I was OK for a while there. Nearly normal. You could ask my friends. It might be grudgingly, but I think they’d back me up.
Then, I received the Cabela's Master Hunting Catalog, Fall Edition in the mail. Several others have since arrived too.
That was about a week ago and sanity's long since departed on gossamer wings.
You have to understand. If there's one thing I look forward to each year, it's hunting season. In fact, to my mind, there are only two seasons on this planet and they would be - hunting season and the rest of the year.
The fall catalogs mark the beginning of the final countdown to hunting season and therein lies the trouble. The darned things are more seductive than anything Victoria's Secret ever put out.
For instance, a couple of years ago, I saw a gun cabinet in one.
It didn't matter that I didn't need a gun cabinet. It didn’t matter that I'd made it through hunting seasons for years without one. All of a sudden, I began drooling over cabinets made of cherry and oak and cypress with hunt scenes etched in beveled glass. The problem was that the prices quoted were quite a ways beyond anything I could afford.
As most women know, such logic is never a deterrent to men who are caught up in some hobby or other. Thus, I decided to build my own which, according to my wife, led to four months of sawdust being tracked through "her" house and too many trips to the hardware when I could have been doing more productive things like the dishes.
Not a happy time. And it was all because of the catalogs.
This year, the catalogs came early. This year, I apparently had a genetic need for a new back pack even though I already have a perfectly good one out in the garage.
You see, five years ago, I bought that back pack. I must have thumbed through the catalogs a hundred times back then and made notes on every feature on every backpack in every catalog. I even compared brands over the phone with other similarly afflicted males. Finally, I ordered one which has served me well ever since. Unfortunately, now I want a way to attach things like my rifle to it and there’s no way to do it. Yes, that would be the same rifle that my shoulders have easily carried for the past 30+ years.
But I have an out.
My daughter has said that she wants to start hunting with me and I think she’s serious. She’s taken the hunter education course and has been to the range with me quite a few times and has shown me that she can safely handle a rifle. As a good father, I knew what I had to do. I had to give her my “old” backpack and buy a new one.
But there was a problem.
When I mentioned all of this to my wife, she made some totally unnecessary observations and completely off the point remarks.
Wife: "Didn’t you just buy one a few years ago? Isn’t it still in good shape? Isn’t your annual hunting trip the only time it rally gets used? For what you paid for it, shouldn’t it last quite a few more years? Why do you need another one?
Like I said, totally unnecessary and completely off the point.
Still, I trotted out my excuse.
"Lisa wants to hunt and she’ll need that one."
I should’ve known better.
“Lisa can use the one she has for snowboarding. It’ll carry all of the things she’ll likely need which won’t be much since you’ve pretty well bought everything else relating to hunting that can be sold.”
Have I mentioned that my wife has this detestable streak of logic that she frequently uses to harass me. It’s been a tough road I’ve traveled these past 38 years.
Still, I've been thumbing through the catalogs every night to the detriment of such other minor matters as putting the laundry away or cutting the grass when I get home from work.
My only problem is, no matter how many times I think it through, I can’t get around my wife’s argument.
The thing is, I just ordered the backpack. I couldn't help it. I’ll tell her about it later.