August 22, 2008

Two of the Myriad Reasons I Love my Awful Husband

BEFORE I tell you, I have to remind you, once again, to SIGN UP FOR THE MAILING LIST by clicking this link which allows you to send an EMAIL to “Mailing List at Joshilyn Jackson dot com.”. Because there could probably maybe be a mailing list actually formed at some point. IT COULD HAPPEN. Quit looking at me like that. And also because signing up enters you in a prize drawing for many prizes. I am revealing them one by one as August plays out.

HERE IS ONE NOW! If you, like, me want to have the secret decoder ring cereal prize before ANYONE ELSE ON YOUR BLOCK… then this next prize is going to intrigue you. It is an Advance Reader’s Copy (signed, natch) of a book that will not release in hardback until JANUARY, but that I think has a good shot of really blowing out and being a huge word of mouth book. It’s SO good. It’s about how Truly Plaice, a woman born a giant, navigates her small town’s prejudices, uncovers decades of family secrets, and learns that love doesn’t always come ordered to size.

It’s such a fantastical story of murder and sisterhood (practically the same thing, in some families) and it has a big heroine with a bigger heart and the biggest brass…um, vertebrae that I have seen in fiction in a long time. I read it early for a blurb, and I said, and I dern well meant, that this book, “read so fresh and unfolded in such surprising ways that I was captivated from start to finish. It's a bracing, bright, masterful debut, and Tiffany Baker is a writer to watch.”

Appropos of nothing, I love the cover:


PS: Tiffany Baker is going to be blogging starting Septrember first, over at The Debutante Ball.

ANYWAY. I love my husband. Here is why:

1) My little cat is a jerk. SUCH a jerk that for two days my “what are you doing now” line over at facebook read “Joshilyn Jackson… ‘s cat is a jerk.”

It may be that is he still just a teenager, and perhaps he will GROW OUT OF IT, but he may not LIVE to see that glorious day. He is a chair shredder and a foot attacker and a Big Cat tormenter and a Sleeping Dog Sabateur and a Wannabe Gerbil Slaughterer who we often find perched on TOP of the aquarium, staring down at my sweet old aging mice ladies with MURDEROUS INTENT. Also, he has to be in ANY room I am in, but on a SURFACE that is HIGHER than me, so he can stare down at me with a supercilious air.

LATELY he has begun doing this HATEFUL thing--- I go to PET him, he rears his head back out of reach and makes a snakey and suspicious face at the fingers that want to kindly caress him. Fingers that have never ONCE harmed him. Fingers that have offered him ONLY treats and pettings and adoration from the day he was 5 weeks old and I rescued him from a hellishly overcrowded pound, choosing him to save and love and be my own from ALL 36 of the dear, tragic, worthy, tiny, peeping kittens slated to die that day. (Why will people not spay and neuter? It was SO awful!)

I say to him, “BOGGART!”
“BOGGART,” I say, “You are a PET. You are my little pet and things like you are CALLED pets because PEOPLE like to PET YOU WITH THEIR HAND. It is a friendly gesture, meant to invoke PURRING and shared good feelings. Have you not noticed that I ALWAYS remember to feed you and I make SURE your disgusting carnivorous POOS are removed quickly from your poobox? NOW I AM GOING TO PET YOU AND WE SHALL BE FRIENDS. HERE I COME TO GENTLY PET YOU!” Then I reach for him and he slithers JUUUUUST out of reach and walks away with his tail uplifted high to show me the least pleasing part of him. The view he offers feels purposeful and rude.

The other day Scott and I were sitting on the sofa and Boaggrt came TEARING into the room with the mad mad mad mad crazy eyes and RAN STRAIGHT UP THE DRAPES. Then he leapt off them to the floor and galloped in a lathery panic away. I went over and looked at the brand new Boggart-claw-sized set of drape pick-holes and sighed.

I said, “DO you think Boggart wants to be an outside cat?
And Scott replied darkly, “I think he wants to be an underwater cat.

2) On our church hunt, we have a joined a study that is reading apologetics by a Church of England Bishop named Wright. It looks QUITE interesting and smarty-pantsy. We went to find the book, and tried three local big bookstores to no avail. Other people in the class had CLEANED all copies out. So Scott suggested we try the TEENY Christian bookstore up by Target.

We walk in and there are three little Christian Bookstore Ladies behind the counter nattering to each other in a velvet-voiced cluster. They have kind eyes with prim mouths. These are the EXACT ladies you want teaching your preschooler’s Sunday School class. They are soft and bosomy looking, but you can tell by the firm little chin-sets that they would brook NO SHENANIGANS. There would be no children whanging other children in the heads with Tonka trucks on THEIR watch. They would teach KINDNESS and SHARING and TABLE MANNERS with loving yet ruthless efficiency.

Scott, being male and therefore not one to ask for HELP or DIRECTIONS, wanders a few feet off into the stacks, but I walk to the counter. They all turn to me, polite and bright eyed.

I say, “Hi! We are taking a class at our church and we need to get the book. I’m not sure what sections it would be in…Are you guys on a system that can look stuff up?”

Lady One says, “Certainly,” and poises her fingers over a keyboard.

I say, “Super. The book is by…” The name won’t come. I have asked for this book at an Indie store and a BandN AND a Borders today, but now all at once the author’s name is GONE FROM MY HEAD.

I say, “I can’t believe this, I just went blank.” I press my fingers to my forehead and say, to myself, “Oh man! What is that guy’s name!”

From the stacks we ALL hear my husband’s theatrically loud whisper, uttered in the tones you would use to help a child find a toy that is right in front of him or a moron find his own butt with both hands.

“Jesus,” my husband says.

Posted by joshilyn at August 22, 2008 8:56 AM

I am laughing so hard I can barely type, thanks to you and Scott. Thank you both. I needed that this morning!

Posted by: Deborah P at August 22, 2008 9:30 AM

Hee HEE!

I hope things are looking up - despite drape-scaling cats. It sounds like my suggestion, - to de-gonad the imp - has probably already occurred.

The cat, I mean, not Scott. He sounds like he's behaving well. :)

Posted by: JulieB at August 22, 2008 9:30 AM

Oh, but that Scott is FUNNY.

Posted by: Jill W. at August 22, 2008 9:45 AM

Scott may be related to Darling Christopher, husband of novelist Bonnie Jo Campbell (the P is NOT silent) who, when she brought home a three-legged puppy and asked for name suggestions said "Rebar. Because he'd look good in concrete." And Rebar he was, to his coddled dying day.

Posted by: rams at August 22, 2008 9:51 AM

Would you please give Scott a (platonic, honest!) hug and tell him it's from all of your blog friends who just had to wipe coffee/diet coke/what-have-you off of their computer monitors because he's so funny?

Gotta love the smart ones :-)

PS: If we sign up for the "mailing list" more than once, do we get more than one chance at the wonderful prizes?

Posted by: Beth at August 22, 2008 10:01 AM

hahahahahaha!! the jesus comment had me nearly in tears!!!

the naughty naughty cat...i know that after MY cat (a female, but still) leaves the gnarliest and smelliest of smelly poops, she goes racing down the stairs as if she's being chased by the biggest, most evil of dogs and then turns and zooms under places. we haven't ever had drapes, so i don't know if she'd actually zoom up them or not...

Posted by: kristen at August 22, 2008 10:24 AM


Oh, the book is by THAT guy.

Hee. Scott is funny.

Posted by: Aimee at August 22, 2008 10:25 AM

NO! DEAR LORD IN HEAVEN, pleeeease no!

Do not sign up for the mailing list more than once -- it is huge and unweildy already without sifting through multiple entries for prizes and trying to make sure each addy only gets entered into the program that sends the MAILS once. PLS do not. PLS. Really. Thanks!


Posted by: Joshilyn at August 22, 2008 10:28 AM

Underwater cat...that's the funniest thing I've heard in a while. I guess until I heard the Jesus thing.

There is nothing more attractive than smart and funny.

Posted by: Melisa at August 22, 2008 12:44 PM

Boggart sounds tame compared to Boo the Terrible. Seriously though, I know that snake-like gaze. It strikes fear into my heart and makes the numerous scars on my arms tingle. *shudder*

Posted by: Marisa at August 22, 2008 1:04 PM

Ha Ha. I love your husband too. I hope that's okay.

I believe I had the very same conversation w/my little girl, Elby (L.B. = Lightning Bolt, as in moves like a ~)re what it means to be a "PET" n./v. But take heart, adolescents of all species are horrid, and then they settle down. She's now almost 2 and very affectionate. When she's not ankle biting.

Posted by: Elizabeth J at August 22, 2008 1:45 PM

Too funny!
I don't know anything about cats, but if your dog was suddenly averse to being touched, I'd suggest ear mites or a similar medical problem. With a cat, it might be one of their multiple personalities surfacing.

Posted by: Cindy Ericsson at August 22, 2008 2:32 PM

You just made a wretched day SO much better with that laugh!

Posted by: Julie at August 22, 2008 6:40 PM

You know, when my cats do that "slither out of arm's reach" thing, I have that EXACT conversation with them.

"You are a PET! This means I get to PET you! Get with the program!"

Love the Scottisms. Too funny.

Posted by: Erin at August 22, 2008 11:17 PM

We have two who behave like Boggart. Can we send them alll to some freaky cat lady who doesn't notice the snakey glare and the tearing around and the snooty refusal to be touched -- except in the middle of the night when sleeping is occuring, or in the bathroom when they have you trapped? We'd contribute our two! Lillian says it'll cut down on the scars she's been receiving.

And they're four now. It's never, ever gonna get any better, I can tell. *sigh*

Sadly, I love them both.

Posted by: Fran at August 23, 2008 12:09 AM

I have a similiar cat here named Katie. What you have to do in order to pet these cats is to PRETEND you are doing something else and not wanting to pet the cat at all like talking on the phone, reading the newspaper, eating, typing on the computer, sewing, etc, etc. They will run to you every time and DEMAND you pet them while you are doing this. Works every time. Good luck!

Posted by: Trace at August 23, 2008 1:35 AM

I love my husband for the same but different reasons. Husbands are funny. But it seems not nearly as funny as you (or Scott I guess) are right now.

Posted by: Nik at August 23, 2008 3:23 AM

Your husband sure is one of a kind, so funny! :)
Anyways, just wanted to tell you that I'm reading "The girl who stopped swimming" and I LOVE it. One thing that sucks is that it's kind of hard to find your books here in Sweden, but I was so glad I found "The girl who...."

Well, just so you know, you're great and I love your books.

Take care!
/Girl from Sweden.

Posted by: sandra at August 23, 2008 4:54 AM

Oh, that Mr. Husband! Using his wiles to get into the graces of all your imaginary e-friends.

I like Trace's kitty suggestion. We've had a psycho kitty (and she DID NOT grow out of it). To pet her, I had to do what Trace did, plus the cat could not see the hand coming, it had to be a swift sneak attack approach from the BACK of the cat's head. Then she secretly liked it. Also, I could not pet her any lower than her neck, or she'd get all medieval on my arm.

Posted by: Brigitte at August 23, 2008 7:16 AM

He's a KEEPER!

Posted by: Patti at August 23, 2008 6:21 PM

I am weak with laughter. It only helped that my friend regaled me with church book club stories yesterday and my DIL with evil cat stories today.

Posted by: Laume at August 23, 2008 8:29 PM

I have to agree with Tracy - you have to pretend you are so busy with something you just don't have the time.
Or,as my Kitsela has taken to, you can go to sleep at which point she will gently tap your face - the taps getting less gentle as you do not respond, until you wake up and have a kissee-cuddle session. Lasts about 1/2 to 1/3 of a second before she realises what she has done and tries to squirm away but I tell her she has to pay the price. Tough luck.

And regarding Scott - I really think you owe it to humanity and all of us to get that man cloned!!!!

Posted by: gillian at August 23, 2008 9:35 PM

Ducky wants to remind you to not leave the snorkle about for the cat.

Posted by: Cele at August 23, 2008 11:20 PM

Add my name to the list of those who think Scott should be thanked for causing an early-morning crack-up, the man has a wonderfully quick wit.
About Boggart, the "you shall not pet me" thing is a phase (or as my mother would say, a "phrase") and he'll snap out of it. Trace and others have given the best suggestion for dealing with it.
All I can say is that whenever my phone rings I now get one big ole possibly-descended-from-a-let-loose-black-panther-but-rather-wussy cat in my lap, and a kerazee kitten chewing the cable. Who said cats don't do Pavlovian responses?

Posted by: Rompompom at August 24, 2008 2:40 AM

That Scott. I must get back to intensive work on my cloning so the rest of us can reap Scottly benefits of humor, dam-loving, and general husbandly wonderfulness.
I gifted you with a really pretty blog award over at my place. Come visit and see! Look, over there--SHINY!!!

Posted by: Elena at August 24, 2008 12:23 PM

Ooo, Bishop N.T. Wright (I'm guessing) is so awesome! Just the right amount of English cranky sprinkled over many many scoops of Jesus love.

Hm. I wonder what Bishop Wright would say if he knew he had just become a theological ice cream sundae in my head?????

Posted by: Kate Setzer Kamphausen at August 27, 2008 4:04 PM

I hear you on the cat thing. We just adopted a kitten -- well, really, an adolescent, she's 6 months -- and damn, even though we've done the kitten thing with almost all our cats (6 now), I sort of wish we hadn't gone there again. She is non-stop. I've seen her run her head into a radiator playing with a felt mouse, and she didn't even look dazed.

And every time I lean down to pet her she jumps on my back and then peers into my face as if to say, ha ha, got you now!

The one thing that makes it all better? is all of the older cats -- from 6 to 15 years -- are even more horrified than I am by her.

In fact, the 6 year old routinely sniffs the teenager's butt and then hisses.

Probably the whiff of brimstone that does it.

Posted by: firefly at August 28, 2008 3:32 PM