me at the range

My son and I went with my brother and his wife to a shooting range this past weekend.  My brother is a Marine, my sister-in-law is, apparently, Sarah Palin, and my son is a precision shooter.  I’m, uh, nawt.  Do you remember the Police Academy movies?  Pick a character.  That’s me.  The glasses hurt my head and the ear things hurt my ears and the recoil hurt my arms and the report hurt my head and it was cold in there and it smelled like combustion.  I felt out-of-place not having any camo on my person, or not having any military background…or not having any enthusiasm.  One very nice fellow began shouting at me (because you have to shout over the shooting sounds, and also you can’t hear because you have these ginormous ear mufflers on) about shooting.  He said, “You like shooting?”  He was a happy fellow.  I shouted, “No!”  But I smiled.  I tried to be cheerful.  He looked confused.  “No?”  I repeated, “No!”  There were several awkward seconds, and I felt sorry for him because I think maybe he didn’t have a response for that answer, so I tried to clarify by shouting, “But I like to sew!!”  He nodded many, many times.  Many times.  And then he gave me some advice that didn’t really work, which was: “Well, just pretend that when you’re shooting…you’re sewing!”

I’m here to tell you that shooting and sewing are nothing alike, and it is impossible to pretend you’re sewing when you’re shooting.

My brother kept asking me what in the heck I was aiming at.  Aim was something I couldn’t even think about.  My goals were to A) keep my eyes open when I pulled the trigger.  (I couldn’t.  I cannot.) B) Not jump every time I heard a gun shot.  (I’d say I jumped a mere 90% of the time.) C) Not cry.  (I cried.)

I’m not even kidding, I think Krav Maga is a much better self-defense option for me at this point.  I think anything, like even a whistle, would be a better self-defense option for me.

OK, but, I have been informed that going to the shooting range is a really, really great stress reliever for so, so many normal women.  That it’s a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  That it keeps you active and engaged and your reflexes sharp.  That’s it’s easier than you may think.  That all you have to do is show your driver’s license and pay a minimal lane fee and target fee.  That some ranges rent guns (so you can try out different ones–see what you like), and even have date nights.

That it’s a lot better than sitting at home on the couch watching TV.

But not necessarily better than sewing.

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