I’ve got 99 problems, and excessive caffeine consumption is one of them.

Today was the Volunteer Appreciation Tea at the school, and guess what?



Not only did I win a door prize – Bath and Body Works stuff, which I LOVE – but I also got a “special recognition” for being the Chair and also the Book Fair Lady. I was pretty touched by the whole thing, and in fact I gave a tiny impromptu speech about how amazing the school is, how amazing the staff was, how amazing everything is…basically I was like the drunk guy with an open mic at a wedding. I can’t resist an audience and a microphone, I guess.

But I kind of WAS impaired, and in retrospect I probably shouldn’t have had six cups of coffee BEFORE leaving the house for the tea. The earnest and eager Grade Six coffee servers were very attentive, and I said yes every single time they visited my table. I’ve probably had about twelve cups of coffee today and TWELVE CUPS OF COFFEE IS JUST TOO MUCH COFFEE. I feel like a hummingbird on cocaine. I feel like Ben Stiller in Starsky and Hutch, when he thinks that the cocaine is sugar and uses a ton of it in his coffee and rubs it on his gums and then enters a disco dance-off. Thinking about it now, I’m kind of proud I didn’t start a dance-off in the middle of the handbell performance, or the choir singing of a Voyageur song.

At the end of the tea, the kids had a morning recess and the teachers swanned in to visit a bit with the parents, sort of like when you’re in Vegas and the Elvis and Buddy Holly impersonators go and chat with the audience. I felt a teensy bit like the completely wasted party girl, when everyone else has just had a sip of champagne; talking to my kids’ teachers with gun-fire rapidity, congratulating Jake’s math teacher on his upcoming entry into fatherhood, chatting with another teacher about the weather in Nevada, hugging my friend who had won the CBE “Volunteer of the Year” award. I practically felt like going for a 10K run, but fortunately for my knees I went home instead and tried to work, mistyping everything and flitting from task to task.

Currently, I’m in the “caffeine hangover” stage, and I still have the focus of Apu on 3 days of no sleep. I just paused writing this to do a Buzzfeed quiz to find out who would be my book husband. I would have said with 100% certainty that it must be Mr. Darcy, but it was actually Atticus Finch.


I’ll take it!

My actual, non-book husband is also “passionate, dedicated, intelligent and a true fighter at heart.” This is especially true when it comes to telephone soliciting. We seem to get a lot of phone calls lately, but since no one I know actually calls me, with the exception of my mother and mother-in-law, I never answer the phone. If it’s not a telephone solicitor, I assume the caller will leave a message – which never happens. Ergo, the only people who call me are telephone solicitors. I’m used to this barrage of phone ringing, but my husband was home alone the other evening and actually answered the calls. By the time I got home he was ripping a strip off the latest telephone solicitor, who was the fourth to call in forty-five minutes.

Now, I’m generally of the mindset that it’s “just a person with a crappy job” and if, on the off chance I do pick up the phone and end up talking with someone who wants to know if I’d like my furnace cleaned, I’m generally short but polite. My husband, on the other hand, was at the end of his rope by the fourth caller.

Then, last night I did answer the phone. I was home alone, and the same number had called multiple times throughout the day. The caller asked for my husband, and when I said he wasn’t home, they asked when they could reach him.

Me: I’m going to do you a favour. My husband becomes incensed by telephone soliciting, so if this is a solicitation, don’t call back.

Telephone Solicitor: Well. Let me tell YOU something. This is Shamal Brown and your husband is going to WANT to talk to me.

Me: Oh, he is, is he? He knows you?

Telephone Solicitor: He’s really going to want to talk to me.

Me: What is this regarding?

Telephone Solicitor: When can I reach him?

Me: Why don’t you give me your number.

Telephone Solicitor: No. I’m going to call him back.

Me: I’m warning you. He really doesn’t like unsolicited phone calls.

Telephone Solicitor: Listen, he will really want to talk to me.

Me: I really don’t think so. He doesn’t know you.

Telephone Solicitor: Is he there? Right now? Now that you know I am Shamal Brown?


Telephone Solicitor: He’s there, isn’t he? Can I talk to him?

Me: *hangs up*

People, this morning at 8:15 am the phone rang – and it was the same number! I picked it up, wondering if Shamal Brown would be on the other line so we could continue this ridiculous conversation, but sadly, it was just a very young sounding girl. She said she’d call back tonight so let’s cross our fingers that my husband and Shamal Brown can connect, because nothing says “great marketing practices” like being harassed by Shamal Brown.



  1. I’m the non-phone answerer in my marriage, too. B will either answer and politely ask to be taken off the list or gets irritated and snarky, depending on the kind of organization/caller. I think being home all day makes answering the phone seem particularly futile because you know how often it rings and how seldom it’s anyone with whom you’d actually want to converse.

  2. I’m sorry I missed the tea, I would have loved to have been there to also say thank you so much for your hard work! And I do love the eager servers! You really must update if your husband gets to talk to Shamal Brown, it sounds important!!

  3. I am the same way when I have too much caffeine + overwhelming relief that the school year is over. Your description of yourself was hilarious. And I would pay cash money to hear the conversation between your husband and Shemal Brown.

  4. bibliomama2 says

    I am simultaneously amused and annoyed by how my husband CANNOT resist answering the phone – my position is, it’s OUR phone, in OUR house, and if you’re not expecting a call and you don’t feel like answering it, just don’t! He, on the other hand, will huff over exasperatedly, or pick it up and see that it’s a nothing number and ANSWER IT ANYWAY. God help him if he does that and then tries to hand it to me. Am I the idiot who answered it? No, I am not. You’re on your own, bucko.

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