It’s All in the Details

Juicy letter

D is diverse, indeed. Decisions, decisions! After much deliberation, I’ve determined that today’s blog post will be dedicated to my DH. In some people’s cute little corners of the net, that stands for Dear Husband. In my case, I like to affectionately refer to him as my Dirty Hippie.

My husband is a Deadhead. By the time we met, he’d been to over 100 Grateful Dead shows (I’d been to exactly 1).  One summer he bought boxes of Blow Pops and sold them in the parking lots to help pay for “tour”. I know his favorite Dead show, although he wasn’t in attendance (Cornell ’77). You see, it’s the little details about someone. Quirky little details. They’re fun to remember.

Because he followed the Dead for so many years, he understands the importance of “tour”. So when his crazy metalhead wife decided she wanted to follow Iron Maiden to another continent, he didn’t bat an eye.

One might ask: can a Deadhead and a Metalhead peacefully co-exist? Definitely! My DH’s theory: most deadheads he knew in college had actually been metalheads in high school. Why? Because at the time, when synthesizers were all the 80s rage, the metal bands were the only musicians on the scene that knew how to actually play instruments. Makes sense – discerning ears, discriminating tastes. Dead serious details!

Furthur Festival 1997

Furthur Festival 1997

My DH is a big picture kind of guy – he manages multiple touring bands and he plans festivals for thousands of people to enjoy. The minute one festival is over, he’s already thinking about next year’s. Sometimes his head is so far out on the horizon, it’s hard to reign him back in. It’s a running joke that he doesn’t always “see” what’s in front of him. Yes, it took probably 4 introductions to me (by mutual friends and even by himself) to finally remember who I was. And yes, there was actually a time, early in our courtship, when he walked right by me in a club. My friends were incredulous: “Are you SURE that’s the guy you’ve been telling us about that you wanted us to meet?” Um, yeah. He’s got a bit of tunnel vision at times, especially when he’s working. On the horizon or in the tunnel.

The Great Went, 1997

The Great Went, 1997 (photo credit: Chip Hooper)

But when he makes it up to surface, he blinks and looks around…and he remembers the little details. Like when I recently landed a literary agent. It was close to Valentine’s Day, and so his gift was a beautiful pen, lathed from “celluloid”,  and plated in platinum. You know, for signing contracts someday (his words). It’s heavy in the hand and elegant and nothing I would ever splurge on for myself. I’m almost scared to use it (definitely scared to lose it).

And now, as my birthday approaches, he is actually giving me the gift of…detail. Yes, he admitted to me yesterday (as he tried to come up with excuses as to why he needed my car for 4-5 hours) that he is having my car detailed. My car is getting its very own Spa Day! It needs a Spa Day more than I do, after 6 years of summer festival grime and countless 800 mile loops to NYC and back.

At first I thought, cool – I would love a clean car! And better the professionals than me, trying to scrub the drek that’s been building up for 98K miles! Then I thought: uh oh, I am going to have to clean it out before they can detail it. Great, a present that makes more work for me. But he thought of that detail too…and did it for me. I am dazzled!

moe.down 2010

moe.down festival, 2010 (photo credit: Jay Blakesberg)


18 thoughts on “It’s All in the Details

  1. Nice post! My husband used to paint backdrops for metal bands, but technology killed that. I’m not a metal fan bun I loved going to the shows for the people watching.
    Your pen sounds fabulous and congratulations on the agent! I’m still trying to land one. Maybe this atozchallenge will help. I’m a nonfiction writer and it’s all about platform. Ugh.

    • jesstopper says:

      Thanks, Pam! What a cool job to have had – yes, I agree, it is fun to check out all different genres of music, keeps things interesting. Good luck with your writing – do you concentrate on one subject of nonfic? Yes, platform seems to be the buzzword these days!

      • Well, my book is a memoir about my journey exploring professions that deal with death. I was totally freaked out about doing it because death freaked me out, but I had a damn master’s thesis to write so I did it. I went from total observer to finally immersing myself in the lives of some of the people I met. My next project is in the same vein, in that I’m going to find my religion. That starts next month. I think I’m attracted to the big topics that tend to freak people out, but I do it in such a way that they can laugh while they’re trembling a bit.

      • jesstopper says:

        I was just checking out your blog – I find it fascinating. I worked as a researcher on Bill Moyers’ PBS program On Our Own Terms and you’re right, it is a topic that freaks people out. Not many want to tackle it head-on. I look forward to reading more from you!

  2. Mark Wellins says:

    And this reminds me why I love Topper (and you). Also, when I was growing up you could be a deadhead and like metal. Also, pThen unk had the same diy thing that the dead had going on. From 77 to 80 I probably saw the Ramones, Talking Heads and Clash as much as the GD…Then college and touring happened…


    • jesstopper says:

      I thought you might weigh in today! Mark-love on my blog, yeah! Agreed, punk definitely filled in the gaps. I saw the Ramones at 16 years old, in the throes on my “most metal” days. Will never forget that show!

  3. Jamie Rathbone says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your husband. Very sweet and real. And congrats on finding an agent!

  4. Amanda Usen says:

    Love, love, love….thanks for the insight into details, horizons, tunnels and music. Love your words.

  5. Daisy Carter says:

    Hi, Jess, thanks for stopping by my blog! Congrats on finding an agent; it’s a huge step forward (of course, it also means the hard work has officially begun, am I right?)! 🙂 Love the tribute to Deadhead Hubby. Sounds like an awesome guy. I was never a dead or metal head, but I LOVED punk/emo/hardcore in high school. I snuck into clubs to hear bands all the time. *sigh for the good ole days*

    • jesstopper says:

      Yes Daisy – the good ol’ days when getting caught would have just meant getting a slap on the wrist. Now we’d be tasered while someone filmed the entire thing on their phone, and it would go viral on the Net! LOL

  6. Alan Schnier says:


  7. artanddesignofpaul says:

    kewl, its nice to read about your post
    do check out my D at GAC a-z

  8. What a cool post…and life! This was a fascinating read. 🙂

  9. Catherine Sisco says:

    Great post ! I met my husband (as kids) when he was drumming in a metal band, now he’s in “jam” bands so yeah there is def a connection between metal & hippies…lol Would love to read your book btw 🙂

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