Camp Phone Calls Could End my Marriage

Who knew the highly anticipated camp calls would be such a blow to my relationship? (BTW – I’m not always this overbearing, but when my baby is 1000 miles away for a month and I get 10 minutes to talk to him… it’s ON….)

Okay, it’s camp time and everyone is getting their calls from the kids.  What I’m finding is that I want to strangle my husband during and after each call.  The crazy thing is, I’m apparently not alone.

Look, we moms are ready.  We’ve stayed up until the wee hours waiting for the pictures to download and we’ve studied them.   We know what our kids have done each day and whether they look like they’ve made friends or they’re feeling left out.  We know whether they’re arms are around a friend or they’re sitting uncomfortably next to someone with their hands in their lap. 

We can tell every detail and our minds are racing to find out the truths behind the images and we want to hear their sweet little voices.  We also know that what we have to say is way more important than what our hubbies have to say and we let them talk simply because well:

DONOR, Ahem, Father

Me:  “Jake, your hike looked insane yesterday.  Was it fun?  How cold was the water?  Were the rocks slippery?  Are you wearing your sunblock?  Your headgear?  Do you love the rock wall?  How long is the zip line?  Who’s the other boy with braces?  Is he your best friend?  Is anyone mean?  Are the counselors nice?  What are you eating?  How big is the zipline?  Was your camp cooler looking than the one you played baseball against on Tuesday?”

Sure, I spouted off a lot of questions… there’s a lot to ask and only 10 minutes to talk.  After he gave me a one or two word response to each, I moved on to the next.  I looked over to see the frustration in Mark’s eyes.  A couple of times he started to butt in with an “ummm, Hey Jake, do you umm” and I bowled right over him with my inquisition.  Then he looked at me sideways and I whispered, in that angry whisper that would be a yell if you could speak louder, and say “What?  Have your questions ready.”

Mark:  Jake, have you gotten all my letters?

Jake:  Yep

Mark: Which ones?

Jake:  Ummmm, Well the one about my new team when I get home, and ummm, I don’t know, I don’t remember them all.

Is he f-ing kidding me?  I sit on hold for Verizon longer than the time I have allotted to talk here, and my husband wants Jake to rattle off about letters???  This is not an acceptable caliber of conversation!  And I’m am the conversation rater, I’ll have you know.

Mark:  Did you get the one where I bowled a 300?

Jake:  Oh, yeah.  That was awesome.  Did that really happen?

Okay readers, I have to interject here.  You’re thinking this is high enough caliber right?  Well, I mean how often does someone who is not a pro, actually bowl a 300?  What I should share is that he’s not so much talking about this:

as he is talking about this:

Yep, I’m listening to my husband waste time talking about Wii f-ing sports!

So, I interrupted again…. “How was your camp-out?  Were you scared?  Did you sleep through the night?  What song did you do in the lip-sync; you looked like Eminem.”

Again, Mark gave me the look, but this time he put the phone by his side in annoyance.

So, again I did the whisper/yell: “You are so selfish, you don’t want to hear him talk ‘cuz I’m asking all the questions?”

Me:   Do you have a girlfriend?  Do you like the go carts?

Mark:  How many go carts are there?

Did he just ask that question?  I told him last week there are 2.  TWO Freakin’ go carts.  Great, now he’s wasting my time with shit he already knows.  Tic, Toc, baby.

Mark then went on to rattle off the line up for his travel baseball team this season and tell him about the bat he just ordered…

Mark: Guess which bat I got you?

Jake: The Louisville Vertex?

Mark: noooo

Jake: the new Worth?

Mark: noooo

Jake: Nike Aero?

Mark: noooo, I’ll give you a hint, it’s made by Easton.

Is this happening?  Does anyone feel my pain here?

Apparently, you do… I had a friend tell me that she just took the phone out of her husband’s hand when she felt he was done. Two minutes she gave him and then she plucked it right away from his eager ear. They didn’t talk to each other for the rest of the night.

Another said she arranged all calls while hubby was at work.

A third said Her husband’s only question was, “Is your bed comfortable?”

“You gave him one question and that’s all he could come up with?” I asked.

“No, I would have given him more but he lost his privileges based on his first.”

And yet another told me she can’t deal with the calls because her hubby’s voice changes. “It gets all high like he’s talking to a dog– Hi Lindseeeeeeey, how are your Friennnnds? Are you, woushey woo having fun? Hmmm? Huh?”

Tell that man to "HEAL"

In the end, I realized that we moms want OUR time to be all ours. Even if the hub is right (and he was).  All my babe wanted to do was hear us and all I wanted to do was get answers to every thought and query I’ve stored in my head from the minute he set foot on the plane.

Luckily for my hubby the calls are infrequent enough that our marriage will withstand these bumps in the road. Next year, I’m just gonna tell him they did away with calls altogether due to the rise in the divorce rate.

Take a sec to check out some of the humor that any parent can relate to:  The Day My Son’s Ladybug Ran Away – who knew saying goodbye to an insect would be so hard?  or  I May Have Run Over an Elderly Person While Driving Carpool.  OH, ENTER TO WIN a robotic floor cleaner and a bag of goodies from iVillage’s “Stuff We Love” leave a comment here to sign up.




34 thoughts on “Camp Phone Calls Could End my Marriage

  1. Jennifer Lee

    HILARIOUS!!! I love this post. Our camp doesn’t allow calls but I can imagine it would be the same here. I am going to share this with everyone I know who has kids in camp!!!!

  2. Rachael

    hey babe!!!! hysterical!!!! i read this as i am waiting for my cell to ring….i have my call with ethan tonight!!!!! it happened here last year…a good tip….give the camp your cell to call on…this way its ALL YOU!!!!

  3. Jennifer Wilck

    Love this! Our camp doesn’t do phone calls, but oh man, I’m right with you. You need to check out the book, “Camp Camp” by Roger Bennett and Jules Shell–also hilarious.

  4. leigh

    Funny Stuff!
    Yesterday I called he camp becasue they were 40 minutes late only for Charlie to tell me “mom…it’s free play…I have to go” :)…

  5. Betsy London Rubenstein

    If you recall, we were aloud one call at Greenbriar. It was the day they took us to Kings Dominion (KD) We all rushed to the pay phones (do they even have those anymore:) As a camper, I remember it being the best day to get to talk to your parents. Thanks for the laughs my old camp friend!

  6. Ali R

    My son was allowed to call home from camp on my husband’s birthday. We were at a restaurant, my husband didn’t hear his cell phone ring and we missed the call. Oh, and I asked my husband, upon entering the restaurant, “Are you sure the ringer is on? Put the phone on the table.” He left it in his pocket and didn’t hear the ring OR feel the vibrating. He noticed later that he had a message, which of course was from our son. I called camp back immediately and tried to get them to track down our son so we could get another chance at talking to him. By that I mean, so I could get another chance at talking to him, since as far as I was concerned, my husband had his chance and blew it, birthday or not 🙁 Turns out they were unable to find him (they lost him?) but when we got home later that night, there was a great message on the machine which I saved and replayed daily until pick up day 🙂

  7. cherie

    I laughed and laughed. See, being a divorced mother, I got to talk with no help from anyone else…I’m not suggesting this is the alternative. Very funny!!!

  8. Pam

    absolutely dying! insane.. re-reading for second time… justin just called…just hung up with him a minute ago—-got him all to myself!!!!:)

  9. Jack@TheJackB

    I know this conversation far too well. It is the one where I am told that I am not asking the right questions. That is why I always tell “mom” that when she talks she can ask whatever questions are important to her and I’ll stick to mine. Makes for a happier environment all around.

    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      Whaaaat, you think we need counseling? Nah. Hubby is the most stubborn, outspoken guy I know… no one gets to see that cause I write all the stories. He holds his own just fine. Plus he emailed me this AM Great story, it cracked me up. See all that and supportive too. What are the odds?

  10. Bari

    Jenny this was way too funny! Your marriage can handle the stress… Thank God it’s temporary. I think there’s a new mental health diagnostic category: parental camp anxiety syndrome: symptoms center in not hearing the kid, just questioning…

  11. David Rosman

    Jenny – You really have to take one of my classes on Gendered Communication. Those conversations were very typical male. Guy don;t care if the bed is comfortable. They care if the bed is filled with boulders and rattle snakes while at camp. That is a real GUY story.

  12. rachy

    Love the donor dad illustration!

    Very funny! I’ve missed reading your posts, as life has been “wicked busy” these days! With my boys in college, summer is the opposite. Instead of them going away, they’re home for a while and I can perform the interrogations in person.

  13. Stacie Blum

    I totally think you are overreacting. You should know men by now, this is how they are and you have to deal with it. You seem maybe a bit high-maintenance. Is this not the man you should have married? Maybe he never really wanted kids? Relax for God’s sake!

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  15. Barry

    Funny funny funny!!! Although there is another side of the coin. Marks side. Your kids a cool guy, like his father (and Grandfather, I might add) and will give you one or two word answers to your many many questions. Maybe all the girlie silly schmaltzee questions would be more appropriate for your darling little daughter. Marks got it right. Sorta, unless this gets me in trouble with you. If so, I take it all back and have no comment.

  16. Alison

    Hi Jenny,

    The link to your blog article is a hot topic of conversation in my circle of friends. We all thought it was hilarious and so accurate. My husband went through a whole line up of players on the Capitals hockey team for the fall during one of the calls.

    On a side note, I found this situation even funnier, because I just realized that my son was friends with your son at camp. My son Tyler saw the photo you posted and said those were all kids in his group.

    Contact me offline, if you want to chat about camp!

    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      Ali- that is too funny! Where do you live? I’m guessing Maryland or DC. Did we possibly meet at the Sagamore? I remember a boy named Taylor from Md. Such a small world. Thanks so much for reading and sharing with friends. I will contact you some time next week.

  17. Kelly

    Hi great blog. I beyond relate. It’s not that we’re mean to our men. It’s just our babies are our babies and our men, well they can be their mommas babies!

  18. Anne

    Ha! Our camp does not allow calls and this is probably why. But, for us, it was my daughter and I writing letters when we had a power outage, me who checked in on the website and scrolled through more than 100 images a day to find the one or two with my child, and me who emailed notes to get my $7 worth of the kind of communication I loathe in my professional life by week’s end (no returns allowed at our camp so we couldn’t fall into the pithy back and forths of smiley faces and “whatevers.”

    Funny stuff here! Hope the conversations at the dinner table are as “eventful.”

  19. Petula

    You are too funny! I understand what you’re saying when it comes to talking to our little ones, but I didn’t get the hubby thing. I thought, ‘maybe she’s being too sensitive” then you wrote about the other moms. Hi-la-rious! Yea, I think you should tell him that calls are forbidden. LOL… Think he’ll catch on to it?

    I don’t come by often, but when I do you never fail to entertain me. Thanks! 🙂

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