Sunday my husband called me from his hunting trip.
(For the sake of marital goodwill I won’t tell you what I think of that – you can just read between the lines.)
“Honey, I ran off a cliff…” he said.
“You what?!” I screeched.
“No. No! No! I’m not hurt. And I have my GPS thing so I’m not lost.”
(Actually he didn’t say GPS “thing,” but I can’t remember what the stupid thing is called.)
“We chased an elk so far that we won’t make it back to our camp by dark – so I won’t be home tonight.”
(Now that I know he’s safe, I’m most annoyed because Monday morning is not my day to take the kids to school before work, and now I’m going to have that to deal with, but I digress…)
“Brother-in-law and I will be sleeping in this (fill in some fancy term for heavy-duty and extra warm, yet lightweight) sleeping bag together out here in the rain.”
“Well,” I sighed, “That’s romantic.”
“Yeah –“he guffawed, “we can hardly wait.”
Given my feelings about hunting (which, please note, I am not disclosing here), I had a hard time sympathizing. Actually, I don’t have strong feelings about hunting one way or the other, it’s more that I’m surprised to find myself married to a man who hunts.
Sometimes we joke that he did the “bait and switch.” Shortly after we were married he developed a great fondness for fishing and bought a boat. I tolerated this – I even went along sometimes, because I like being out in nature (and eating fresh fish) too.
But then one day he said, “I think I’m going to sell the boat and buy a hunting rifle.”
At least he claims that’s what he said. What I heard him say was, “I know you thought you married a handsome Nietzsche, Literary Fiction and Fitness Buff, Seafood and Beer Connoisseur, but Surprise! You married a redneck!”
(For the sake of accuracy, my husband would like the internet to know that he was not just sitting in a pick-up truck, drunk, waiting to shoot an animal that happened to walk by. He walked miles and miles with only a bow and arrows – he’s a very fancy, athletic and highly skilled sort of hunter.)
In fairness, I suppose I’d had some warning. It was when we first married that my husband started lobbying for a gun.
“It’s a good idea – self defense,” he said, “I’ll teach you how to shoot it.”
I said, “Sorry, but I’ve spent several years volunteering in a domestic violence shelter – I happen to know that if there’s a gun in my house, statistically speaking, the person most likely to get shot by it is me. NO guns.”
“So wait,” he said sarcastically, “I’m not that kind of guy, but as soon as we get a gun I might just think, ‘Gosh, she made the omelets a little dry today, I think I’ll shoot her?”
“Well,” I shrugged, “You never know.”
I managed to put him off like this until we had kids -- then he finally gave up. He said now that we had kids in the house it wouldn’t make sense to have one anyway. He says we’d have to say to an intruder, “We weren’t expecting you tonight – could you give us ten minutes? We just need to remember where we wrote down the combination to the safe, then run to the basement to get some ammunition and then to the attic to get some bullets – just sit tight, help yourself to a glass of Port, we’ll hurry.”
I never ever ever imagined that I would be married to a man who thinks it’s a good idea to own guns, but I guess at least I’m not married to an entirely senseless man who thinks it’s a good idea to own guns.