Even Steven’s Assistant

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My mom is a helper. That’s just who she is.

She wants to help you solve your problems. And she’s Greek. So while she’s helping you solve your problems, she also wants to cry with you when you’re sad – and laugh really, really hard with you when you’re happy.

She’s also a little… nosy.

Not necessarily in a bad way – just in a I’m very interested about every detail in your life kind of way.

Because – you know – she might be able to help you with something you didn’t know you needed help with.

Like writing a grocery list for you.

Or telling you when you’ve used enough toilet paper.

Those types of things.

So, for example, if she’s staying at your house, she won’t think anything of opening and sorting your mail for you. Answering your phone. Organizing your cupboards. Folding your laundry and balancing your checkbook.

It’s not that she really wants to know what you got in the mail or what color Even Steven’s underwear is – it’s just that she wants to help. She’s a helper. This is what she does.

In the last few years, I’ve thrown in a few bondaries to help us all live in peace during her visits.

She is no longer allowed to wash Even Steven’s underwear and my father’s underwear in the same load – because it is inevitable that they get mixed up and Even Steven finds himself pulling GIANT underwear out of his drawer and looking to me with a face full of fear and questions.

She is also no longer allowed to answer our home phone if we are standing right there and could easily answer it. This has been going okay, although she still races us to the phone so that she can read who is calling us on caller ID before handing it over for us to answer.

But we’re making progress.

I tell you all of this because I think it’s important that you really understand the environment in which I was raised before I tell you the next story…

Last Friday, Even Steven took the day off work to spend some time with the family. It was 10 am, and he was taking a quick shower while I made a picnic lunch for us to all enjoy at the park.

When his cell phone rang.

And without thinking, I picked it up and answered it.

Now – this probably wouldn’t be that big of a deal. So what? I answered my husband’s cell phone – I’m sure it happens all the time…

But it was as I said “Hello” and heard a guy ask for my husband that I realized that this wasn’t just my husband’s cell phone. This was also his work phone.

And it was a Friday at 10 am.

Which meant that I could be talking to his boss. Or to an employee. Or to a current client. Or to a prospective client. (Although I’m pretty sure that Even Steven doesn’t have clients, but I’m not positive, because it’s still not clear to me what he actually does. Maybe I’ll ask my mom – I’m sure she knows…)

Anyways – so there I was, stuck with Even Steven’s work phone, and I panicked.

Instead of saying “Wrong Number” or HANGING UP, I said,

“Even Steven is not available right now. This is his assistant, can I take a message?”

There are so many things wrong with this – the main one being that he doesn’t have an assistant. But I started down this path, and I just couldn’t stop.

And that is why Even Steven now has an appointment on July 19th at 10 am with a financial planner that he has been effectively avoiding for the past two months.

He was less than thrilled when I explained the situation to him.


Even Steven: Let me get this straight. My WORK phone rang… and you answered it?

Me: Yes. I don’t know what happened. I didn’t mean to.

Even Steven: How do you accidentally answer my phone?

Me: Ummm…. it just sort of happened…

Even Steven: So what you’re telling me is that you’ve officially become your mother?

Me: Yes. Yes, that’s exactly what I’m telling you…

So – tell me – do you answer your husband’s cell phone? Ever?


  1. Christie

    July 1, 2013 at 6:49 am

    My husband uses his phone for work and personal use…but fortunately names pop up most of the time. There was one sales rep- I names him Art- that called EVERY DAY around the same time. My husband just thought this guy would give up, but after 3 months, still calling. One day I totally forgot that this sales rep’s name wasn’t actually Art and I answered the phone “hi Art- sorry Pi is not available.” He was very confused. But he DiD stop calling.

  2. Kristin @ OneOrganicMama

    July 1, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Yes, I have answered my husband’s work phone (and regular cell phone)… never claimed to be his assistant… but the guys that work for him were surprised and apologetic when I answered his work phone at 2am.

    As usual – LOVE your mom.

  3. Janine Huldie

    July 1, 2013 at 6:52 am

    I hate answering my husband’s phone, because usually it is his mom (not that I dislike her or anything), but I hate being the go between, so I usually just don’t answer, let it go to voice mail or I let him answer it if he is there. But do you know how many times, if he is the other room that he will tell me to answer it? Too many that I have lost count. However, when I do start answering with no problem and doing it myself, then I will know that I too have completely morphed into my own mom!!

  4. Dona

    July 1, 2013 at 7:57 am

    I have to totally side with Mom on this one. I used to have a weekly (or daily) discussion with hubby du jour about the difference between ‘nosy’ and ‘interested’. I happen to be very ‘interested’ in people in general! And I had a legitimate reason for using my binoculars to look at the neighbors house! So you go, mom, keep being interested……….you’ll be a big help when Anna writes that book!

  5. Amy

    July 1, 2013 at 8:06 am

    I’ve answered my husband’s phone if I need to, but not often, because I don’t enjoy making small talk on the phone. I’m all about checking his text messages and relaying them to him, though. I’m helpful like that.

  6. Samantha

    July 1, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Your mother would love living in Wales, we’re all ‘interested’ here! When I first moved here from England I found it a bit weird. Instead of just saying, I like your top, they would say, “That’s a nice top, where’d you have it from, how much was it, what size is it, when did you have it?”.

    In other news, I read an article a week ago that we all become our mothers by the age of 32. Embrace it Anna, love your mother’s quirks because soon enough, they’ll all be yours! 😛

    p.s. I’m a firm believer that as long as we identify the attributes we don’t want to take on, we can save ourselves from this. I’ll let you know in two years time if I’ve become my mother.

    p.p.s. I do actually work for my husband as the office manager, so if I answer the phone it’s totally legit. We run our own company luckily!

  7. thedoseofreality

    July 1, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Would I answer my hubby’s phone? Probably, but I don’t know that I ever have. I would totally be like you, though and pretend to be helpful! ;)-Ashley

  8. Meredith A

    July 1, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Ok for the record, I am someone who is easily amused but not someone who laughs loudly when reading and I sooooo just did that. My kids think I’ve lost it. You are seriously a riot!!!

  9. Heather

    July 1, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I don’t even always answer my own phone, so I definitely don’t answer my husband’s phone… granted, I might peek at who is calling, but if it’s family, I don’t always want to chat, and usually don’t feel like exchanging niceties.

  10. Carrie

    July 1, 2013 at 9:44 am

    LOLOLOL! Oh Anna, you are hilarious! My husbands phone doesn’t ring, it buzzes, and I never hear it so we don’t have that problem. But I DO wish I had the type of mom or MIL that came over and helped me with house work!! Mine come over, plop down on the couch and act like their on vacation. Think your mom would like to visit me in Lansing? 🙂 Have a great day!!

  11. MomChalant

    July 1, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Don’t worry. I do this all the time. Whenever my boyfriend’s friend, or as I like to call him – his boyfriend calls, I answer and pretend to be him. He buys it every time.

    Maybe it’s not good to sound like a man but oh well! I always get a kick out of it. Can’t say that I’ve scheduled any appointments though…

  12. Mary

    July 1, 2013 at 10:05 am

    I am not allowed to touch my husband’s phone, for any reason. AT ALL. I think it’s because I always call him out on looking at porn while he’s on the toilet on his phone. *shrug

  13. Pam

    July 1, 2013 at 10:43 am

    In my house it’s totally the opposite. I hate to answer my husband’s cell (work or personal). It’s obvious that they don’t want to talk to me so why should I answer it? But he’ll give me the side eye for handing him the phone after it’s gone into voice mail. Oh well

  14. Marissa

    July 1, 2013 at 10:59 am

    No, I never answer my husband’s work phone or his cell phone. I just don’t feel comfortable doing it. If it’s his personal phone, he’ll tell me to answer it if its busy and I’ll take my time going to get so I “accidentally” miss the call.

  15. [email protected]

    July 1, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Ahahaha. Does ES work in IT? Soc my husband does and I have no idea what he does. I was collecting him from work once and forgot my phone so I asked some guy walking in to the place if he could let my husband know. He asked me what department he is in and I shrugged my shoulders and said ‘IT?’. He looked at me quizzically and went inside. Apparently everyone in the company is in IT as it is an IT company. Whatevers…

  16. Anna's Mom

    July 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Okay – well this is just not true! Well – some of it is true – well, MOST of it is true – but not the reading your mail part or balancing your checkbook! Even I have my limits! I have NEVER done either of those – and I am getting better at not doing all the laundry – and if you recall – if your bedroom is a mess when I arrive it is still a mess when I leave because I don’t allow myself to even look in there. See – I’m getting better. I did wash Uncle Denny’s underwear with Dad’s last week and we had quite a time figuring it out – but that’s another problem.
    And I don’t rush to answer your home phone – but it does bug me that you and Holli don’t bother to clear your messages and that little light is always blinking just taunting me….I mean, what if it’s important? And as far as Even Steven goes? I’ll talk with him later.
    I think I like Dona’s idea about the binoculars…might just bring some with me on my next visit…..

  17. Suzanne Lucas

    July 1, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    I wouldn’t be able to answer my BF’s phone because 1) it barely rings; 2) he’s constantly texting and surfing on it; 3) when he’s not texting and surfing on it, it’s glued to his hip.

    However, I have been known to answer his email for him. 🙂

  18. Lil

    July 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Never. His living in Mexico for three years made that easy, and the two years he was unemployed after moving back home we were rarely in the same space for any significant length of time., so, no, again. Also, we reached the point when we only had a land line – nobody touched that thing when it rang. These days four out of five of us have a cell phone and we each kind of go into a tizzy any time we’re asked to answer another person’s cell phone – although our contact lists are nearly identical. The Hubs is still searching for a job, so it’s hands off for me. PS Your mom’s great.

  19. Devan

    July 2, 2013 at 1:59 am

    No way! I don’t even answer my own phone. I will check his text messages, even when he does not ask me to. 🙂
    My favorite part about reading your blog, especially when it involves your mom, is scrolling through reading the comments in great anticipation of getting to your moms comment. 🙂
    <3 Devan

  20. Lisa @ The Golden Spoons

    July 2, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Ha! Years ago, when my hubby switched companies he got a new cell number and I got his old one. (Weird and still not sure exactly what we were thinking there), so for about 2 years I got calls off and on from people looking for him. Their reactions were always different when I explained that I was actually his wife, but I’d be happy to give him a message.

  21. Vicky

    July 3, 2013 at 1:29 am

    I have an iPhone and my husband has a Samsung. I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t even know HOW to answer his phone. I only speak Apple. He, however, has no problem answering my phone. I use it for work as well but rarely have work calls. I take my job as a “virtual employee” very literally. But when he does answer my phone when friends call he says, “Vicky Willenberg’s phone. This is her man servant. How can I help you?” Nice.

  22. sparkling74

    July 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    My favorite part is that you continued with the ruse and set up the appointment for him! I am always extremely entertained that you have basically trade marked Even Steven’s face with your blog and he’s so good natured about it. And by good natured I mean you haven’t divorced over it!

  23. Andrea

    July 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    I barely answer my own phone (because I can’t find it, or I forgot to charge it or I can’t find it quickly enough in the abyss that is my purse)…much less my husband’s. 😉
    I loved this post…esp. the progress you’ve made in setting boundaries making underwear offlimits. 😉

  24. Darcy Perdu

    July 7, 2013 at 2:44 am

    this is so funny! I love that it was a financial planner that he’s been dodging! Your penance should be having to attend that meeting with him! And I laughed out loud when you said you don’t know what your husband does for a living, but ask your mom because SHE probably knows!!

  25. Tracy @ The UnCoordinated Mommy

    July 8, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Ha ha ha! No, and for that exact reason! I do look at the caller id though, I’m just really nosey like that too. I’m pretty sure your mother and I would get along fabulously. And btw, my mother was all “what? we ate raw ground beef when I was growing up too!” LOL

  26. Elizabeth

    July 16, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    I have to laugh. I think my husband thinks I am his secretary at home. When we drive I read his texts to him. His actually secretary sent him a text with the “f” word in it. I did ask him if this was normal banter between them. He was like “NO!” and asked her if she meant to send him this. Nope, she meant to text her husband and was mortified.

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