About a month ago, my dear husband came home from work and casually mentioned that I should line up a babysitter for the second Saturday of April. "Oh, are you asking me out on a date?" I replied with great excitement. Oh no, he had signed me up for the required class to obtain my license to carry a concealed firearm.
Now anyone who knows much about me at all knows that as a working mom, Saturdays are precious to me. Sundays, too, for that matter. I don't give up a single moment of my weekend unless it's for a really worthy cause. Obtaining a permit to tote a gun definitely does not qualify as a worthy cause, but no matter how hard I argued with DH, I couldn't convince him to change his mind. As a police officer, he sees the worst of humanity and feels it best that Smith & Wesson accompany his wife and children wherever they go.
Six o'clock came too early this morning. Especially since I stayed out with my friend Laura until 1 a.m. catching up on the Girls' Nights Out we've missed too many of lately. So when I got up after less than five hours' of sleep and my allergies were going crazy, I thought for a few minutes that I had the perfect excuse for missing. And, indeed, when husband called at 6:30 to make sure I was up (he was on patrol this morning), he agreed that I sounded terrible and should probably stay home. The only problem with that was that the kids knew they were supposed to spend the day with their Nana and Grandpa, and I didn't want to devastate them all by changing plans at the last minute.
Once at the police station for the class that was to begin at 8 a.m., I realized that I'd sped through the morning's preparations so rapidly I hadn't even thought about eating. No problem, we'd be done by noon, right? No, I was told, the class would go straight through until about 2:30 p.m. with no meal breaks. Several elderly couples had the foresight to pack igloo coolers with sandwiches and snacks which the rest of us eyed enviously. There were two boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts waiting for us in the training room, and after resisting the temptation for an entire 10 minutes, I caved. The chocolated glazed sin did nothing to assuage my hunger, so I caved again ... and then felt terribly depressed and shaky. Chief showed up minutes later with a large cherry vanilla Diet Dr. Pepper which made me WIRED and shaky. Now, if there's anything you don't want to be when you're armed with a loaded weapon, it's exhausted, wired and shaky. Which is exactly the condition I was in by the time we finally made to the range at 2 this afternoon.
I will spare you the details of my rendezvous with a .25, but our fabulous instructor, Cpl. Kelley Cradduck, signed off on my papers and after parting with $144, yours truly will be licensed by the state of Arkansas to be armed and dangerous. And if that thought scares you, even more frightening should be the thought of the two 80-year-old grandmas I shot with today packing heat ...