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Anxiety Woman goes to a Gun Show

I was driving to the hardware store this morning to buy a timer for my new “Let it Snow” holiday lights when I passed a sign for a gun show. I have NEVER wanted to go to a gun show until now. I had a few reasons

  1. I read Paul Theroux’s Deep South earlier this year. In it, he visits numerous gun shows to uncover parts of Southern culture with which he was unfamiliar.  I thought I might learn something about Alaska.
  2. There are many men at gun shows!
  3. I’ll try anything once.

This particular show was being held in the common room of a Catholic High School. I was not the only one who thought this strange. Everyone in the parking lot marched in the wrong direction to the church hall thinking- no it won’t be in the high school, but we were wrong. I guess The Catholic Education system needs all the friends and money they can get.

I was only slightly shaky going in, as if people could read my mind. They can sometimes read my hands so I kept them behind my back, like I was visiting a museum. ” It’s just another Holiday fair”, I told myself. “People will be happy to see you. Lighten up”, I thought.

No one was mean to me but there was no attempt to be overly friendly and no Christmas decorations or music.   They could have had some LED Holiday lights made of little pistols or a target practice booth starring Rudolph. It was a refreshing to find such a low tech affair in this season of bedazzlement. The only snacks available were man snacks – hot dogs and chips.

Yes, men.  This group was not diverse.  Everyone who ever visited my online dating profile, (and who was a real person), was in attendance. Lone, unsmiling men with not just a gun or two but with COLLECTIONS of FIREARMS are surprisingly available. I’m not saying these men were dangerous but perhaps authorities should scan my dating hits.

As Theroux noted, no one seemed to actually be buying guns. Everyone was just looking, like at a car lot. At the entrance, the historical guns drew me in. These aren’t bought for killing but for the craft and the provenance. Since this is Alaska, most of the old pistols looked Western in nature although I admit I was afraid to ask. I’m sure people don’t mind talking about things they love but I believe they like selling these items much better. I didn’t take photos either, because then I would have to ask permission and I was just getting by without pooping. That’s my default when I’m anxious. So I told myself, “It’s okay to just observe. Next time, when you’re really in the market for a killing machine, you can be more social.”

I now know what a pepper pot pistol is. It has multiple barrels like this one from


Army Surplus greeted me next. Ammo cans were available at low, low prices. Next came some more modern firearms and knives.  No poisons or concertina wire, stuff a murderer might want, just stuff for hunting and self defense was for sale.  A few first aid and survivalist items booths came stocked with clotting sponges and Quikclot. One vendor brought some random DVDs, cookbooks, Alaskana and costume jewelry.  I spent an inordinate amount of time at this booth even daring to touch the goods.

I got to practice restraint. Some might say I’m just a coward. I overheard conversations where I chose not to butt in and offer my opinion. One shopper began quizzing a vendor in a loud voice, ” You know what the sole purpose of the government is..?”  I was curious, in a bad way, to know the definitive answer to this one but God showed me the nature of my wrongs. The man repeated the question at least ten times before I moved on. I’m sure the vendor would have liked to have left as well.

Then there was the not so gentleman who was arguing, with a fairly reasonable salesman, about the rights of Native Alaskans/Americans.  He informed us that they were “a conquered people” and “It doesn’t seem fair” to have to pay in order for him to hunt and fish on “their” land. The salesperson did not agree and was trying to educate in a polite way so I left well enough alone.

This was worth the price of admission. I sometimes need to step back and let other people fix things or let them be unable to fix them. Also I need to not complain about being single.  The admission was $5. I paid it because that’s pretty cheap for admission to the enemy camp. Not that these people are really my enemies but at least I got a look at their weapons. I left without an emotional or physical injury and learned that Paul Theroux must have been on acid. These weren’t the folksy, funny people he showed me. Maybe if I spent more time with them, I would have seen this side but I don’t have time to give every white gun owner in town my empathy right now. It’s the holiday season, and that’s all I have scheduled for them.

I’m sure some of you have other insights to offer me. Feel free to share them in the comments but only if they include some humor. If you are short on that I may be sponsoring an Anxiety and Humor fair next holiday season. I’ll have to see if The Catholic Schools have any room for that. There will be lots of Christmas lights, music and much better food!






Things I like and why I shouldn’t

Cake – It’s bad form to be so thin and eat several helpings, everyone hates me, even myself

Shiny clothes-  I have no real need to reflect the 1980’s in my attire despite how marvelous it feels to stand under a disco light in sequins. My soul is so shiny that wearing sequins might cause too much heat in my vicinity, burning my friends and followers.

Opalescent glitter make up– Although this can get caked in the wrinkly areas around the eyes, it’s such a nice touch on a special occasion like a job interview or court appearance. It does however conjure up images of unicorns which are not my totem animal.

Strange hats – There’s nothing like an outrageous hat to  remove the possibility of people taking one seriously. Even though this means I am highly visible with my pirate, pink tie dye, or mortician headgear, I am left alone by people who have more serious things on their minds like policemen and TSA employees who are looking for seriously sneaky people .If I want more attention from them I need to tone it down.

Singing the songs playing in the supermarket – No one has ever been discovered in Carrs Huffman.  It’s fun to get others to start singing and form a kick line at the checkout but their children might be humiliated.

Pomegranate juice – I had no need for this as a child. It didn’t exist, did it? Why can’t I live without it now?  I’m sure it will be revealed at some point that the blood of children was involved in the making of this drink.

Men – They are so cute when they belong to someone else or are just running free off leash in the park. But they need a big yard and a truck to keep them properly and I don’t have the money or time for that.

oh no! Another fantasy man to fixate on.

I am arrogant and unavailable, is that enough to get your attention?

I am sooo single! I thought that I had eliminated arrogant geniuses from my life. Then I looked at my television/dvd viewing habits and there stood my dark side. William Shatner(Kirk), Hugh Laurie(House), David Tennant(The Doctor), when characters go by one name you know they are full of themselves.

I don’t have cable so I recently discovered Dr. Who. I find myself talking like him, calling “Allons y” to people at work. I think to myself, “I am the last of the time lords and I’m here to save planet earth.” I guess that’s one way to get through the day. I’m going to call this the year of The Doctor and try to look at everything in a Time Lord manner and see if that makes life more wonderful. After all, everything is temporary. Every companion who enters the Tardis is apt to get hurt so beware taking up with me.

I’ve noticed that The Doctors get younger and younger each series while I get older. That’s so reverse Dorian Gray I can hardly stop from pulling my teeth out. I bet it probably has something to do with ratings in a youth obsessed culture but I can’t complain about David Tennant, ( I haven’t gotten to watch the current series as I am going through the library dvds at this point.) He’s doing Shakespeare in Great Britain at this very minute. I’m not a big fan of William the bard but I would stand in line to see Mr. Tennant live as he appears to be a live enough wire to light up any play.

I guess if I were to pinpoint the most alluring and dysfunctional appeal of Doctor Who, it would be his hubris, a quality I treasure in myself. He tries to fool time, trick death and save those he loves. He winds up saving the ones who are worthless to him and maims or kills those to whom he is most attached. My will and heart also try to control outcomes to no avail. Like Larry David I have an uncanny ability to make people I don’t care about like me and want to be part of my life. The people I love appear to live on another planet, or at least in different time zones.

I was wondering if anyone had ever built a house which looks like a Tardis? On an image search I found Tardis earrings, a Tardis cake then finally

which in turn led me to this fantastic image which could only have been created by a fanboy!

We are Sparta!

When I began this blog, ( not this post), I thought someone might be impressed by my depth of character and insight into the world. Can you tell I’ve given up on that?