Monthly Archives: January 2012

With Age Comes Honey West

Today is my birthday, and to celebrate, I’m going to do something I’ve never done before. I promised myself a few years back when I was younger–and not as panicked as I am now–that I would step out of my comfort zone at least once a year and try something classified under the heading of “daring-do stuff.” Sort of like a bucket list, only without the bucket, since I didn’t make a list limiting myself to specifics, like jumping out of airplanes (not in a million years) or climbing Mt. Everest (“because it’s there” is not a good enough excuse to climb something taller than a stepladder). It was just a simple promise to myself to broaden my experiences. Now, one would think that turning 60 would be dangerous enough to get me off the hook for 2012. It is, after all, something I’ve never done before (and won’t do again, a fact that I’m a bit ambivalent about, actually). And, it definitely gets me out of my comfort zone, as my 50’s were very comfortable indeed (I had, obviously, ten years to get used to them). But it doesn’t count because it’s not voluntary…I have no choice but to become 60, because that’s what comes after 59.

Therefore, for my one deliberate act of daring-do for 2012, tonight at 6:30, I am going to travel across town and boldly walk into a Gun Shop (I bet you thought I was going to say “strip club” but I’ve already done that). Before you snicker and tell yourself you could walk into a Gun Shop with one hand tied behind your back, please be advised that (and this is the daring-do part) not only am I going to walk into a Gun Shop, I’m going to actually pick up a gun and actually shoot it.

It all started when my husband walked in from work one day and said, “how’d you like to get your concealed handgun license?”

“Huh?” I eloquently replied.

“Your concealed handgun license,” he repeated, wide-eyed and expectant.

I thought about it for a minute, and let the import of the question sink in.

“Huh?”

I have to admit, I’m not sure I want to do this. It surprises me that I’m more hesitant about this than I was about climbing on a motorcycle twelve years ago, which could be because (a) twelve years ago I wasn’t as smart as I am now, or (b) my definition of “living life with gusto” has undergone a subtle, albeit definite, change, probably because of (a) above. Either excuse would give me license to back out, but I’m not going to do that. I’m going to keep my word to myself, boldly trudge forward, pick up a pistol, and, hopefully, avoid shooting my foot off.

To put this in its proper context for those of you who haven’t read my very short–but succinct–“About Me” page on this blog, I live in Texas. The land of cowboys, tumble weeds, Judge Roy Bean, and, yes, concealed handgun laws. To be honest, I haven’t given the issue of the right to carry a concealed weapon much thought. I’m a very trusting person (spelled n-a-i-v-e) who believes that everybody who carries a gun on their person, in secret, out of sight, unbeknownst to anybody else, has been thoroughly and properly vetted as a Pillar of Good Citizenship. Probably more to the point, though, since the issue is a pretty polarizing one down here, I’d just as soon stay on everybody’s good side, especially the good side of those who carry concealed handguns. In this case, ignorance is bliss.

Anyway, once my brain rebooted itself and I began to mull it over, it occurred to me that before I took to carrying one around in my purse (or strapped to my thigh, like Honey West), I’d have to know how to shoot one. I mean, isn’t that sort of a prerequisite?

Which brings me to the apex of my discomfort with the whole idea…if I learn how to shoot a gun, handle it safely, accept responsibility for it, I take the risk of becoming obligated to educate myself about the whole right-to-carry issue. I just might actually have to jump off the fence, form an opinion–an actual well-thought-out opinion–with facts to back it up. That gives me the willies just thinking about it.

On the upside, that gives me two daring-do’s for 2012, making 2013 a bye.

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I Resolve…

It’s a new year. Again. Why we can’t just hold on to the old one until it wears out is beyond me. If we took really good care of it, kept it clean, oiled, and out of the rain, it would last twice as long. But, we are, afterall, members of a throw-away society, so we get a new one every twelve months, whether we need it or not.

On the upside, though, the turn of a new year is a great time to start over, reassess priorities, change course if we don’t like the heading we’re on. A new year is just chock-full of unrealized opportunity. Optimism abounds. As a result, many of us take the time to sit down, get quiet, and thoughtfully jot on a piece of paper what is commonly referred to as our “New Year’s Resolutions,” solemn pledges to either (a) not fill up the cuss-bucket with our spare pocket change, or (b) buy every self-help/self-improvement CD out there, along with (for an additional, but very nominal, fee), the optional food dryer-outer and over-sized medicine ball.

I use the term “us” in a global sense…”us” doesn’t usually include “me.” In fact, it never includes “me,” because I never make resolutions, which are not to be confused with promises I make to myself that I can’t keep…I do that all the time. No, I never make resolutions, because writing them down on paper implies a contractual obligation, the covenants of which cannot be broken without consequences. And I always bust out of the covenants by the end of January.

But this year, I’ve decided to take a personal risk…make what is, for me, a courageous move. This year, I’m going to utilize my baby-steps-to-a-new-you approach. I’m going to make some resolutions I just might be able to keep through the end of February, at which time I will check my progress and then decide to give up.

Therefore, I hereby publicly document my New Year’s Resolutions for 2012, which were arrived at after loads of consideration and the examination of hundreds of pertinent possibilities (by which I have determined I am in worse shape than I thought); to wit:

I RESOLVE to be a more considerate and courteous driver. It occurs to me, however, that I’ll have to quit driving altogether to keep this one. And that means I’ll have to quit my job and sell my house. No…on second thought, it would be much more considerate and courteous (not to mention much more convenient) if everyone else out there just got out of my way.

I RESOLVE to take my writing more seriously. I will apply more industrial-strength chair glue to my delicate heiny, which is a lot easier said than done due to significant childhood trauma. When I was little, I had to sit all by myself, at the dinner table, bereft, forgotten, and totally ignored, until I took at least one bite of my macaroni and cheese. Do you realize what the lack of attention can do to a fragile, four-year-old, female psyche? As a result, it’s difficult for me to sit alone and isolated long enough to write anything of substance, which is why I never do.

I RESOLVE to turn up the self-analysis. Being happy and well-adjusted just isn’t acceptable…it would deprive me of what little joy I get out of life. Besides that, I’m running out of insecurities to write about.

I RESOLVE to buy a good pair of polarized sunglasses and not leave them in the airport bathroom.

And, last, but certainly not least,

I RESOLVE to live in the moment. It’s the only place I have any control at all, and it doesn’t last long enough for me to seriously screw anything up…at least, nothing they can’t comfortably classify as a misdemeanor.

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