The palm tree story

My husband loves to torment me by saying a palm tree is not a tree.

I am a native Southern Californian. We’re sentimental about our palm trees.

He is a native New Yorker, and a biology teacher.

“They’re not trees. They have no cambium and no bark.” He calls them palms.

I say, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

This has gone on for years.

I roll my eyes at him vigorously, but I do respect the man and his knowledge. Secretly I used to figure he knew what he was talking about.

One night when I was a copy editor, I got a story that referred to a palm tree. It pained me, but I struck the word ‘tree.’

The editor next to me looked at my screen. “Why did you do that?”

“Palms aren’t trees. Morphologically, they’re more like grass,” I regurgitated.

“That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard,” he said. I didn’t know how I felt about that.

He pulled out an encyclopedia. Under ‘palm’ it said ‘tree.’

I went home ready to crack my husband’s ass the other way.

Because I considered him an authority, I embarrassed myself in front of my colleagues. (More accurately, I was angry at myself for not looking it up before changing the story.)

Tonight at dinner he started in again. Our new place has about 30 palm trees in the yard. We were eating under the wisteria arbor, and he pointed one out to say a thing. I forgot what.

Then he said, “Of course, it’s not a tree.”

This makes me crazy. I said mad things at him.

As I stormed into the house I heard him say, “Wind her up, and watch her go.”


8 Responses to “The palm tree story”

  1. Fred Bauman Says:

    My palm tree story:

    A friend of mine had severe constipation and no remedies seemed to help. I told him about an old Indian shaman’s cure: Grind up a palm frond, mix it with water and drink a glass full. Having tried everything else, my friend took the shaman’s advice. Worked like a charm. He told me the next day: “With fronds like these, who needs enemas.”

  2. gunky Says:

    you are like my husband and i am like your husband.
    it’s easy to push your buttons – it’s almost irresistible.

  3. roberto Says:

    >“With fronds like these, who needs enemas.”


  4. roberto Says:

    Your husband is still right. Palm trees are not trees.

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  6. Rhonda Says:

    I don’t like Palms – I think they are pointless, whatever they are. I’m a native central Californian. I’d rather see an orchard of walnuts or apricots. Rats live in them, and the city won’t maintain them. Not to mention they reproduce like crabgrass. I thought about shooting a kerosene-soaked arrow into the dead fronds of the one next to my house, but I thought the city might know who did it. I was Charles Bronson in a previous life.

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