A little while ago I told you all about the new gal friends that I had met since moving down here and how I introduced my carry status to them.
Well, as girls can go, we all hit it off very well and have continued to meet on a regular basis for tea, coffee, shopping and fun.
Most recently was a scheduled trip to the mall for nothing less than three hours of clothes, shoes and accessory shopping.
We met two days in advance to lay out a game plan for what we all wanted to shop for.
The Editor wanted shoes and pant-suits for her new job. The reporter wanted accessories. And me? Well, I wanted warm, cute, longer sweaters.
The Editor's eyebrows went up and she said, "OH. Because of.." followed by a nod and wink.
I informed her that while that was partly the reason, I still needed some warmer clothes for fall.
I got off work a little early last Friday and headed directly to our meeting place. I was designated driver as I am the only one who has a vehicle large enough to house three women and all of the stuff they can purchase in three house at a mall.
As I knew I would be spending some time trying on outfits in a dressing room I made certain arrangements for the evening by wearing Wilson in a Milt Sparks IWB holster that keeps him pretty close to my body and concealed. I left the Ka-Bar in my purse, the O.C. Spray in my coat pocket and my daily utility knives in my pockets.
Off to the mall we went.
Our first stop landed me with so many outfits to try on I was sure we were going to be in the dressing room for two hours.
While picking out some shirts, I picked one that was a little "tighter" than either girls expected and the Editor said, "Is that going to be okay with.. everything?" (wink, wink)
I said, "Oh yeah, I wore a special holster just for tonight," and gave her a little smile.
She said, "What do you mean, 'a special holster,' do they have those?"
I assured her that she would see in time and off we went to the dressing room.
We practically took over the place and were having a great time when I came out and stood before the three-way mirror wearing that shirt.
The Reporter, who had taken a break from shopping and was playing commentator, stood behind me, commenting on my shirt when her eyes got huge and she whispered, "Wait, where's your gun?"
I said, "It's still there."
She looked me over from head to toe and said, "Where?"
I patted it on its position behind my right hip.
"WOW. I thought you'd taken it off, but I didn't think you would have. I couldn't tell at all."
The Editor said, "I see what you mean by it being a 'special holster.'"
My next shirt was a little shorter and while it was nicely concealed because of the IWB holster, it was not long enough to cover my pockets.
The ever observant Reporter asked if there were two knives sticking out of my pockets and I bashfully admitted that there were. I explained they were my utility knives and shoved them deeper into my pockets.
Later, we went out to eat at an Applebees which meant I again had to Open Carry.
I did the concealed carry version of open carry (meaning I slung my coat over my arm until we got to our table and then sat on the inside) and only when I got up to let my friend go to the restroom did the Reporter glance Wilson.
"I keep forgetting you have that," she said, "You don't make a big deal about it and make it look so natural. It's easy to forget you even have it."
That spawned a conversation about concealed carry and self-defense options to which the Editor responded by pulling out her O.C. spray.
The Reporter laughed and said, "Look at you guys. I don't have anything like that."
I mentioned that I had O.C. spray in my coat pocket and the question came I had been anticipating all night.
"Do you really think you need all of that?"
"Look at the guy in the red shirt. Two tables down."
Both girls looked at the man, bent over his meal, less than twelve feet from our table.
"If he got up right now and started screaming and yelling and came after me, what are my options?"
Both girls judged the distance looking from me to the red-clad young man and both shrugged.
I asked, "What would you do?"
Both raised their brows and gave their answers.
The Reporter suggested spray. The Editor said to go for the knife.
I asked why they chose those weapons.
Again, they both shrugged.
I said, "What if he stood up with a knife in his hand? Does that change your decision?"
The Reporter did not respond. The Editor said she'd still go for the knife.
I asked her why she would go for a weapon that would require her to allow someone else with a weapon to get so close to her before she could use it. She said it seemed like equality of force. Bringing a knife to a knife fight seemed fair.
I reminder her that it's not about being fair. It's about staying alive.
The Reporter asked what I would have chosen.
I noted that at that distance, with a knife, he was a lethal threat that required lethal force. I would go for my gun.
I also reminded them that they were able to choose from three different methods of self-defense because all three were represented at our table.
I said, "Now imagine if I'm not armed, and you're not armed, and none of us has anything. Now what do we do if the guy in red gets up, starts screaming that he's going to kill me and runs at me with a knife?"
Both fell silent to ponder that situation for a moment.
The Editor asked what situation then would I use my knife for. I talked about the rules I have chosen to govern the use of which defense-method and when. The Reporter laughed and said, "You think WAY too much."
We all had a good laugh and when the laughter died down the Editor turned to me and said, "So, how would I go about getting a gun to carry?"