no one had better never have put even a tiny dabble of them on my plate or they would have risked the hissy fit equivalent to the wrath of God, for even thinking of doing that! Today, and for many decades now as a matter of fact, I love those foods. Go figure. I guess it’s that bit of finickyness in me that gives me hope that someday -perhaps even soon – my younger grandkids will discover there are many foods besides chicken nuggets or mac’n’cheese and that they are equally as pleasing to the palate too!

  10. geewits Avatar

    I LOVE that Seattle drawing! That’s great. My new food that I never thought I’d like is actually spinach and now I want it in everything and in every way. You’ve given me an idea for this Saturday’s dinner. I forgot about floating it in soup. I think I’ll whip up a soup stew thing with Italian sausage and spinach. I hope your wonderful husband had a great birthday!

    1. Jocelyn Avatar

      I’m so glad you love it! I love it, too. Byron prefers the un-colored copy, which is solely black and white ink. But I adore the red and yellow. In about 9 months, I can’t wait to reveal what he’s working on now. My mind is blown by the intricate, tiny, rich inking he’s doing right now. Watch this space.

  11. kmkat Avatar

    Foods I hated, then tried, and found I still hated them: liver, lima beans.

    Food I found I loved: cream cheese, spinach. Yeah, and they are good together. Cream cheese thinned with some milk, mix in a bunch of Parmesan, combine with cooked chopped spinach (I have always used the frozen kind, 2 packages), top with more Parmesan, bake until golden brown. Also, stir-fried fresh spinach, cooked about 2.5 seconds, just until it wilts. Add salt, plus garlic and/or lemon juice if you like That Sort Of Thing. A Chinese friend taught me that on.

    It is always comforting to know about other couples who make each other happy. Byron is multi-talented (as are you, m’dear). HB2him!

  12. Deborah Avatar

    It’s all about the green stuff. Tonight, desperate for a way to make quinoa semi-interesting, I added spinach and feta. And I also intend to add it to the red lentil curry that’s programmed for Sunday night.
    Any guy who can improvise with spinach is more than OK in my book. You two had to have been made for each other.

  13. Kimberly Robinson Avatar

    Spanakopita. I was a spinach hater from way back but when I made that inevitable college age foray into vegetarianism, back in the days when I dressed like an Edie Brickell groupie, I figured I’d have to make peace with it. The recipe in Vegetarian Times called not for a layered spinach and pastry combo, rather, tartlets folded like flags in strips of phyllo pastry. I carmelized my onions and mixed them into my steamed and drained spinach, stirred in fresh pepper and feta cheese, and folded my little Greek flags, feeling fancy for using phyllo. (Then mostly annoyed. Phyllo dries out FAST.) I brushed them with olive oil as instructed and baked them, and they were delicious. Reading this makes me want to make them again.

  14. Kathryn Avatar

    It’s not every guy who would make frog-in-a-blender soup for his wife.
    Darn it all, you two are young. Jeez.
    Food I didn’t think I’d like, but did? I’m sure it will be calamari – if I ever try it.
    Tentacles, ugh.

  15. Shannon Avatar

    I’m just now reading this so extended birthday wishes to Byron. And I second the thought expressed above — just knowing the two (four really) of you makes me happy. I thank Byron everytime I get something out of the things he improved in my house — a place to hang my hot pads, a new cupboard, and the way he organized the closet.

    As for food — I’ll go ahead and list kale chips. I never had them until Byron made them and they were delicious! So handy he is — able to whip up something edible even from my refrigerator.

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