Skeletal Superiority

I married up, genetically. Whereas I had lost three grandparents by the age of eight, my husband is nearly thirty-nine and still has three. My last-surviving grandparent died when I was thirty-one; his first-to-pass grandparent died when he was thirty-seven.

What’s more, I come from a long line of smooshy, well-hipped, prodigiously-hootered women. Our body type was made to nurse the clan’s babies as we slogged across the Plains of Passage, searching out fire and perhaps the odd wheel rolling past. Slow, steady, full of girth and mirth, we’d have hung in there and done the job, collapsing on each other’s cushiony bodies at the end of the trudge.

In contrast, not a single person in my husband’s family has issues with bodily softness or heft. Their body type would have qualified them to serve as the arrows shot from the first bows, there on the Plains of Passage, when herds of mastodon were spotted. I can picture Groom’s great-great-great-great-googolplexed-great grandfather, lean and sharp and stringy, hopping up with great willingness and notching his head into the leather of the bow. After being fired into the heart of a mighty beast, felling it easily with the knife that was his torso, that same great-great-googolplexer would have leapt sprightly out of the bloody corpse, holding its still-beating heart in his hands, and then braised it for the tribe, spooning a tasty Squaw Currant reduction over top just before service.

What’s more, my husband has run an ultra-marathon (sometimes 26.2 miles just isn’t enough) and has never had a cavity. Me? I once watched a marathon of The Real World on MTV and inserted stuffing into the cavity of a Cornish game hen before snorting the whole bird down sans utensils.

Certainly, I can make a case for myself. I mean, he may be genetically superior, but at least I was canny enough to marry up. Unlike him. Unfortunately, just when I convince myself that there’s justice because he is dumm, and I is smart, he goes and figures out the overarching conceit for the New York Times Sunday crossword while I’m still penciling in the easy three-letter answers of “UMA” and “ELO.”

In fact, it’s best for us not to enter into direct competition, and by that, I mean best for any hope of my continued self-esteem. Case in point: a couple years ago, at Halloween time (BOOOOO!, by the way. Gotcha.), I managed to draw what I considered a pretty impressive skeleton head. Having never taken a studio art course, I gave myself an internal high five–something that is actually very painful and sometimes requires corrective surgery–for my piece.

You are very scared when you look at my art, aren’t you? In a good way? Like you think it might be okay after all to give me a black crayon and set me loose to wreak havoc?

When I showed then-four-year-old Paco my work, he, too, was impressed. At long last, I’d won my son’s elusive love! We hugged a bit gingerly, still feeling out the boundaries of our new affection, and commenced a search for Scotch tape, so’s we could hang my gruesome picture on the front door and scare the gremlins right out of every trick-or-treater who had the gall to knock and beg for sweets. That’d teach the little ragamuffins to try to take my chocolate.

Two hours later, having given up on ever tracking down the Scotch tape, we settled for the masking variety (retrieved from the produce drawer in the fridge) and hung the thing.

Shortly thereafter, Groom came home and was dragged by an excited Paco to the front door. Properly admiring, my husband showered me with compliments and a gentle cascade of kisses that started at my forehead and ended at my well-evolved bosom. Jumping up and down, Paco demanded, “Dad, now it’s your turn! You get to draw a skeleton, too, and then we’ll have lots of cool decorations!”

Ever game, his Groomishness set to the task and emerged a startlingly-short time later holding his contribution.

The superior bastard.



By Jocelyn

There's this game put out by the American Girl company called "300 Wishes"--I really like playing it because then I get to marvel, "Wow, it's like I'm a real live American girl who has 300 wishes, and that doesn't suck, especially compared to being a dead one with none."


  1. "Our body type was made to nurse the clan's babies as we slogged across the Plains of Passage"

    Love that reference.

    I like your picture better!

  2. "Squaw Currant reduction" huh? How DO you come up with this stuff? Your skeleton is very imaginative; groomeo's is a very good replica of a skull -both well done but I think they would be of different genres, aren't they? Does "genre" apply to art too?

  3. I think your skeleton head is very sweet with his (his?) cute little heart for a nose.

    A Native American from the Great Plains once informed me that I would not be much sought after in his tribe because women big enough to plant in front of the teepee flap in howling winter storms were much preferred. So you see, it's all relative.

  4. Groomeo's a show off. You should beat him with a stick. Since he's so skinny, he has no cushion to absorb the blows.

  5. Wow, Groom is a fantastic artist. I'm sure your talents lie in areas where your hubs is mightily deficient. Like drawing for children. Now why would he draw something so scary? Yours was so much more kid friendly.

    See what I mean?

  6. I agree with Jeni – they're two different styles, and that makes it difficult to compare them and figure out which one is truly superior. Yours is more cartoonish, like a Scooby Doo villian, and his is more realistic, like Gray's Anatomy. It's like comparing the Mona Lisa and Picasso's Weeping Woman – depending on your criteria, either is better.

  7. well, but, ahem, yours has all that hair ! (?) and YOU have an amazing blog!! and can tell hilarious stories about the bra mysteries – THAT he cannot do!

  8. How did you manage to make a skeleton look friendly and cute?

    My Mom's side of the family was more the squooshy child-bearing body and I took after the small, lean folks on my Dad's side (built for travel, I say). My OB was convinved I'd not be able to deliver a big baby, but sometimes body types are deceptive.

  9. *snort*
    I so married DOWN genetically. So I was all laughing and making jabs at my genetically inferior husband as I read your post then I read how at least you were canny enough to marry up … wait not only did I marry down I was DUMB enough to do so.

    I am the luckiest girl in the world to have my husband.

  10. A perfect Halloween post! Well, a day early, that is. Any chance you and Groom would care to parry with pumpkin art? Tomorrow? For Thanksgiving? Perhaps?

  11. "I applaud your yearly recommitment and the fact that Lily–now probably "Loony"–will finally get dragged off the prairie."

    hahhahhahahahahahahahahhahhahhahhaaa! Made me laugh just a little too much. Had to let you know.

  12. I'm not a prodigeous or prolific bearer of babies.When you hear those stories of women giving birth and working in the fields the next day, or after a pioneering or nomadic life, partaking in the next great walk to the far-distant water source, I'd be the one slowly expiring under the birthing tree mumbling feebly,"just go on without me-go!go!".It's a family joke.(A bit like how I feel on Christmas Day come to think of it, especially if it's me that's been the hostess.)I like your skeletons.What a great welcome to your front door and the wonderful people that live there!

  13. Yeah, but his is so realistic. I mean, who wants realistic for Halloween? Geesh. Seriously. How lame.

    Yeah, sometimes it is like that with my husband too — he's brilliant. No common sense or internal sensor, but otherwise he is brilliant. And dang that bugs me.

  14. his damned skull even has perfect teeth.

    the whole genetic thing is a conundrum for me since i am adopted and have no history which to regard, except in a general sense as a half greek. that said, i am taking all the credit for the boy's linebacker shoulders because no one in my husband's family has such broad shoulders and i get blamed for passing on inferior genes in other ways.

    but since i am small and squooshy and amply bosomed perhaps back on the plains of passages my great gogoleplexed grandma played a little slap and tickled with your googleplexed grandfather, which might explain some of the other uncanny similarities we bear.

  15. LOL but your is so current, and modern. Kind of like the skull when the skin is torn off the Terminator. The Terminator in Terminator 1, the best one. So see, yours rocks!

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