i woke up at six am in the morning to get ready for the day. i took a shower and spent time plucking my eyebrows and washing my face. i got into my little white car parked in the driveway and with damp hair and sweatpants i drove to the grocery store up the street. there i filled my small hand basket with cinnamon, sugar, biscuits, and almond extract. i smiled when the cashier said, "have a wonderful day ms.sutton" because for some reason that always makes me happy. i then spent the next few hours getting my hands messy in a sugary-cinnamon dream while carefully rolling each cinnamon bun into little balls of yummy. once the cinnamon balls were in the oven i finished taming my wet curls and painting a sparkly sunset of golds and pinks onto my eyelids. after slipping on my cowboy boots and flowery blue top i filled the still warm rolls into a little wicker basket and skipped out the door.
i waited a few minutes outside my friend robs house until he finally answered the door. with his locks of hair stretching in a million different directions and squinty eyes i could tell he had just woken up. as we waited for our other two friends to arrive we sat in silence as our christmas blend tea brewed in the kettle and warm jazz music serenaded the room. once he had woken up a little bit we quenched our hungry bellies with delicious tea and my mornings cinnamony hard work.
as soon as the other two arrived the room quickly filled with guns, ammunition, and the smell of men's deodorant. after a few trips to the truck i planted myself in the backseat and was soon swimming in bags of soon to be targets. with windows rolled down and music blasting we made our way up the hill, over the bridge, and down a dirt road that i believed to lead to no where. but once the truck was parked i realized i had stepped into a man made shooting range. made by the three men i was standing with.
in no time the tailgate was down and loaded with an assortment of different guns and rounds of ammunition. the targets were put in place on the hill and bright orange ear protection was snugly fitting inside our ears. the first shot literally terrified me to the bone. i thought with the ear protection i wouldn't be able to hear anything....boy was i wrong!
i have shot guns in my life before. i learned when i was little, taught it at summer camp, and even went to a range last year with a friend and got some professional advice. but for some reason being around three men who knew what they were doing, two of them being former marines, i got scared and intimidated. i decided i would be the camera girl for the day and try to take action shots of them blowing up soda bottles and dollar store glass ornaments instead of shooting. but one of my friends insisted i tried and he helped me hold it, load it, and angle it the proper way. it took me a few minutes to actually pull the trigger and when i did i think i screamed in excitement and terror at the power i felt. after unloading the clip and shooting a really, really powerful gun that made me ear ring for twenty minutes; i decided i was done for the day.
but there was something about shooting the gun that made me feel feminine. it was in the way he helped me in a non condescending way. the encouragement they gave me to pull the trigger. and the congratulations they gave me when i actually hit something. all that all made me feel so good.
normally i would have been stressed out about getting dirt on my jeans the moment i stepped out of the truck (literally mud all over me the moment i got out!). or that by going shooting with guys it made me manly. but this time was different. because i realized that i could still be feminine and myself by baking morning treats and buying lisa frank coloring books at the dollar store and that i can hang with the guys and go shooting and eat sloppy joes the same day. i dont have to pick just one. i know that seems like a simple concept but its something i have struggled with all my life.
it makes me so happy to say i have peace in this all. peace in finding femininity in a room full of men. peace in coloring pictures of puppies in cowboy hats while all the guys watch star trek. and ultimate peace in finally realizing they dont expect me to be anything other than what i am. which is a girl that hangs with guys. a girl that can be both :)
some of the targets the guys bought were little dollar store stuffed animal bunnies that were adorable and in a rainbow of different colors. i wanted to keep them all but they kept telling me they were for targets. so after a couple rounds had been shot we went to set back up some of the stuff that had been knocked down or clean out the things that had already been shot. the seafoam green bunny i fell in love with was still in tact and not covered in dirt or mud like his fellow companions. so when no one was looking i saved him and slipped him in my jacket. i almost made it through the rest of the trip but one of his bright little ears popped out of my jacket and i was met with smiles and questionable looks. after some convincing they decided to let me keep my new little bunny friend. so now edmund the bunny has a home always <3
hes the one on the left <3