Recently, I noticed a presence of the local police in the neighborhood. No “lighting it up” presence but a more subdued presence.
The other day as I was walking to my mailbox, one of the officers drove by and stopped to chat. (I know the officers in this little town well, due to #4.) My first thought of course, was “uh oh. Is #4 on the lam?”
He wasn’t, thank goodness but the officer asked me if anything peculiar had happened recently. I said “as a matter of fact, my bird bath has once again, been turned upside down and somebody snapped my flag pole in half but other than that, no.”
He didn’t elaborate and I didn’t pry but he asked if I had a weapon. I told him I did…one under my pillow and one somewhere in the garage. He looked at me much like a parent or teacher would look at you when you had said or done something stupid.
Then he said “do you have your CWP?” I told him I didn’t, so my guns stayed in the house and in the garage, unless I was traveling and then, I carried them in the trunk of my car. I said “I thought that if I was ever accosted, I would just ask them to wait a minute, while I got my guns.” Again, the same look.
I don’t think he caught the humor in that statement. He told me to find my gun, go take the class and get my permit because every woman needed to have a weapon on her person, especially if she was alone.
I called and made an appointment for the class on Saturday. I got to the gun shop where it was being taught and this older gentleman escorted me to the back room. He was matter of fact and sort of scary. He had every conceivable kind of gun you could think of, sans AK47s and WMDs.
He told me to pay attention because later, there would be a written test on everything he went over. I was kind of dumbstruck. A test? What the fuck?
He looked at me and said “what? Did you think I was just going to pass you because you’re cute?” Pffftt! I told him that I was too old to be cute….and yeah, I thought he might.
Four hours later, he gave me the test. No worries. I made 100.
Then….it was off to the shootin’ range.
It was about thirty miles away, out in the boonies and I was thinking “this would be the perfect place to dump a body where nobody would ever find it.” Of course, I had my guns, both loaded but they were under a towel in the back seat. His gun was strapped to his hip. Thankfully, he wasn’t a serial killer. At least, not on that Saturday.
It was ninety-eight thousand degrees, I had no hat, no sunglasses and I was shooting straight into the sun. I asked him if he really expected me to hit that target. He said “you’d better. You have to hit it 35 times out of fifty.
I had shot one of my daughters’ guns before and I think the only time I hit anything was the clip that held up the target man thing. I didn’t know how to shoot a gun….what the hell?
Well, Mr. Instructor showed me how to use the sight, how to hold the gun and how to stand. He said “normally, when you are confronting a perp, you stand slightly sideways to make yourself less of a target but in your case, if you turn sideways, you might disappear.” I didn’t think that was funny.
He gave me a holster. I thought that was hilarious. “Am I going to be Annie Oakley?” I asked. He said “when you are carrying, your gun will be in a holster and you have to know how to draw. You can’t just stick it in your pants. Your test will involve shooting from a ready position as well as from your holster.” Wow. Call me quick draw McGraw!
I was locked and loaded and ready for bear, so I started shooting. There are two kill shots on the target. The head (he says “you always aim for the left eye”) and the center of the chest (where most people’s hearts are.) He’d have me shoot five rounds from various distances, from the ready position and from the holster (which he gave me after we were done.)
SO….out of fifty rounds, I had 45 kill shots and 5 debilitating shots. Pretty damn good, huh? He even let me keep the target after he took a picture of it.
Of course, I didn’t wear my back brace and I was broken at the end of that 8 hour day. I came home and collapsed in my comfy chair and watched Downton Abbey until it was time to go to bed.
There was more to be done to get my CWP. I had to get two sets of fingerprints and send a certified check to SLED. Monday morning, I lit out at about 9 o’clock, thinking it would be a quick jaunt and then I could come back home and rest.
You know what they say…”tell God your plans and watch Him laugh.” My first stop was the bank. There were 16 people in line and I was number 7. Everybody was complaining and I figured that it was just a matter of time before one of them went postal. There were only two tellers working and the two people at the window were obviously trying to cash a third-party check from a Nigerian prince.
Again, I didn’t wear my brace and a couple of times, I thought I might have to sit on the floor…but after an hour, it was finally my turn. Of course, I couldn’t remember that stupid pin number for my debit card (that I never use.) For crying out loud!
I got the certified check and was off to the police department. I finally found it and was promptly told that they didn’t fingerprint there. I would have to go to the sheriffs’ department at the detention center. I’d been there before so I knew where it was, only I went to the wrong part. Again, for crying out loud. I made my way up three flights of stairs and by then, I thought my back was going to…well….break.
I had to wait for an hour, while they finished the pizza that had just been delivered. There was nothing to sit on but some hard bench that ran the length of the room. Some young guy asked to borrow my phone because he was stranded. I don’t know his story but he looked like they had just cut him loose.
I was finally led into the back room where two officers asked me how they could help. Now, I don’t know if there’s a hard and fast rule that every officer that works in this little town has to be a cutie-pie but I mean every officer I have ever run across, male or female, are just darling.
The young one took me over to the fingerprint machine and my first thought was “#4 has been here.” Anyway, he took all of my fingerprints…twice and then started filling out the card.
I jokingly said “I guess I’ll run home now and sand off my fingerprints.” The young officer looked deadpan at me and said “since you said that, I can’t sign this now.” The older one knew he was kidding and started cracking up and then asked me what kind of weapons I had. I told him and then said “I have them in my purse. Want to see them?” Again, the older one knew I was kidding but the look on the younger ones’ face was priceless.
I got to the post office, five hours after I left my house and again, when I got home, I was broken.
I just can’t seem to get it into my head that I’m allowed to be hurt and take care of myself and nobody is going to yell at me and say “the business (that’s what Loser called our marriage) shuts down when you’re sick or hurt and that shit just can’t happen.”
I always had to carry on, no matter what. The day after my knee surgery, I had to take all four of my children to soccer practice. I wasn’t allowed the luxury of taking care of myself. I had to take care of everybody else.
BUT….I’m going to try to rest. I need to mow my lawn but I will wear my brace and take my time.