(with Ginger Truitt sig)
---- — Hubby recently asked, “Have you ever gone bow hunting?” “Oh, certainly! It used to be one of my favorite past times.” “Really? I didn’t know that.” “Yes, I went every weekend; sometimes with a group of girlfriends, and sometimes by myself. I loved the thrill of the hunt! I would get the prey within my sight, and in no time flat, I had him bagged.” “I don’t understand. If you were such an avid bow hunter, how come I never knew about it?” “You were my final prey. Once I nabbed you, I didn’t need to go beau hunting anymore.” Similar to deer season, autumn was always the best time to hunt for a beau. Back in those days, school started after Labor Day, so it was a cinch to meet new boys. Bonfires, costume parties, and fall festivals have always been great places to cultivate new relationships. As a teenager in 1968, my mother went beau hunting on a hayride. A flirty glance, a boy burying a girl’s shoe in the hay, and my parents’ relationship was born. Hubby and I actually began dating in early spring. By the time fall rolled around, I was away at college, desperately wishing I could go home and enjoy the thrill of the season with my one true love. The previous year, and the year before that, and one year before that, I had been with different beaus, but none of them held a candle to my future husband. Actually, a candle would have been dangerous in the dry leaves. They didn’t hold a 1200 lumen, battery-operated flashlight to my man. I met my last pre-husband boyfriend on Halloween. He was much too old for the foolish malarkey of my high school friends (it involved a lot of toilet paper), so we did something else instead. I just realized I remember nothing about that first date except that the weather was glorious. We lasted through Christmas, and then he disappeared on December 26th. Twenty-five years later, I still wonder what happened to him, but I know in the long run I was much better off. I forgave him for using my car to take another girl out, and I forgave him when I found out he had slept with his brother’s wife and then set fire to his brother’s house, but I am guessing eventually something would have come up for which I could not have found forgiveness. Sidenote: Girls, let me tell you, bad boys are exciting, but they are called “bad” for a reason. Mainly, because they are no good for you. If you have a bad boy on your arm this season, make those leaves crunch hard under your running feet and get away as quickly as you can. There are so many decent guys who would enjoy a night of good, clean fun that may or may not involve a few rolls of toilet paper. Those are the guys that are worth your time and energy. I wish I had met hubby two or three autumns earlier. We would have had a great deal of fun together. As it turned out, we dated for 18 months before we got to be together during this season. But we made up for it with long walks through the crisp woods, a little canoodling in a deer stand, some flirtatious activity on the church hayride, and a Thanksgiving marriage proposal. Life isn’t always easy, but at the end of the day, we sit together on the porch, and breathe in the cool autumn air. It’s then I am reminded how thankful I am that my beau hunting days are over. • Ginger is an author, speaker, and mother of five. Find her on Facebook (Ginger Truitt-Author), Twitter (@GingerTruitt), or contact her at email@example.com.