Last weekend, I shot at some tiny flying neon orange donut-things at the Take Aim Against Breast Cancer fund-raiser at the Pleasantdale Rod and Gun Club. If you know me at all, you are aghast at this news, you have fallen to the ground mouth agape in a full plotz, and are groping wildly for your supplemental oxygen. Even my warrior friend and co-blogger, Deb, was rendered speechless at my new-found shooting enthusiasm, and wondered if she’d need to frisk me before our next client meeting… No worries, Deb, because the truth is:
I don’t like guns. At all.
I have never been into an actual rod and gun club. In fact, I don’t even know what the “rod and…” part means, and nothing about hunting appeals to me (including eating meat, by the way). I don’t even like the idea of fishing, routinely rescue stranded earth worms from the sidewalk after a heavy rain, and even feel a little bad cutting flowers to put in a vase.
So, you can imagine how strange I felt walking into the Pleasantdale Rod (what?) and Gun Club, at least until I was greeted by two of the nicest, most warm and welcoming women ever—and I saw the decorations, and felt the energy in the room that said ‘we are all in this together, to win this fight.’ There were more raffle prizes and actual donuts than you can imagine, and outside, people were lined up for (literal) hours to have a chance to ‘trapshoot’ (which, by the way, doesn’t mean you are being trapped, then shot at). The organizers were serious about raising money, and the folks there were equally serious about making it a great day for everyone, honoring Survivors and having fun. And fun we had!
My husband Jon came along, and we made a day of it. How could he not? Boobs, burgers and watching his wife shoot at stuff? What’s not to love? I laughed to imagine my own mother’s face as I grabbed that gun, aimed for the elusive flying whatever-those-things-were, even somehow managing to hit a few! But really, it was just as fun to shoot and miss as it was to shoot and hit the darned things! For the record, it is somewhat counter-intuitive to shoot at anything resembling a donut, and if I could have seen rainbow sprinkles, I would have stopped the whole event in civil protest. But, I couldn’t, so I didn’t and shot like it was my J-O-B, squealing in delight every time I got to yell “PUULLLLLL!”
I will mention, however, that my father was not amused by the photo I sent of the bruises on my arm, post-shooting incorrectly. I was trying to impress him since he used to ‘skeet shoot’ and grew up on a farm during the Great Depression, forcryingoutloud. I thought he’d be excited, like he is every time I do something just to be like him (e.g., getting backyard chickens, a Ph.D., learning to make omelettes with swiss cheese, and trying every type of coffee maker known to the industrialized universe when I don’t actually like coffee, to name a few.) Apparently, it was not a ‘what’s good for the gander is good for the goose’ moment because the goose got yelled at over text. Now hear this, Dad, I got it. No more shooting anything but photos, I promise.
Most importantly, the day served as an important reminder to me about people, and life and priorities. The highly organized, industrious and caring folks who put on this event raised over $10,000! WOW! And yes, we may have fundamentally different views on guns, on hunting, on politics or religion or whatever. In some ways we may be very different, but in other, more important ways, we are the same. We love our families, we want our women to live long, beautiful and happy lives, and we want to bring the war on breast cancer to an end, and celebrate that victory together, over a 12 gauge shotgun, a 24 count box of ammo and some speedy flying neon donuts, no sprinkles, please. (I’ll bring the real ones next time).
In this spirit, please join me at the Samaritan Cancer Care Visions of Strength Event, 23 October 2014 at the fabulous Hilton Garden Inn in Troy. My friend, Sabrina, will be there, and will be thrilled to see you! And, that night, we will hear the final number raised by my new friends at the Pleasantdale Rod and Gun Club, and we will raise our glasses together in gratitude for their generosity.
SPECIAL SURPRISE: Find me at the Visions of Strength Event and tell me you’ve had or scheduled your mammogram, AND that you’ve signed up for your Women@Work subscription for the year (we can do that there and it’s free!) and I will have a special (super yummy) surprise for YOU!
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This blog was originally published by the Times Union and can be accessed here.