Thursday, May 10, 2012


Before we start this post, I need to lay down some important vocabulary. Do you know what chums are? They're those strings that go on the back of glasses to make sure that your glasses don't fall off. Here's Steve Urkel sporting a good pair:

OK, so let's fast forward 20ish years to the year 2010. Camm and I were newly-weds and newly-grad students.
Camm wears glasses. I know they're usually not included on the stick figure depictions of him, but he has glasses.

The professor that my husband was working for invited us to a BBQ at her house. She lives in one of those really humongous houses in the mountains (you know, something a grad student could never DREAM of occupying).

Her house is on a big plot of land with all kinds of cool landscaping--such as cliffs.
For someone as clumsy as me, cliffs aren't a good thing. Somehow Camm's glasses fell down the cliff (I may or may not have accidentally knocked them off his face).
After a horrible mess of him having to climb down with a headlamp and finally getting a hold of them, we realized that they were VERY bent and were not going to be able to stay on his face.

So, what do two poor newly wed grad students do? I naturally made him a pair of chums out of some pink and yellow string I found around the house.
Stunning, don't you think?

The next night we heard a knock on the door. It was a leader in our church coming probably to welcome us into the area.
"So, uh, what exactly is the pink headgear thing you have?" he tried his best to sound kind.
"Oh, its just a...something," Camm tried to think of how to say it without looking too strange.
"They're chums!" I piped in, "I made them myself! Don't you love them? I sure think I did a great job!"
He replied with such a confused look on his face, "Oh, uh, great."
"Do you want to come in?" I asked cheerfully.
"Um, no, I think I have to go now." And off he went.

These chums were not going to hack it, I could see right then. So I got on the phone and called our university's bookstore. (it seemed like an easy option since we were spending all our time on campus anyway)
"So, I'm wondering how much your chums are?" I asked with as much enthusiasm as I could muster.
"Um, you mean the things for the glasses?" The student employee responded.
"Yes, of course, you know--chums!"
She put me on hold to go check. Somehow the phone got knocked off of hold and I could hear her talking to someone else.
"This lady wants CHUMS? Can you believe it? Do we even have those?"
I heard them discuss things back and forth--clearly making fun of me. She then got back on the phone.
"Yes, we found some here. They're $5."
"Perfect," I said and I hung up and told Camm.

The next day Camm put on his home-made chums and left for campus. I was too embarrassed to go with him into the bookstore but I wanted to see what would happen. I acted like I didn't know him and kept my distance.
I saw him walk up to a student employee.
"Hey, my wife called about chums. They said you guys have some for $5."
"Uh, what?" she looked confused.
Camm pointed to his make-shift chums, "You know, I have these chums but they're not very nice and might not last too long. Don't you guys have some better ones?"
She spoke very quickly and said, "Go ask at that table over there!" She hurriedly walked away.
Camm went to the next table and asked for chums. Again, he proceeded through his spiel about his handcrafted chums he was sporting.
"Um, yes, we have chums," this clerk was better at stifling laughs. After a few phone calls he found some and showed them to Camm.
They were all nicely embroidered with flowers.
"Those are woman chums!" Camm sounded appalled. "I need MANCHUMS! Don't you have any?"
That's me behind the bookshelf acting like I don't know this guy
The man explained that all they had were woman chums.  Camm walked out looking dejected.

He ended up just buying new glasses.

Has anyone else tried to buy chums within the last fifteen years?