Monday, September 8, 2008

My Husband Rusty (aka Jeremiah Johnson)

First off, I just wanted to let you know that I'm leaving the limerick contest open until Wednesday, so there's still time to rhyme...

So, my husband really is off in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a poncho for sleeping. In the woods. Alone. After dark. Apparently, he hates to be in the woods at night so much, that rather than worry about walking through them to get to his car, he prefers to just stop, drop, and cover when darkness falls. The good news is that he called today, so I know he's alive.

So what is it with men, anyways? Why do they like to do things like go to boot camp? No, really - they like it. Ever watch a guy while he's watching some movie or documentary about other guys in boot camp? Secretly, they all want to go there and run those obstacle courses in the mud. They think it would be fun. Manly. Apparently their love of playing in the mud never goes away.

It's the same with hunting. I know all men don't hunt and aren't that interested, but the fact remains that an awful lot of them like that kind of thing. The whole, getting up at three a.m., going out into the dark, cold night, (I know it's technically a.m., but frankly that's NIGHT to me) to go hike through nature (or freeze in a tree stand) in the hopes of getting their animal.

Don't get me wrong. I was raised with beef cattle, and I have no problem with hunting. If it was necessary to feed my family, I have no doubt I could go out and kill a deer myself.

Without spraying deer pee all over myself, thank you very much.

FYI, camping with a bow hunter is not fun. The smell of elk/deer urine is very pungent in a small tent.

Anyway, back to men. To be more specific, back to my husband. Why can't he at least be like the other hunting husbands I know, who hunt with their "buddies"? Why does he insist it isn't the same if he has to "drag someone else along"? Why does he have to pick such ridiculously remote locations for his hunting forays? Why can't he just bring a tent? Why did I have to remember that our life insurance is currently lapsed WHILE he was out with the bears??

Maybe because the first stage of my panic attacks is always me, calmly planning out my life after the funeral. Last night, I was just getting to the part where I go over exactly what my funds for the "Life Post-Rusty" will be, when I remembered about the life insurance. Did I send in that reinstatement form? Panic started taking over. Desperately I trie to shut off crazy-anxiety-brain and go to sleep.

Not working. Time for tricking the brain into sleep by forcing it to think of mundane, stupid things. With every exhale I mentally named a different board game. I really did this last night, I want you to know. It wasn't easy either. When was the last time you thought about Parcheesi? But hey - I think it worked. I have no memory of anything after Hungry, Hungry, Hippos.

Tonight I should be okay. He called today. I know where he's planning on sleeping tonight. (In case your wondering how I know this, it's because I have done extensive study of the topo map where he hunts. The valley is five miles wide, and about twelve miles long, and I feel like I've been there. Actually I have, because once he didn't come home on time, so I put all my babies in the car and drove up there in the middle of the night.)

He has to call me by 10:00 p.m. Wednesday (there's a payphone at a camp ground about fifteen minutes from where he parks. No, cell phones and GPS thingys do not work where he hunts. I think that is intentional). If not, he knows I will be up there by 11:30 honking my horn and running through the woods scaring all the elk away while I look for his broken body.

Did I mention I fasted for his safety on Sunday?

Am I the only one with a husband that does things like this? I told him I was today, but I kind of want validation. Yes, I could force him to give up this annual trip, but it's just about the only thing he does for himself, you know? Then in the midst of my anxiety I feel totally irresponsible for condoning such a thing. But he follows my calling rules, and keeps a log in the car of when he's been there, and where he's going (things obviously instituted by me, Ms. Anxiety. He would never bother with such precautions on his own) so I could find him if necessary. That makes it better, right?

So all you girls with non-hunting husbands better hug them tight tonight. And then think of me with pity. And then if you love me, pray Rusty gets his elk soon, so he can come down off the blasted mountain! Now off I go for another lonely night...


Carol said...

I would so be a basketcase (moreso than normal even) if my husband took up hunting and alone for days on end.

I'd have been fasting to.

McFarland Family said...

Your irrational thoughts are completely rational.
Silly husbands.

Natalie said...

Yeah, I don't mind that Dustin doesn't hunt. In reference to the whole taking up golf vs. hunting thing though, at least Rusty can bring home meat to fill up the freezer. Golf just eats away at the family budget and the only thing he has to show for it is "Look Honey! I lost another 10 lbs. from all that golf! It's just melting off me!" (jerk! LOL)

Kelly said...

Think of all the practice you are getting controlling your anxiety before you really go nuts when your kids are teenagers. Thanks Rusty.

I can't do a limerick, by the way. But I'll think on it today and if something comes to this dull mind then I'll post it!

Stephanie said...

That sounds like a scary hunting trip, mainly to go alone. I can see how this would feed into some anxiety. Men. I'll keep searching the internet for a great limerick. :)

Ker said...

Hmmm...and here my husband is so anti-outdoors that he's terrified he'll get called as Scoutmaster or something similar! I guess we're at the opposite extreme, although I do wish he occasionally liked to hike, because I like to sometimes. I'm with him on the camping, though; no thanks! :)

By the way, hi! Just delurking here, although I just stumbled across your blog a couple of days ago.

*MARY* said...

your comment poems are VERY persuasive,before I new what was happening here I was in the comment box making myself known.

you've got a lovely family

by AnnieValentine said...

How are we sisters? I don't think Jason's safety has ever once crossed my mind ever. His first day at the new job he went on a drug raid. What did I say? Go have a great time honey, kill the bad guys! Hug hug kiss kiss.

I think I should worry more.

Just so everyone knows, she handles her anxiety beautifully. Way better than any of the other overanxious people in our ancestry.

Lisa said...

I love your board game naming make-yourself-fall-asleep game.

I would be totally scared, too. My husband would NEVER hunt, but he does leave for a day every now and again and wander in the mountains. Ugh. I hate it, but I know it brings him so much joy and helps him appreciate us here at home more.

I love the precautions you've made him take. They are very practical. And in many ways, hunting alone can be safer!

Sorry, one last thing. I LOVE your comment jingles!