Any discussion involving manipulation between the sexes—however harmless—must be approached with fear and trembling. Creating a humorous piece on the same subject is even more dangerous, so if you never see my name in print again, it will be apparent that someone significant took exception to these lines. Please bow your head and observe a moment of silence, should that become the case.
Wives and Firearms
One of life’s greatest tragedies comes to light when a person utters the words “I’d love to buy that new (insert firearm of your choice), but my wife doesn’t think I should. She thinks (insert any number between two and 2,000) guns is enough.” (Hold on, I need to grab my hankie… Okay, I can see the keyboard again. Thanks for waiting.)
So, here’s the thing: the aforementioned tragedy is completely avoidable. It need not happen at all, to you or any of your buddies. Here’s how to prevent a firearm famine from bleeding your soul dry of the sweet scent of gun oil.
Step 1: You must establish the fact that "X" new firearm is not for you, it is for her (or for him, if you happen to be one of those incredible women who finds firearms fascinating, scintillating and therapeutic, but has a husband who is a cold fish). Here’s a simple example of how this might sound: “Honey, I’ve been thinking… Hey! You’ve done something different with… your hair looks awesome! Anyway, I was thinking we should get you a shotgun. What? Oh, something simple, like a Winchester SX4.”
Step 2: Now that you’ve planted the seed that this new toy–I mean—tool, is for her, you should introduce a need for it: “Yeah, that shotgun could work pretty well as a home-defense firearm, especially if we get it in 12-gauge. And it could double as a duck gun for me, if necessary.” (You’re appealing to her superior multi-tasking prowess here, as well as planting another seed—one that will establish the idea it’s okay for you to use it, too).
Step 3: Ask her how she would like the gun configured. It’s always flattering for a wife to be asked such a question, especially when she knows the biggest rival for her husband’s affection is his infatuation with firearms. Many of our better halves don’t know much about Winchester SX4s, so this is your chance to come gallantly to the rescue, explaining the various attributes and features, detailing why she should order her new gun configured just how you want it, and why pink is a terrible color for firearms. If you play your cards just right, there will soon be a shiny new shotgun resting in the corner. Best of all, for some unfathomable reason, most ladies seem to have about the same memory for guns as I do for designer handbags. Roughly ninety days later, the shotgun will be forgotten, and can be safely transferred to join your other treasures in the gun safe.
Yup, it’s time.
“Honey, I was thinking; a woman as good a shot as you are should have a good self-defense handgun around…”
Better Halves and Hunting
The best hunters I know have wives who send them off with a smile and a kiss for good luck anytime they want to go hunting (if they aren’t hunters themselves). No stern reprimands, withering accusations or invitations to sleep on the couch for these lucky blokes. Nope, their wives actually like their man going hunting. Did they love his hunting addiction from the beginning? Not likely. Usually it’s a learned behavior. For women, it’s a simple matter of logistics.
If you’re the kinda guy who leaves the grass uncut to go hunting, spends money you don’t have on new gear and leaves your dirty camo lying on the floor, you probably have a wife who is more deadly with her glances than you are with your bow or rifle. On the flip side, if you make sure your sweetheart’s “honey-do” list is taken care of, work a little overtime to cover hunting costs, and make a practice of leaving a rose on her pillow, sending love notes to her on the back of a Topo map or taking her out for a romantic date upon your return from a hunting trip, she probably has grown to appreciate your habit. Try it for a season. You might even tell her, “Darlin’, I’m gonna spend some money on this hunt I’ve been dreaming about—why don’t you take a little money, too, and go spend it on yourself.”
She’ll be begging you to go hunting more often.
How to Protect Your Cave Man
A list of sage advice would be remiss if it didn’t include some recommendations for the wives. Here’s the thing, ladies; we guys may be all bluff and manliness on the exterior, but deep down we’re just a bunch of little boys. Things that go bump in the night can make us accidentally swallow our chew of Levi Garrett. In fact, it’s not uncommon for us to hang around the campfire late into the night, simply because there might be a monster hiding under our sleeping bag.
Now, if you’re one of those most awesome creatures on Earth (a girl who likes to hunt), but by some unfortunate twist of fate you fell in love with a man (Can I even call him that?) who doesn’t like to hunt or camp, don’t despair. Here’s what to do to convince your non-hunting husband that you can keep him safe in the woods.
First, demonstrate you can shoot better than him. Many guys are insecure about their ability to make a good shot on a monster, especially when it’s dark. If you prove to him that you can bust more clays, outshoot him with pistols on a dueling tree, and beat the socks off him in a friendly 3-gun match, he’ll feel a lot safer going camping and hunting with you. Especially if you draw little stick-figure monsters on the clays before you load them into the target launcher. Witnessing you blow monsters to bits (even stick figure ones) will calm his nerves considerably.
Second, demonstrate your mastery of the wilderness. As soon as you arrive in the woods, build a fire, start a pot of coffee and set up a tarp shelter for extra gear. Whip out a comfortable camp and get your hunting stuff ready. Be cognizant of the need to demonstrate to your guy that you’re more capable in all things bushcraft than he is, or he won’t feel safe and protected.
Lastly, let him hold your hand when you’re hiking, and cuddle up while you’re sitting around the campfire. He’ll try to make you believe this desire has roots in romanticism, and likely there’s some truth to that. But his primary, primal reasons for holding onto you are safety and protection. I know it’s inconvenient when you’d much rather polish your rifle with a clean, oiled cloth or put a tape on that big buck you just killed, but humor him. He needs you.
I hope you will benefit from the words of wisdom contained herein. It’s been hard-won on the front lines of feminine wiles and manly maneuvers. I’m one of those lucky guys whose wife wishes him good luck when he goes hunting. I’m also the fortunate fellow with a wife who can occasionally outshoot or out-hike him. Best of all, I’m that blessed man with a wife who buys him more new guns than he buys himself.
She even holds my hand and snuggles when we go camping.