The morning of the class finally arrived, and like most women, the biggest question on my mind was what to wear. Anything GWG was out, as that would either give me away or, if Ted and the other women actually bought my little charade, as a complete noob with no prior gun-handling experience, a GWG hoodie might come across as too enthusiastic or possibly as a bit of a poser, neither of which I was shooting for (pun intended).
I wanted to blend in, not stick out like that deer in the Progressive commercial, you know the one with the flashing red light on top of its head…still, my country girl pride wouldn’t let me gussy up too far outside of my comfort zone, so I stuck to nice jeans, my ranch boots (just in case the classroom portion happened to end early and Ted decided to take us on an impromptu field trip to the range), a dressy jacket, and plenty of bling (blame that on my pride too…I knew we were headed up to spend a Saturday at the local Sportsman’s Warehouse, the regional Mecca for any eligible bachelor of country boy pedigree, and my single-gal status wouldn’t let me be spotted looking anything short of fabulous, newbie or not).
I made sure to do my hair and makeup, and I made a point to bring both my handbag and a notebook, as potential props for my newbie, eager-to-learn, I-didn’t-know-what-to-bring-so-I-brought-it-all cover. I also made an educated guess that any woman who planned to sit through an 8-hour long class inside a sporting goods store on a rainy Saturday (which just happened to be opening weekend of deer season in our neck of the woods) would grab a coffee before she arrived, so I followed suite, and figured I could use it as an ice-breaker should I find myself waiting alone with a classmate before the class began.
I arrived about 20 minutes before the store even opened, so I scouted for a perfect parking spot that would allow me unobstructed views of my fellow classmates as they pulled in. This exercise, while petty to most, was executed with the precision of a huntress looking for the perfect location for her treestand or blind. Too close to the store, and I might appear over-anxious or prissy (remember, it’s pouring buckets by now, and as the first rain of the season, it was definitely setting the bar for storm-worthy). Too far away, and I might miss a crucial interaction or seem standoffish.
I’d never been undercover before, but I’d read enough Nancy Drew mystery adventures in my day to know a thing or two about stake-outs. Once parked, I touched up my lip gloss, made sure that I had everything I thought I might need in my purse (let’s be honest, it could technically classify as a small rut sack for the amount of “essential items” I’m able to cram in there), and settled in to sip my crimes-against-humanity, overpriced “latte.”
Looking up, I noticed what I assumed to be some of my fellow classmates, all strategically parked like myself, fixing their bangs in the rearview mirror, or fiddling with their coffees like they were the most fascinating thing they’d seen all morning, avoiding windshield-to-windshield eye contact, but stealing sideways glances to make sure they were “staying with the herd.” I silently patted myself on the back for my excellent anticipation of the situation, as I now looked as though I was one of them! I’d soon find out if that was really the truth…