My husband and I are really terrible about birthday and Christmas and anniversary gifts. It’s not that we forget the holidays–it’s that we never manage to wait to give a gift on the actual holiday for which it was intended. Sometimes I manage to hit his birthday, but that’s only because he’ll get what was supposed to be his Christmas gift on his December 1 birthday. By that point he’s already gotten his birthday gift in October or November. Last year I got my birthday present (my trusty little iPad!) in early July. My birthday (as my mother reminds me annually) is appropriately positioned on LABOR Day.
So we’ve kind of given up on pretending to match gifts with the “gift-giving holidays,” and we just give them when they arrive. That’s what my mother always called a Happiness Present–one that’s not attached to a specific “occasion.”
My latest Happiness Present from my Hubby is a concealed weapons class, so I’ll soon have a concealed weapons permit for the Desert Eagle pistol with which I’ve been getting comfortable today.
I’ve actually been interested in shooting for a while–an Idaho girl should know how to shoot, right? I finagled some rifle lessons out of a college boyfriend once, but for some reason he wasn’t really keen on the idea of arming me, so I never got past pot-shots at pop cans. My first husband had been shooting with his grandpa since he was a kid, but hadn’t ever progressed to hitting what he shot at, so he wasn’t top choice as a teacher.
The Ex used to get a deer tag every season, but we never once had a deer in the freezer. Even he acknowledged as much, referring to his hunting-outings as “going out to walk his gun.” Actually my favorite shooting story about him was when he was a teenager duck-hunting with his grandfather. Grandpa–a son of Idaho homesteaders, and an ace shot himself–finally got so frustrated with his grandson’s misses that he grabbed the gun, shot three birds out of the sky in quick succession, and handed it back with the droll comment, “Well, it ain’t the GUN.”
My husband Keoni, on the other hand, is a Range Master and renowned in the Oregon Prison system (where he worked for a decade) for his skilled shooting stunts and competition wins, and he answers to the respectful title of “Zen Master Grasshopper.” So finally (since we’ve both been off probation for a couple years and can handle weapons again) I get to learn to shoot! Keoni’s best friend Nutty has loaned us the pistol, and the two of them (like an excited pair of little boys with a new project) corrected my grip and my stance as I held it for the first time this morning.
Nutty and Keoni are determined that I’ll be handling this pistol like a pro before I set foot in the class. No girly grips here–though I confess I did break a nail loading rounds into the magazine. My assignment today is to pick it up frequently to get accustomed to it and comfortable chambering a round, dropping out the magazine and replacing it, and pulling the trigger smoothly with the proper grip.
Truth be told, I felt a little foolish the first few times, as if I were aping movie-movements, but it’s already feeling more natural. And truth be told, I feel sexy just holding the thing. I’ll guarantee right now that there’s going to be a pin-up-style photo taken with this in hand… But that’s not the real appeal. I remember junior high P.E. archery, one of the only sports I was any good at. Something about hitting the center of that target, over and over… Something intensely satisfying in that.
And of course a girl with a gun has a chance to accessorize. (The boys can’t even accuse me of being “girly”–men accessorize their weapons too, though they don’t use that word to describe it…) I’m particularly amused by the “FlashBang” brand of bra holster, which (according to user reviews) is not as uncomfortable as it looks, though it “tends to get sweaty.” Yeah, think I’ll pass.
It remains to be seen if I’ll be any good with a gun. But I do know I have two of the best instructors a girl with a gun could ask for, and I don’t intend to piss away the opportunity.
Which reminds me–I do have one more favorite shooting story about the Ex… My son tells it: he and his dad went target-shooting with another father-son pair, on a windy day shooting at empty soda bottles that kept blowing over. So my ex had the bright idea of peeing in his to weight it down. Since he was the one shooting at it, it was still intact and full of pee when he had his next bright idea, of tossing it in the air to see if his friend could hit it. The friend being a better shot than the Ex, he hit the target, and the bottle-full of piss exploded all over the Ex. Yeah, that’s my favorite shooting story.