Just DON’T Do It! (Sorry, Nike)

Miss Barbara showing how it’s done, with her beloved Kolar shotgun on the trap field. She calls herself the “shooting Barbie,” but we wouldn’t dare.

by Barbara Sheldon

So, you’re a man thinking of teaching your wife to shoot clays? Hooray! Good for you. Good for the sport. I just have one thing to say. For God’s sake, please don’t. Actually, for her sake. Yours too, for that matter.

What’s that, you say? You have the best of intentions? Of course you do. I can’t imagine it has anything to do with her nagging about how much time you’re spending at the club. Or that she’s bored out of her tree when you do drag her along. Or that “It followed me home!” was only funny the first time you got busted trying to sneak another new shotgun into the house.

What could possibly go wrong, you wonder? After all, you can tweak any number of the shotguns you own to fit her. (Although this would likely expose how many you actually do own.) And how hard could it be to load light shells for her? And just think how cute she’ll look in that Pepto-Bismol-pink shooting vest and matching shell pouch you’ll buy for her! (Keep the receipts. Trust me.)

It goes without saying you want her to excel in her category. What man doesn’t want his better half to beat the pants off all the other better halves? Or, put another way, what man wants to be embarrassed by her? (Not that you’d say it that way, right?) And let’s not forget that the patience you’ll need for your wife’s foibles is something you already have in spades, right? Endless patience… 

Did I miss anything? Oh, yeah. You want her to have fun! And not just because you’ll be going home with her and it could take hours before she’s finished giving you an earful. Before she finally stops talking. Otherwise known as sleeping. And Lord knows if you piss her off while coaching her, there won’t be anything else happening in your bed.

Listen, the last thing I want to do is discourage you from bringing your wife into the sport, leaving you to think, possibly, that the last thing I want is more competition in my category. (Gee, no, I couldn’t possibly be thinking that…) But there’s a case to be made about the damage you could do to your relationship. You have no idea how many I’ve seen crash and burn, all because a man yelled at his wife, “Keep your damn head down!” (While she was trying to shoot, mind you.)

I don’t need to tell you that God designed women differently—or, if you believe Darwin, we evolved differently—but what you might not know is how these differences could impact our shooting. This is not the place to delve into detail, but yes, boobs can have something to do with this—specifically how and where we mount our shotguns.