Plant Trees Under Whose Shade You Do Not Expect to Sit

37 Responses

  1. Chantal says:

    phew, I got through it. I wasn’t sure I would 😉
    you are a lucky lady and I will admit that I am feeling more and more like that with my DH. He is not quite up to Byron’s standards, but he isn’t far off. And I love him all the more for it.

    • Jocelyn says:

      At least your efforts at reading were rewarded with talk of jeggings and burritos, though, right?

      Congrats on having a great guy, too. I firmly believe that we are incapable of properly vetting our partners when we’re dating them, as, at that time in life, we have no idea of what all we’ll need from them. Thus, there’s a fair bit of luck in ending up with the right person.

  2. Pearl says:

    You’re a goofy bastard and I love you.

    And Byron.


  3. Lil says:

    I love your amazingly convoluted way of getting to a point. Love. It.

    As for DD&D – the wonderful thing about that show is that they’ve visited Duluth and I have decided I must eat where they went.

    • Jocelyn says:

      They visited–not that I’ve seen the show–both the Duluth Grill and At Sara’s Table, I do believe. One of my students was the cook at the Duluth Grill when they were coming and gave me a sneaky heads-up that I SHOULD EAT THERE THAT NIGHT. Unfortunately, something else was on the schedule…

      Anyhow, thanks for understanding that convoluted can be fun. And I’ll totally take you out to eat when you come here.

  4. Jeggings. Huh. This surprises me.

    I have the same reaction to cable TV when I’m in a hotel, now that my house in television-free.

  5. C-leen says:

    You got a good one there.

    I, too, binge on CHOPPED whenever I’m in a hotel room. In fact, T and I spent last Xmas morning in a hotel room in Ann Arbor watching a CHOPPED marathon and gorging on sundries from Zingerman’s before we had to go to my Aunt Kathy’s house for the full-on family fryup. It was perfect.

  6. kmkat says:

    Love it! Your winding narrative reminds me something my husband says occasionally, in explanation of a winding narrative: I told you all that to tell you this. And then he makes his point. (I like that, too.)

  7. Jocelyn says:

    Your husband ROCKS. Sure, I could just have typed “My husband is so awesome” and hit publish, but where’s the richness in that?

  8. chlost says:

    Well, I now feel completely inadequate in at least three ways….I have no idea of who this Maron guy is…..I do not appreciate nearly enough the small kindnesses of my husband, who is right up there with your Byron……and Dang, I wish I could write like you write.

    You two are so cute!

    • Jocelyn says:

      Forget Maron; use your energy to stroke your lovely husband–say, by bringing him a cuppa when he’s tired.

      Oh, and for the third? Huge thank you. That means quite a lot to me.

  9. Deborah says:

    Jocelyn, you should be writing for a bigger audience, in another medium. I can see a book (two, at least) with your name writ large on the cover. A female Minnesotan Douglas Coupland, perhaps, although I haven’t the faintest idea of what I’m comparing you to because I’ve only ever heard second-hand of his stuff, albeit in glowing terms.
    Or maybe a more accessible Joyce Carol Oates. Or, closer to my heart, Anne Tyler. (And only slightly off-topic, if you can ever find ‘Stunt’ by Claudia Dey, grab it. I want to know what you think of it.)

    I wouldn’t have dreamt that this post would end up as an ode to your heart’s desire, but once I realized that it was, in fact, that, I began to wonder how he would write about you. If he were ever to do such a thing. The only problem with writing so complimentarily about him, and about all he does for you, is that the reader begins to wonder what it is you do for him. This is venturing a little into ‘rough neighbourhood’ territory, as Friko calls it, and I’ve wrestled overnight with the thought that my wondering might be misconstrued. I do hope not.
    So then I was thinking that it could be interesting to write from the other perspective, as in, what do YOU think you bring him. Because this isn’t Byron’s space, and I have a feeling he wouldn’t be wanting to write about anything so personal anyway. You remember, surely, reading an instrcution in some magazine somwhere about how we (women, since it would have been a magazine for women..) need to love ourselves, and support ourselves, and that standing in front of a mirror and telling yourself all the things you think are good about yourself is a way to start that process? How squirmy it feels? But what if you took it seriously? And what if this was your mirror?

    Is there any point to this, or am I just rattling around uselessly while on my coffee break from cleaning kitchen cupboards?

    Gad, I feel uncomfortable already, just thinking about doing such a thing.

    • Jocelyn says:

      There’s no “rough neighborhood” territory for me at all on this subject, Dearie, so never fear. I bring quite a lot to Byron, and I think it would be fun to lay it out. One thing, for example, is my closing sentiment, that I bring “remembering” of things usually gone unremembered. I absolutely bring that to both of us. On the same note, I bring active gratitude. His would lie low and just be, but I dig it up and make him look it in the face.

      I’ll mull on this more and see if I can’t get a post out of it. Interestingly, it doesn’t make me uncomfortable at all, to contemplate my gifts. To be worthy of how great Byron is, I’d have to be pretty awesome myself, and I’m definitely worthy. However, my gifts differ so dramatically from his–in some ways, they’re easier to see, but in other ways, they’re not, as he’s the guy who “does stuff,” and I’m the one who “says and feels stuff.” The world has different ways of seeing these things, indeed.

  10. lime says:

    the wordsworth quote will be his epitaph as he has clearly lived it so very well. you guys are blessed and oh so wise to recognize it. this makes my heart feel like you must feel when you are full of bananas and coffee (though if i were full of the same i’d not be feeling well at all since i hate coffee and i am violently allergic to bananas, but you know, i am trying to speak your language).

  11. lime says:

    i hope we can still be friends in spite of the whole coffee/banana thing. i think the swedes would approve.

    • Jocelyn says:

      Every banana you don’t eat is one for me. Every cup of coffee you don’t drink is more for me. So we’re all good.

      Now, we just need to figure out what I dislike and you love, so I can give it all to you. Too bad I like Hugh Jackman. You can have all my tomatoes, though.

      • lime says:

        i am a great fan of tomatoes. i love me a nice ripe, homegrown mater, sliced up and sprinkled with pepper. mmmmm….i will take all yours in swap for all my bananas. and sorry, i have dibs on hugh since we share the exact same birthday.

  12. You do have the most delightfully convoluted way of making the most excellent points. This was a particular delight to read. It truly is the little things.

    • Jocelyn says:

      You are kind to find “convoluted” to be delightful. The little things, indeed–the things that fill our days without note–are the most worthy of notice.

  13. magpie says:

    This showed up in my reader and I skimmed it. It demanded more, so I clicked to the site. It really wanted to be printed out, so I did that and read it on my way home yesterday. It’s just wonderful. I love where you start and where you finish and how you get there and does your husband teach other husbands? Because, man, he sounds like a peach.

    • Jocelyn says:

      The same way I get excited about an ice machine in a hotel, I just got excited that you actually printed this thing out.

      Byron’s the biggest peach ever. It would be good if he could pass on what he does, but actually a huge part of his charm is how unaware and non-planned his way of being is.

  14. pam says:

    Love, love, LOVE the photo!! The best thing anyone can do for their children is to have the kind of relationship you two have….and yes, I think we all know those self-absorbed young men we fell in love with – or is that ‘with whom we fell in love’ Jocelyn?? , and left us heartbroken and flat. I saw mine in a newspaper 15 years later , fat, bald and heading up a local price-war on milk as dairy manager in a supermarket. Not that there is anything wrong with bald,(or dairy actually…and I have a lot of time for supermarkets generally speaking) but he was always combing his hair looking in the mirror, in fact, ANY reflective surface – left profile, right profile.
    They have those long reflective glass doors in the refrigerated dairy section – hope that kept him happy – or now miserable as they case may be!

  15. Hubs and I are wild about Maron’s podcast, and we both enjoy Kevin Pollack’s interview show. Much lower-key, but still a great interviewer. HE likes Elvis Mitchell’s The Treatment which is film-oriented, but I can’t bear listening to a guy speak with what sounds like a mouthful of marbles. Until he learns to ennunciate, I won’t listen, even though his questions are awesome.

    I am married to just such an awesome man, but could never express it so beautifully as you do. Another amazing piece of writing.
    Bee-Tee-Dubs…I live in Michigan and that Heather still dresses like a tramp.

  16. Friko says:

    I was hoping this post would become more than an in-depth exploration of a person I’ve never heard of; when you mentioned another one – forgot the name already and can’t be bothered to go back – my heart sank. How silly of me! Trust Jocelyn never to stick to the initial subject, although you, in a way, did, by comparing snivelling broadcaster with steadfast, reliable, sensitive, in tune with his feminine side, sexy Byron, a peach of a man.

    The one I myself finally ended up with is a slightly older (slightly? blimey!) version of Byron, who has probably been the blueprint for all subsequent Byrons on this earth. There is a fair age difference between me and my Byron; now I am the mainstay of his journey through life. If you are lucky then perhaps you too will be able to repay some of those kindnesses you so gratefully and appreciatively receive.

    As Deborah says, it might be an idea to explore the other side of the picture. I can tell you, giving is as sweet as receiving and just as exhilarating.

  17. Patois says:

    I’m totally lost on what jeggings are. But I couldn’t be pulled away from the post to actually go look. That’s how fun it was to read.

  18. I am reminded of The Professor by this, he’s one of those Wordsworthian kind of men too. Somehow, I think he and Byron would hit it off if they ever met. We are lucky women, Jocelyn.

  19. Bone says:

    to be capable of kindnesses to others, he must tend to his own needs.

    A wonderfully woven story. I found that line to be particularly astute, and a good reminder. And love how excited you get about cable and hotel rooms. I think I still have a bit of a childlike joy at staying in a hotel for a night or two.

    Oh! And Riunite! I forgot about those commercials! “Riunite on ice, Riunite so nice…”

  20. Green Girl in Wisconsin says:

    Oh, I’m so glad for the hood of that Dodge.
    From the opening paragraph to the caption on that last photo you had me enthralled.
    And now I’ve got a teensy crush (okay, a HUGE crush) on your husband. Isn’t it grand to know you’ve got it GOOD?

  21. Jess says:

    Every girl should have a Byron. Mine is named Todd. He’s a little rough around the edges still, but I expect him to improve with age, like a fine cheese. I’m glad Byron’s got YOU!

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