laura packardY’all, I’m worried.  As usual, of course, about a lot of the usual things: where do all my socks really go after I put them in the dryer, is Fat Free milk really free of fat and is someone at the NSA baffled over how many mason jar photos I have put up on Pinterest and what it could possibly mean to the security of our nation?


But something that happened recently has me chewing on my nails, popping peanut M&M’s like they’re going out of style and losing my phone on purpose so I don’t try and call a psychic hot line for just a small smidge of advice.

See, I’m used to being a “golfing widow.”  Actually, I kind of enjoy the few hour breaks from mundane, nagging questions such as these:

“What’s for dinner?”

“I know you look busy but can you just swing by the CVS and get some deodorant, a bottle of Prevacid, a jar of that hair gel I like, a tube of Colgate, minty, and a pair of nail clippers, small?”

“I just deleted last night’s Ladies of London from the DVR to make room for History’s Mystery’s: Did Aliens Build the Egyptian Pyramids?  Hope you had a chance to watch it?”

I guess you can say by the weekend, I am more than happy to have him out of my hair for a little while.  But I am also glad when he comes home later that day to find out I burned dinner but will still take the kids to the Huddle House because he loves to eat food without crusty parts stuck to them.   

Unfortunately, my poor “hunting widow” girlfriends don’t have that luxury during hunting season because they are alone all weekend with their precious procreates attached to them like sandspurs on top of Velcro.  This is while their husbands leave early Friday AM cloaked in camouflage before the sun is up, the dogs are walked and the kids start whining over their over-toasted Eggo’s.  They aren’t heard from until nightfall Sunday while the kids are back asleep, the dogs are bathed where upon they lug a carcass of flesh and a few feathered fowl they then attempt to stuff in the fridge you just cleaned.  Next, after they have sprayed their blood soaked boots off in the driveway and dumped a mountain of bloody camo on the recently mopped floor in front of the already over-worked washer, they go straight to bed – without showering, brushing their teeth or turning off the TV.  

So y’all can imagine my dismay when Charlie finally agreed to go deer hunting for a few days at his buddies’ land in Statesboro.  Although, I still remained cautiously optimistic my life would remain the same . . . because if there was ever a guy who prefers khakis to long johns, golf carts to tree stands, high powered drivers to rifles and cashmere to camo, it’s mine. 

I gave him a day.

But six hours after he left, my phone kept vibrating off the table like the ricochet of a 20 gauge shot gun. There were videos of grown men crouched in tree stands whispering at each other that made watching a round table discussion on arbitrage pricing theory seem like a whole ball of fun.  I saw pictures of guys in what appeared to be camouflage wet suits with their foreheads marked in fresh mud and another quite disturbing image of my husband’s face smeared in gristle, tissue and a whole lot of blood.

That’s right, folk.  This is what happens when you kill a deer for the first time.  But he not only killed one but two . . . the very first afternoon.

He’ll tell you his friends were amazed, a little jealous and overall dumbfounded by his success.  Two of them there, with the all-out body suits, special scents that make you not have a scent, and hooded face masks, had yet to even kill one and they had been trying for years.   And to make matters worse, they’d teased him relentlessly when he arrived about his rookie status . . . as in, “You’re not wearing that out into the woods, are you?”

But it turns out Charlie couldn’t scare, spook or get a single deer to run away from him.  Even when his phone would go off, his stomach would growl and his water bottle would crackle, the deer would just stand there, staring at him . . . like “what’s up?  Nice day we’re having . . .” as he noisily trekked back to the stand to get his shot gun.

He came home at sun down Sunday exhausted, of course, with a pile of funky-smelling laundry, bloody sneakers and some venison Lane was going to take to the processor for him.  Before he retired for the night in his post-hunt splendor of providing food for his family and hanging out with other manly men, I asked him what he thought might be the secret to his success.

“Easy,” he says, dumping out his laundry of khakis, polos and windbreakers from his navy blue Peter Millar duffle onto my clean floors next to my over-worked washer. “Deer aren’t afraid of golfers.”

I guess there is something successful about a well-dressed man, after all.