Before the Bayou

Before we were Husband and Wife, I started writing about our little adventures in dating.  Life with Matt is always entertaining, and I felt it needed to be documented.  Below is the story of my first trip to the "deer woods."

Fall 2009:
 Growing up in South Mississippi, hunting was never something foreign to me. I'd dated guys who hunted, I've ridden four-wheelers, and am an expert marks(wo)men myself. But I shoot at targets, in an open field, with no critters. So anyway. I'm not scared of hunting, but I'll never ever forget this hunting trip.

Friday morning - We wake up at the crack of dawn and it's cold, really cold. I'm not exactly prepared for this, but that's OK, cause Matt has it under control. He throws me a pair of camouflage pants and instructs me to put them on. I do as he says and am now sporting camo for the very first time. I'm so proud. Of course, I have on one of my long sleeved shirts, and I'm so excited that the light grey matched the grey in the camo. My Prada bag is on my shoulder. I'm climbing in the truck. A hunting we shall go!

I've been to deer camp before, but not to hunt. Strictly to drink, relax, and get away from everything. So I know what to expect thus far. But I've never been in the actual deer woods. I'm actually very excited. When we arrive at deer camp, my guy gives me a pair of camo cover-alls to put on OVER my clothes. They zip up and down the legs and chest and make you look like a camo Michelin man. But I'm a good sport and put my usual "style-before-comfort" motto behind me and step in. He helps me zip up the legs and checks to make sure I'm wearing proper foot attire. Although he raises an eyebrow while inspecting my footwear, my Uggs look like they'll do. "We shouldn't encounter much water or mud." he says. I stick my lip-gloss in the pocket of my cover-alls, Matt stuffs some beer in the backpack and pockets of my chic hunter's orange vest, and we head out.

The four-wheeler is much too noisy to take where we're going in the woods, so we're on foot to the shooting house. I'm having a good time so far. Walking through the woods is peaceful, when you know where you're going and have a big strong man with a gun to protect you. The birds are chirping, squirrels are running, and the deer are hiding. I'm dodging mud puddles and watching leaves fall, being as quiet as I'm able to. Life is good. We get about half a mile into the woods when Matt realizes that we forgot to bring an extra chair for the shooting house. "No big deal" he says, "you can sit in my lap." I'm well aware at this point that I'm in for the long haul and there is no turning around for a chair. I'm also aware that this is no 15 minute hunt. We have beer and cigarettes, we're going to be here for a while. Sitting on his lap for 3 hours is going to be difficult.

We approach the shooting house and Matt opens the door and takes his seat. I notice a funky looking nest of some kind in the corner of the house. I ask if it's a bird's nest. Matt says yes, he's pretty sure. I ask him if there's anything in the nest. He says "Nah." I take my seat on his lap and we wait for deer. And we wait for deer. We drink a beer, smoke a Camel, and wait for deer. Did I mention we can't talk to each other, move around, or even whisper while waiting for deer?

I'm finally starting to lose feeling in my bum, when I hear an "eek eek" come from the nest. I look at Matt,wide-eyed and in freak-out mode, and he says, "So, it's not a bird's nest, it's probably a squirrel's nest."  I'm thinking to myself "Crap !Crap! Crap!" but in an effort to remain calm and not look like a wimp, I say to him "Will it come out of its nest?" "Nah." He says as he pats my leg and gives me a reassuring smile. I go back to watching my designated watch spot and ignore the "eek eek" that continues to echo in my mind, and in our shooting house. A few minutes later, I did not hear "eek eek," but a louder and more prominent "scratch scratch". Trying to be cool, calm, and collected, I look up at the nest. And Fivel is looking back at me. Yep, Matt, was wrong. It wasn't a bird, and it wasn't a squirrel, and it did come out of its nest. It was a rat. About the size of my Prada bag (which I had sense enough to leave at camp, at least Tyrannosaurus Rat wouldn't snatch my purse). He was starring at me, tilting his head, and wiggling his ears. He seemed confused as to why we were in his house. Matt looks at me and asked if I'd like to leave. Hmmmm, well, lets think about it for a minute: My butt is numb, my legs are shaking, I'm wearing 80 pounds of camoflage, I've had about 3 beers so I need to pee, there's a life-size Mickey Mouse staring at the back of my head, and we've yet to see a deer. "No, I'm OK. Let's stay."

The rest of the experience was pretty mild. We never saw a deer, but the rat didn't come down from his perch either. We left the shooting house about half an hour later.  I think Matt knew I was trying to be a good sport, but was running out of gusto.  I've actually become quite fond of those camo cover-alls.

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