Category Archives: husband

Of What I Do Not Do Well: Big Tries to Move


For the last four years, I’ve spent my days doing things that I like, that I have some level of aptitude. Graduate school, teaching and family meant I cut out all the extraneous details that can fill a day, things like driving and dealing with utility companies. I pay my bills online, and I found there are few places I can’t get by bike. The last four years have made me smile.

Enter the last two weeks. Circumstances filled every day with things I do not do well. We moved. I’m 22 weeks pregnant. My bike has a flat tire and my husband is too harassed to fix it. (Yes, I should learn to fix my own bike tires. Soon.) Moving meant my person was required at various utility companies and being put on hold with various internet providers. Normal people can probably get the lights on, the gas pumping and the water flowing in one try. I am not a normal person, nor am I good at details, like having the exactly right paper in my hand after waiting in line for forty-five minutes. The good clerks would patiently explain they had a system. I was not following the system. My eyes would well up because I am pregnant, prone to eye overflow, and perhaps, in slight hope, they would take pity on me. They did not, and I would drive my pitiful self back across town in search of the right paper (which was always a different paper). I would like to blame someone for this, but the truth is I have always and will probably always suck at the details of life (like driving, electricity and such). This is why I like camping.

In spite of my lack as a fully functioning adult, here I sit in my much larger house with electric, water, gas and a wireless signal. Tomorrow, I am promised a patched tire.


A Birthday ‘Surprise’


There are no secrets in this household.  Nothing.  Yes, we do trust each other and talk about everything but the primary reason is that my husband is just not capable of keeping a secret.  The pressure gets to him and he tells me everything.  Case in point:  It is the eve of my birthday and, oddly, I arrived home before my husband.  Guessing that he may have made a last minute birthday stop, I decided not to comment when he walked in the door at 6.  About 20 minutes later we were discussing the weather (aren’t we interesting?) and Shawn mentioned that the thermometer at Corinth Square (a shopping center that is nearby but definitely not on his normal route home) read 107 degrees.

Ashley: “Oh?  What were you doing at Corinth Square?”
Shawn (long pause): “Um, I don’t remember.”
Ashley (trying to change the subject): “By the way, remember that you were going to buy a trash barrel for the garage (wow! Thrilling conversations at the Campbell household). “
Shawn:  “Yeah, that’s what I did. I went to buy a trash barrel.”
Ashley (not pointing out the fact that he didn’t come home with a new trash barrel): “Shawn, did you just give uncover yourself?”
Shawn: “No.” [long pause] “And even if I did happen to go there, they didn’t have what I was looking for.”

Later in the evening…
A: “Why do you have glitter all over your face?”
S [very matter of fact]: “Well, sometimes I get stuff on my hands and then I put it on my face.”

Even later in the evening, on the patio of a restaurant in Corinth Square…
S:  “Can I tell you about your birthday card?
A: “No.”
S: “Well, I really want to tell you about it.”
A: “I don’t want to hear about it, it’s not my birthday.”
S: “I just think you should know that it’s not a lovey-dovey card….and it’s not pretty either.”
A: “Great, I’m really looking forward to this card.”
S: “But it does have glitter!  And it’s funny.”
A [looking around the shopping center]: “I don’t see any place to buy a card here.”
S: “Of course there is a place to buy a card, CVS.”
A: “You went shopping for my birthday present at a drugstore!!”

When we get home…
S: “Can I please just give you your card now, even though I haven’t written anything in it and it isn’t signed?”
A: “No, it is not my birthday and you must sign the card before you give it to me” [I will pause here to let everyone know that I received a blank card in my Christmas stocking. No signature. Not even an envelope. He said that he liked what was already printed on it.]
S: “Then give me your pen, I feel inspired.”

Just a couple moments later [coming from the other room]…
S: “How do you spell ‘aforementioned’?”
A [to myself]: Why would a birthday message include the word ‘aforementioned’?
10 minutes later…
S: “Here is your card. Open it” [the card is actually in an envelope this time with ‘Ashley C.’ written on the front]
A: “No, it’s not my birthday. Give it to me in the morning.”
S: “Ok, how about I put it somewhere where I know you will see it?”  [He opens the refrigerator door] “What do you think you will have for breakfast tomorrow?”
A: “Please do not put my card in the refrigerator; just leave it on the counter.”

Later that evening, when I went to close the garage door, I saw that he had hidden the card [it’s not like it a secret or anything] in the cabinet with my car keys.

I must say that when I opened the card this morning, it did not disappoint, all the way down to the glitter.  It was very funny and the handwritten message inside was very sweet.  And it was even signed ‘Shawn C.’ – you know, in case some other Shawn were to sneak inside my house and put a non-lovey-dovey, not pretty, but funny and covered with glitter card inside my cabinet.

He makes life fun.