I find the human psyche so fascinating. Probably why I majored in Psychology in college. I find the brain, with all it’s cracks and crevices, it’s curves and tube slides, beyond interesting. Ok, so it looks more like your intestines forcibly smashed into the size of a melon squeezed inside your skull, but whatever. This past weekend I did something new and different and, naturally, analyzed it to death. Isn’t that what everyone does?
At the risk of sounding like a serial killer, I went paint balling. The bestie had a Living Social deal and it was about to expire. So off we went – her, me, her husband, and mine. She and I are trying to YOLO – as the young ones are calling it these days. We’ve apparently hit our mid-life crisis.
I’m not a big gun advocate so I wondered if I was condoning something I didn’t believe in. Eh. Screw it. YOLO!!! (I will never use YOLO again, I promise)
To say I was a nervous wreck when we pulled into the dilapidated parking lot would be putting it mildly. I was expecting a large, sprawling facility with air conditioning, semi-clean bathrooms, and hand sanitizer hanging on every wall. Instead we got tents and port-a-potties. I’ll be honest, every young man I saw gearing up to play looked like a crazed gunman to me. I, in my insane, semi-delirious, high pitched whiny voice, started randomly conversing with some of the guys. Maybe if they liked me they wouldn’t shoot me?? Most of them couldn’t keep a straight face. I’m pretty sure that I came across as the crazed gunman. I begged them all not to shoot me in the neck (apparently the most sensitive spot) and they all agreed (and then turned around and cracked up).
Then the bestie and I met Big Red. This guy was the resident paint balling expert. Hardcore doesn’t begin to describe him. Apparently he shows up on weekends, unpaid, and mows the grass in the fields. He’s got all the right equipment and even made his own paint ball gun. Yes. MADE it. I saw him eye balling my friend and me as we were asking question after question of one of the referees. And right then and there, Big Red became the mentor that I never had – mainly because I’ve never been paint balling before and never needed a mentor. He took my friend and I under his wing and coached us on the ways to hide and shoot. He went out onto the sidelines of the field our first time out and yelled at us the whole way through. “I don’t see you shooting!!” “Where are your guns?” “Come on, girls!!” I wish I had bothered to ask your name, Big Red … you saved me from, I’m sure, getting pummeled to death by paint balls. But I was too nervous to think about anything but survival.
definitely kind of pictured myself being shot out in about 5 seconds – basically standing in the open with, potentially MOST definitely, crap in my pants, frantically looking around to see where I could hide and then being ambushed by 30 bullets at once – doing that whole flailing arms thing in the most dramatic fashion possible.
But it turns out being a scaredy cat has it’s advantages! Here’s the weird part, though. As much as I was panic stricken and had never held anything deadlier than a Nerf gun, I kind of got into it. I was basically in squat position behind a wall or a large sewing spool (huh??) the entire time (great for the glutes!!) … acting like I knew what I was doing. “I got your back!” and “Where are they?!” and “Did we lose yet?” and “Owwwwwwwwww!” becoming my new vernacular.
I may have also yelled, “Die, motherfucker!” a couple times while accidentally shooting the ref.
Later that night I sat down with the Hubs and did a 45 minute analysis. He patiently listened as I described my terror, showed him all my war wounds, and explained how I would do it differently next time. I really don’t know how he keeps a straight face sometimes. Years of practice, I guess.
I kind of feel bad ass now. Back to school shopping never felt so promising. You don’t think the kids will mind that, while we’re in Target, I hop in crouched position from the back of one rack to another in an attempt to swipe the last Ticonderoga pencil pack from the lady with the newborn strapped to her chest, do you? I feel stealth and unstoppable.
YOLO!!! (shit, I’m sorry)